Second Vijverberg Session – Water

November 25, 2008 at 11:15 am | Posted in Scarcities | Leave a comment
Second Vijverberg Session on Water – Rabobank, Korte Vijverberg 2, The Hague, 11 November 2008- Report-Vijverberg Water



On 11 November 2008 the second Vijverberg Session took place in the Hague, this time with the theme Water. A group of 30 participants discussed the problems that developing countries are facing with regard to water and sanitation. The Session was organised in cooperation with initiators of the Water Footprint Network as WWF, UNESCO-IHE and the University of Twente. Derk Kuiper, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, gave a kick-off presentation to the topic. Hammad Naqi Khan, Freshwater and Toxics Programme at WWF Pakistan, gave a presentation on a project concerning water saving in cotton production that WWF is currently undertaking in cooperation with IKEA in Pakistan. Afterwards, the session was open for discussion. Johan van de Gronden, executive director of the WWF Netherlands, chaired the discussion. 



Background of the Vijverberg Session on Water

Europe plays an increasingly important role at the global level, therefore the Netherlands should as a part of the European Union be increasingly aware of this important role. Yet, there is neither enough knowledge nor enough attention on the part of the Netherlands to the European international policies and the outcomes of it. The aim of the Vijverberg Sessions is to engage in cross sector dialogue and critically reflect on – and contribute to – European policies regarding global issues and international relations. As such, the sessions are also meant as a vehicle to actively involve Dutch stakeholders in European policy making, in particular with regard to North-South relations.


The scarcities of water, food and energy have direct consequences for the relative position of countries on the economic as well as the geopolitical world map. Shifts in the economic domain do not fail to have their impact on international relations. Water is by far not a new scarcity, yet in the current changing political as well as natural environment water has become an increasingly vulnerable one. Michel Camdessus, former managind director of IMF, illustrated the urgency of the water scarcity at the SID conference in September 2008 by saying that “in the next 50 years, half of mankind will face water stress. […] No one is in charge. Water is still an orphan in the international development community”.



The first Vijverberg Session took place in May 2008 with as theme Energy, the third and fourth Sessions will most probably take place in January 2009, respectively on the theme Food, and Climate Change and Migration.


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