IV. Preparatory and special events

Special sessions and side-events

The Conference special events and side-events will raise and review key questions for achieving sustainable water management in food/agriculture and ecosystems. For example, FAO will present details of an FAO/UNEP programme on "Environmental Impact Assessments of long-term IWRM forecasts: foreseeing and meeting future demands for water, food and ecosystems" (Environmental Impact Program 30). The programme addresses water-related environmental impacts in agriculture for the next 30 years. It examines the tools and methods needed for strategic environmental assessment and explores, in collaboration with global and local institutional and private sector stakeholders, the use and demand for long-term forecasting and the strengths and constraints of different modelling tools. Other specific side- or special events will be developed during the preparatory phase of the Conference.

Conference website

The Conference website was published as part of the FAO website in August 2004 to provide an information exchange and participation platform throughout the Conference preparation phase and during the Conference itself.


During the period of August-November 2004, the website will host an informal e-forum to collect case studies and good practices and will establish a database where studies can be accessed. Each e-forum theme will have a moderator, who will a) prepare a synthesis document for input in the main Conference, and b) moderate an e-conference in November-December, based on major statements and recommendations arising from the e-forum and from keynote addresses. After closure of the e-conference, a synthesis of the debates will be produced resulting in an agenda of issues and additional material for the Conference and the Conference statement, according to the different agro-ecological zones.

The African Pre-Conference

The Addis Ababa conference is intended to identify the opportunities for the implementation of the WSSD and MDGs, CBD and WWF decisions and programmes on water, food and ecosystems and to prepare for the The Hague conference in this context. The discussion will build on a.o the Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment. The agenda is focussed on implementation in Africa by African actors. Participants are the key actors in the fields of water management, food-production and biodiversity management of the African countries. The key actors from those different fields will be asked to collaborate and bring forward good examples of implementation and identify lessons learnt and guidance for a better implementation of the policies. This should lead to a better life for the African people. The Conference will be held in Addis Ababa from 4-6 November 2004.The results of the African Pre Conference will nourish the agenda and debate at the The Hague Conference 2005.

Regional Partner Seminars

During 2004, "Partner seminars" organized by other actors and organizations will prepare regional contributions to the FAO/Netherlands Conference. Organizations that are interested in liaising with the Conference are invited to contact the Conference secretariat. At present, the following regional workshops are under consideration:

  • Africa: IWRM-Experiences workshop in Loskop, South Africa (Nov. 2004),
  • Asia: "Large and Small Based Rice Systems: From multiple roles to multiple uses." Two workshops to be held under initiative of FAO, Japan, ESPIM and INWEPF

It is foreseen that regional workshops linked to the Conference will be held in the course of the second half of 2004. The primary objective of these regional workshops is to further elaborate on the Conference themes, with specific focus on their relevance to the region and on regional experiences in water for agriculture and ecosystems. These workshops could prepare regional statements for the Conference.