Scientific conference on "Water Research and Sustainable Development"

On July 24th, and as prologue for the celebration of the EU-South Africa Summit, in was held in Bordeaux (France) a scientific conference on research on water and sustainable development. The Conference counted upon the participation of European, South African and French scientific experts as well as heads of scientific programmes.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research have entrusted the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) (Institute of Research on Development) with the organisation of this conference, with which the European Commission and the South African Ministry of Science and Technology are also associated.

Some forty European and South African experts and heads of scientific programmes are taking part in this event. Its aim is to provide a platform for forward-looking debate to strengthen the EU-South Africa partnership in the area of water research and sustainable development. This is a critical scientific field in terms of the economic, social and environmental issues involved.

The focus of the  Seminar was on water as critical resource for sustainable development  against the broad background of key socio-economic and environmental  challenges, including climate change (mitigation and adaptation).

Based  on a review of current cooperation activities the aim of the  seminar was to  identify new research priorities and instruments, which could support  collaboration. Concretely these recommendations were included in the  Seminar’s Conclusions and communicated to the Summit.

Four main topics were addressed in four thematic workshops presented successively in plenary during the Conference:

  • Water research and food security and the environment
  • Water research and health
  • Water research: economy and industry
  • Water research: integrated management and global change