STEP-WISE attended with success the 6th World Water Forum held in Marseille (France) from 12 till 16 March 2012. The Forum provided discussions, important debates, solutions and best practice sharing in order to achieve concrete solutions and commitments for the cause of water. 140 ministerial delegations, more than 180 countries, over 800 speakers and in total 35 000 participants attended the Forum.
Together with the two other projects of the SPI-Water cluster (STREAM and WaterDiss2.0), STEP-WISE shared a booth in front of the European Commission Pavilion. The three projects together welcomed more than 500 visitors from all over the world, like policy implementers, mayors, directors, consultants, researchers, analysts and students from the EU and other parts of the world.
Our enthusiastic STEP-WISE-team provided interested visitors with information about the new WISE-RTD Water Knowledge Portal. They distributed newsletters, policy briefs and poster handouts and demonstrated the WISE-RTD on the internet. Almost 300 people left their contact information to stay informed about STEP-WISE and the WISE-RTD Water Knowledge Portal.
During the 6th World Water Forum, STEP-WISE organised two side-events on 14 and 15 March 2012 discussing “The Dissemination of Water Research Results and Their Impact on Economic Growth and Social Welfare”. Key-note speakers Dr. Thierry Davy, representative of the French Water Agencies to the European Commission presented on the 14 March and Dr. Philippe Quevauviller, EC Scientific Officer and Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium spoke on the 15 March. The side-events resulted in some interesting discussions on how to improve knowledge transfer and communication between water researchers, policy-makers, policy-implementers and other water professionals.
A joint session of the European process and the Thematic process of the 6th World Water Forum (targets CS3.1 and EU10) was organised to address issues based on the two targets’ reports established during the 6th WWF preparatory process. This highly interactive joint session addressed the main challenge to establish long-term mechanisms for connecting permanently and efficiently water research and policy worlds with a view in creating water evidence-based policies. The session highlighted the challenges associated with water resources management that require a solid scientific and innovation support to be successful. Dialogue between science and policy is not that obvious. That implies that great collaboration is required in the reconciliation of the timings of research and policy, common question identification and to identify and associate together all the actors.