By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 8th World Water Forum got underway on Monday with President Temer and eleven other heads of state gathering in Brazil’s capital Brasilia to discuss the sustainable use of water resources around the world.
More than 40,000 participants from over 178 countries are expected to attend the more than three hundred discussions and panels.
“Access to water and sanitation is closely linked to our ability to grow sustainably,” said President Michel Temer during the opening ceremony.
In addition to world leaders the Forum will also have experts in water, sanitation and development discussing among other things mining residue effects on water sources, the financing of water security and the plight of millions throughout the world who do not have enough water or live with contaminated water.
Among those in attendance during the opening ceremony was the Honorary President of the World Water Council, who highlighted the need to protect water resources and the importance of implementing the objectives of the forum.
“Our responsibility is to ensure the availability of water everywhere,” said Loïc Fauchon, the World Water Council’s honorary president.
According to him, the World Water Forum has become an indispensable medium for the international community to discuss the sustainability of water resources. “The world is in crisis; political crises, diplomatic, military and, especially, food, sanitation and environmental crises, many of them related to water scarcity.”
In its eight edition, the Forum in Brasilia is the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the first time the Forum will have talks among the judiciary powers, with judges from all over the world discussing the rights of people from all over the world to have clean water.
The Forum, to be held until Friday, March 23rd, is expected to produce the Brasilia Letter which will legally recognize access to water as a fundamental right.