Feet on the ground in Africa - negotiating in Marseille

IUCN has a long history of engagement in water and wetlands conservation in the east and southern African region. It was one of the earliest organizations to draw attention to the significance of wetland resources and has achieved some notable successes.

Katharine Cross

With that in mind Katharine Cross, IUCN’s Water and Wetlands Coordinator in the region is in the perfect position to explain to delegates at the World Water Forum in Marseille just how IUCN’s natural solution approach to water works on the ground.

Katharine explains where IUCN is putting its theories in to practice.


Availability and access to water resources have a strong bearing on patterns of economic growth and social development in the eastern and southern Africa region. It has become increasingly important that water resource development takes place in the context of integrated water resource management (IWRM) with its main principles of equity (regarding access), efficiency (economic) and sustainability (environment).

Poor management of water and wetlands resources not only destroys the environment we depend on but also hinders economic development, leading to a loss of livelihoods. Investments in natural infrastructure such as river basins and wetlands, water institutions and good water resource management are the vital foundations of sustainable economic development and social wellbeing for the eastern and southern Africa region.

But how in practice do the projects IUCN are involved in actually make peoples’ lives better. Katharine Cross explains more.


Bringing those stories to the World Water Forum, Katharine tells us how they have been received.



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