11.02.2015

Australia-Spain Water Forum

The Spain Australia Council Foundation sponsored and offered its support for this event, which took place in Sydney with the participation of prestigious Spanish and Australian experts

Australia-Spain Water Forum

The first conference of SRAP (Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific) took place in October 29-31 at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. The event, organised by the Instituto Cervantes Chair, with which the Spain Australia Council Foundation cooperates, addressed the crucial importance of water today from a health, energy, social and cultural perspective. 

Spain and Australia share a pressing concern for the protection, use and management of water resources, and this Forum aimed to serve as a meeting point for some of the most prestigious Spanish and Australian experts to exchange information and share knowledge on those issues.

Among the numerous participants in the three-day Forum was Josefina Maestu, a UN official and the coordinator of the International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, set up with a view to promoting efforts to meet international commitments on water access and sanitation systems. Film-maker Isabel Coixet also attended the Forum with her documentary “Aral. The lost sea.”

The Forum’s main conclusions were, primarily, that on a planet where the population is constantly increasing, water will be a limited resource. Therefore, education is an essential tool for the correct use of water resources. The cultural importance of water and the need to respect traditional uses should also be kept in mind, and the importance of using eco-friendly technologies to guarantee water quality is also becoming apparent. This quality is all-important in the case of aquaculture and food safety. Finally, it will be necessary to pay special attention to climate change, as its consequences include geographical changes to water.

The conference was sponsored by Macquarie University, NSW Trade and Investment and the Spain Australia Council Foundation. It was also backed by the UN Office for the International Decade for Action "Water for life" 2005-2015. As this was the project’s final year, the Forum was the perfect chance to take stock and analyse the actions and achievements to date and for the future.

The newly-founded Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific has about 50 members, all Spanish scientists and researchers residing in Australia and other countries in the Pacific region. Its goal is to promote its members’ interaction with local scientists and to raise Spain’s profile abroad as a leader in the field of science, innovation, technology and research.

The Forum, of which a short version was held on October 27 in Melbourne, will hopefully be organised annually, addressing a different sector each time with the goal of becoming a true Spanish-Australian activity, with Spanish scientists and their Australian counterparts involved in all talks, as well as local Australian institutions.

You can see the full programme here.

Contact

Plaza Marqués de Salamanca 8
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación 
28006 Madrid (ESPAÑA)

 

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