UNU-FLORES at 4th Water Research Horizon Conference

  • 2013/07/03     Berlin, Germany

    The Water Research Horizon Conference, held yearly since 2010 in Berlin, acts as a platform for dialogue between the various disciplines of water research. This year’s edition, held on June 25th and 26th, also featured UNU-FLORES, the recently established UN University Institute located in Dresden/Germany.

    The Water Research Horizon Conference is organized by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), who is also the initiator of the Water Science Alliance. The 2013 edition of the Conference focused on “Water Scarcity & Global Change” – a fitting entry point for the United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES).

    water-horizon-poster-a3_web1) Open Space workshop jointly organized with TU Dresden

    The open space workshop on the second day of the conference dealt with the question “Integrated management of water, soil and waste – a question of capacities?” Choosing the format of an open space workshop, the Dresden-based institute of UNE and TU Dresden invited the participants to take part in a lively discussion aimed at identifying appropriate approaches for capacity development at individual and institutional levels.

    Capacity development is considered essential for the implementation of nexus approaches to the sustainable management of environmental resources. This issue, as well as a brief introduction of UNU-FLORES, was laid out in the introduction of the workshop provided by Prof. Ardakanian, the founding director of UNU-FLORES.

    The second part of the workshop addressed individual capacity development. Here, the concepts for post-graduate programmes planned jointly by UNU-FLORES and the Technical University Dresden and an example for an e-learning module on Integrated Water Resource Management were introduced by Prof. Krebs, Director of the Institute of Urban and Industrial Water Management of TU Dresden, and Dr Stephan Huelsmann of UNU-FLORES.


    Prof. Ardakanian introducing UNU-FLORES during the workshop (Image: Tobias Bauer/UNU-FLORES)

    The third part of the workshop dealt with institutional capacity development, which should be considered in a multi-level approach, ranging from the individual to the organizational level and the enabling environment. Enhancing communication between sectors and stakeholders is a key issue, and it was emphasized that institutional capacity development is a time-conuming political process based on the willingness of involved stakeholders.

    The participants, coming from different scientific institutions in Germany, the USA and China, provided extensive comments and ideas after each section of the workshop. The ideas and linkages created at the Conference will pave the way towards future collaboration to solve pressing global challenges in the field of water management.

    49817_flyer_eng_web_1322) Contribution to the Session 2

    UNU-FLORES also contributed to Session 2 on “Water & soils for food & energy – a question of technological development?” on the first day of the conference. Prof. Ardakanian pointed out in a speech that waste needs to be considered in the context of water and soil management, emphasizing the need for a nexus approach to the sustainable management of water, soil and waste. While in water-scarce regions new and advanced technologies for desalinization and for increasing water efficiency will be helpful to provide affordable water for various purposes, teaching and training the adequate use of these technologies needs to be taken into account.

    Follow this link to view all presentations held at the Conference and summaries of each session

    For more information on the Water Science Alliance, visit here or the new Water Science Blog.