Every three years since 1997, the World Water Forum (WWF8) is organized by the World Water Council and takes place in a different member country. It is considered as one of the world’s largest event on water. The main objective is to mobilize various sectors of society to strengthen action for solution to water management worldwide and make long-term progress on global water challenges. In 2018, it was the first time that the conference took place in the southern hemisphere. The topic of the 8th WWF was: “Sharing Water”.
The WWF is considered as a key event by the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) members and partners creating an opportunity to enhance visibility of Swiss water solutions and approach potential partners and donors, but also to deepen the cooperation with existing ones. As in the previous edition in South Korea 2015, the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) was involved in the preparation and implementation process for the Swiss presence at the forum. Together with the Global Program Water Division from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the SWP coordinated the Swiss Pavilion (72 m2) to showcase and discuss Swiss water expertise. What attracted especially a lot of people was the daily program consisting of different presentations, discussions and networking aperitifs. Members of the SWP and partners from SDC presented their innovative prototypes and concepts to solve global water challenges, inspiring the audience with a diverse and lively daily program.
The SWP’s main activities were centred around supporting the members, oversee and coordinate the booth and organise events: Not only the participation in the EXPO with the Swiss Pavilion, but also promoting SWP members that submitted event proposals in one of the five forum’s content fields/processes (thematic, regional, citizen, political, sustainability focus) and the two key Swiss events (the Swiss reception at the stand and at the Swiss embassy) contributed to represent Switzerland’s water expertise internationally.
In total, the Switzerland had a strong presence. The 8th World Water Forum confirmed Switzerland’s strategic priorities in the water sector. Switzerland was perceived as a credible, experienced and innovative partner-country with a comparative advantage in the water sector focusing on trending themes such as water stewardship, nature-based solutions and social entrepreneurship. Especially three key topics were associated with Switzerland: “transboundary”, “young people” and “business diplomacy”.
At the Swiss Pavilion, a total of 24 presentation slots from 22 involved Swiss actors (of which 11 SWP members and 5 SDC agencies and 6 partner organizations) over five days were presented to an audience of around 30 people per session.
Overall, the World Water Forum (WWF8) attracted around 30‘000 visitors from 168 countries. Three out of 52 exhibitors in the Expo Hall were Swiss organizations. At the expo, over 2‘000 visitors came by the Swiss Pavilion (measured by the amount of coffee consumed at the stand).
Read the full WWF Report here.