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E-Newsletter: Vol. 12

WWF-4 Session on "Sustainable paddy water use and its multifunctionality with better governance."

(Outline of WWF4)

The 4th World Water Forum convened in Mexico City, Mexico from Thursday, 16 March to Wednesday, 22 March 2006. The Forum is the largest international event on
freshwater, and seeks to enable multi-stakeholder participation and dialogue to influence water policy-making at a global level, in pursuit of sustainable development.

The 4th Forum's main theme, "Local actions for a global challenge," was addressed through five framework themes: water for growth and development; implementing
integrated water resources management (IWRM); water supply and sanitation for all; water management for food and the environment; and risk management. Over 150
thematic sessions were held, and almost 19,000 participants attended, representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
academia, and so on.

The Forum concluded with a Ministerial Conference on 21-22 March, with some 140 ministers and high-level officials gathering in both closed and open sessions,
which included dialogues and roundtables on various aspects of water management.
A Ministerial Declaration was adopted, calling for international action on water and sanitation issues.


(Anout session and panel discussion)

INWEPF and the Asia regional working group of ICID held the joint session entitled,
"Sustainable paddy water use and its multifunctionality with better governance".
This session is located in "Water Management for Food and the Environment" of the five themes of WWF4 and cross cutting issue" Application of Science, Technology
and Knowledge".

In the session, ICID group on multiple roles and diversity of Irrigation Water, presented the background of the theme and actual practices of supporting the
manifestation of multifunctionality, including supports for agro-environmental farming practices. He also referred to the issues of trade, with the introduction
of the concept of "virtual environmental" in formulating future trade policy.

Dr. Molden from IWMI, followed the issue by presenting on managing paddy fields for ecosystem services. He stressed the needs to design, construct, and manage
irrigation systems to support a diversity of ecosystem services and thus enhance the productivity of water, and makes the concept an integral part of accepted
design and operation processes and procedures for irrigation.

INWEPF group followed with the introduction of the concept of multifunctionality and paddy water use, together with the introduction of activities that have been
undertaken by INWEPF. Our group announced Background and outline of INWEPF establishment as an approach as a role of local action, and reported Virtual
Meeting and INWEPF symposium as a role of activity report until present. Lastly,
our group announced "Message from INWEPF for WWF4" agreed on the 2nd Steering Meeting.

[Outline of message]
1) The multiple use, roles, values, services and other aspects of agricultural water in paddy farming regions should be recognized, evaluated and incorporated
into water resources development plans and management strategies.
2) The traditional wisdom and experiences of local communities and the value of their participation in water planning and management should be fully acknowledged.
3) It should be recognized that governmental assistance (e.g. policy, legal, financial, and capacity building and educational services) is important and
often necessary for adequate investment, modernization and management of rice water systems, in order to achieve food security, to alleviate poverty and to
conserve ecosystems.
The message was brought to WWF4 secretariat after the session.

After presentation of 2 local actions, panel discussion was opened and, panelists discussed the issues related to sustainable paddy water use and presented the
experiences of his country or organizations on handling these issues. In this discussion, Ramsar marsh agreement secretariat participated for the first time.
Keeping connection new partners like this, it is important that understanding of concept of multifunctionality and application of demonstrating measures of
multifunctionality.


(Closing comment)

Facing current problems and state of agriculture in paddy field in Asia, it is not possible to maintain the paddy farming system for the long term only by an
economical approach. Approaches and measures for water management in paddy field including concept of multifunctionality are needed to establish.


(Others)

-At the informal meeting held during the forum, Mr.Chatchai Boonlue, Foreign Financed Project Administration Division Royal Irrigation Department of Thailand
delivered intention to hold The 4th INWEPF steering meeting in Thailand.
-In addition to the session, exhibition booth of INWEPF was placed in the World Water Expo, one of side event of WWF4.
-At the INWEPF booth, multi-functionality of paddy agriculture in the Asia monsoon region was introduced with displaying panels, showing slides and distributing
brochures to show INWEPF and its activity to the visitors from all over the world.
-Information of the event related to INWEPF in WWF4 is published in our website. Please refer to following URL.

The 4th World Water Forum
http://www.maff.go.jp/e/nousin/kaigai/inwepf/i_news/4th_forum.html

Preparation in the future

-August: Virtual Meeting
-eptember 10-16: 57th International Executive Council Meeting in Malaysia
-September 17-19: INWEPF 3rd Steering Meeting and workshop in Malaysia

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