Berlin Water Dialogues 2012

Satellite Initiatives // Berlin Water Dialogues 2012

A satellite initiative of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference

The Berlin Water Dialogues 2012 approach the reciprocal links of water resources and food security in conjunction with INTERNATIONAL GREEN WEEK and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.

In 2012 the second Berlin Water Dialogues took place on the Berlin fairgrounds in co-operation with INTERNATIONALE GRÃœNE WOCHE / INTERNATIONAL GREEN WEEK BERLIN and its political opening, the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). INTERNATIONAL GREEN WEEK BERLIN is the world's largest fair for food, agriculture and horticulture, which convenes important representatives from the food industry, wholesale, retail, trade, experts and specialists from research and production as well as delegates from institutions for agricultural and environmental policy.

The Berlin Water Dialogues 2012 are a one-day interactive conference format for international representatives of industries, research as well as politics and administration on Friday, 20 January, approaching the reciprocal links of water resources and food security from different angles. Like at the Berlin Water Dialogues in 2011, the results of the Dialogues will be documented as a contribution to the international debate on water management issues.

Focus Topics


A holistic view on water in the food supply-chain

The integration of sustainability issues in supply chain management has been increasingly and more prominently addressed in the last 10 years. Water is considered to be one of the most critical resources in production and manufacturing of globally traded goods. Research suggests that there is considerable wasteage from production of raw materials to consumption. Current post-harvest losses are estimated at 20-50%, with supply-chain losses being the dominant form of loss in developing countries while food waste at the retail and household levels dominating in industrialised countries.

The first session will provide an overview of existing efforts and initiatives related to the private sector and create awareness about challenges and responsibilities. It will give insights into assessment methodologies and the economics of water use in the food supply chain and provide an outlook on the challenges ahead.


Water use & water allocation — competing sectors and interests

Globally, many freshwater ecosystems are suffering from massive over abstraction, which poses major social, economic and environmental challenges. These can only be addressed when effective ways are found to allocate water between competing needs and sectors, while sufficient water is retained to ensure the functioning of ecosystems. The approach to this problem must entail a sophisticated multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder solution rather than relying entirely on technical answers. How do we ensure on the one hand food supplies for 9 billion people in 2050 while at the same time providing enough water for nature and ecosystems as well as for economic development?

The second part of the conference will stress the importance of the issue of water allocation, environmental flows and needs for appropriate mechanisms to be developed in a water scarce world taking into account the various sectors' perspectives for water use.

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