IUCN events

Detailed list of events and sessions organised and co-organised by IUCN at the 8th World Water Forum

Sunday 18 March

Contributing to water provision in Brazil: examples of mobilisation by local governments, provate sector and civil society. 

Event by IUCN's Brazil Office, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.


Monday 19 March

Official Opening of the NBS Pavilion

Event co-hosted by IUCN, Conservation International, The Nature Conservanca, Wetlands International, WWF and Forest Trends, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.

Session 9.a.1 - Transformational IWRM for the 2030 Agenda

IWRM is pivotal to the 2030 Agenda actualization. Building on preceding decades of experiences, IWRM in the 2030 Agenda must become transformational and deliver results at a higher scale and speed. This session will use case studies and synthesis of learning from alternate models for integrating water resource management horizontally across sectors, stakeholders, states/provinces, legal institutions, and vertically across levels, to test the prevailing IWRM framework. Participants will identify how to revitalize IWRM principles and operational strategies to guide IWRM decision-makers, practitioners within/outside states/countries in the 2030 Agenda.

Thematic Process Session co-organised by IUCN. 

The Rio Doce Panel: Helping create a model watershed

Event by IUCN's Business and Biodiversity Programme, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.


Tuesday 20 March

Blue Peace Talk: transboundary water cooperation and share dinfrastructure financing / financial innovation

Event at the Swiss Booth

The role of private sector in unlocking nature's solutions

Joint event with IUCN, TNC and WWF at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.

Women, Water and Nature

What are the gender issues that practitioners and policy makers should address when advancing nature-based solutions around water? What opportunities exist to work towards gender equality in this realm? What practical steps can be taken? To address these questions, this session will facilitate exchange and learning about gender-responsive project and policy design in water and ecosystems management and conservation. Drawing from examples of ongoing work around the world, speakers will propose a variety of perspectives to stimulate an interactive discussion with participants and propose the building blocks of a call to action.

Event by IUCN's Global Water Programme, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.

Session 9.b.1 - Managing water across sectors and borders: Institutional frameworks and approaches for efficient transboundary basin organisations

Creating and strengthening joint organizations in transboundary lakes, rivers or aquifers basins is key to ensure reasonable, equitable and sustainable management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems across sectors and borders. Effective basin organizations require a clear mandate, a robust structure and a set of permanent means (financing, staff, capacities etc.) in order for them to facilitate exchange of information, manage conflicts, develop a joint vision and sharing of benefits between riparian countries and all water users. Stakeholders, including local authorities, economic sectors and NGOs should also be involved. These requirements will be analysed during this session through case studies and exchange of good practices, in order to prepare recommendations on how to create well-functioning basin organizations.

Thematic Process Session co-organised by IUCN. 

Source-to-Sea Management: Towards joint action by the freshwater and ocean communities

Millions of tons of plastic enter the ocean from land-based sources every year. Nutrient loads from agricultural runoff and inadequate wastewater treatment continue to cause eutrophication and spread of dead zones in our coastal and marine waters.  Flows of some rivers are so highly diverted that little water actually reaches the sea, robbing coastal ecosystems of the water, sediment and nutrients they need.  The importance of improving fresh- and marine water quality and reducing marine litter is recognized by several goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Given the interconnectedness of all water-related ecosystems, it is important to design efforts so that they benefit people and ecosystems along rivers, as well as further downstream, along the coast and at sea.

High Level Panel

Session 5.b.2 - Implementing natural and engineered solutions - the need for innovative financing

Innovative financing based on integrated economic models is needed to implement the right mix of natural and engineering solutions to improve water availability, access and sustainability. One challenge is the appropriate consideration of all co-benefits and costs in economic models from the initial investment until long-term operation and maintenance, which is particularly challenging for (combined) nature-based solutions. It will also be discussed how legal and market based approaches and other enabling conditions make public-private partnership effective. Furthermore, ways to increase finance and scale up effective green and grey solutions for water will be deliberated using examples from around the world.

Thematic Process Session co-organised by IUCN. 

HLP3 - Revitalising IWRM for the 2030 Agenda

The importance of IWRM in the SDG agenda was foreseen in Target 6.5, which calls for implementation by 2030 of integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate. UN-Water concluded as a result that IWRM provides the framework for addressing the synergies and potential conflicts related to water among targets “by balancing the demands from various sectors [and stakeholders] on water resources, as well as potential impacts of different targets on each other, to form a coordinated planning and management framework.” Despite the vote of confidence that the global community has given to IWRM through the SDGs, IWRM in the 2030 Agenda faces a critical challenge. IWRM must deliver concrete outcomes at a larger scale and more quickly than it has achieved before. An updated and forward looking IWRM is needed. This will build on what has been achieved in past decades, but given the scope of SDG6 and the transformational vision of the SDGs, IWRM must rapidly become capable of delivering impacts that are counted in the billions of lives transformed.

High Level Panel


Wednesday 21 March

Water in Landscapes for Inclusive Green Growth

Event by IUCN's Global Water Programme, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.

The Forest-Water Nexus: redefining the narrative to build a sustainable future

We live on a blue and green planet. To achieve a resilient future, natural infrastructure solutions such as managing forests for water supply, will be required. This event will highlight the prevailing forest-water narratives, promote consensus on how to address integrating forests in water management and water in forest management, and will provide an occasion to announce collaborative initiatives.

Side event co-organised by FAO, IUCN and SIWI.


Thursday 22 March

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue: Water-Energy-Food Nexus and SDG implementation


Multi-level Water Governance: catalysing transboundary cooperation (BRIDGE Lessons)

Event by IUCN's Global Water Programme, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.

Adapting river basings to climate change using combined infrastructure solutions (WISE-IP to Climate event)

Event by IUCN's Global Water Programme, at the Nature-Based Solutions Pavilion.


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