Today is the beginning day of the World Water Forum 2012 in Marseille, France. The WWF is the world’s largest meeting about water – previous forums in Istanbul and Mexico were attended by 25,000 people. Participants and presenters include members of international bodies like the United Nations, global NGOs like The Nature Conservancy and local NGOs such as NetWWater, a Sri Lankan organization working to ensure water supply to schools and hospitals. Officials from governments and the private sector also contribute to and participate in the Forum. The multitude of viewpoints allows deep discussions on several topics in water; the WWF organizes these topics into themes such as supply; the water, energy and food nexus; infrastructure; water as a right; gender and water; and more. The goals of the Forum are to move the global discussion on water forward building on previous fora, provide political pressure to achieve water equality and other necessary items, and to coordinate regional, local and international governing bodies around water.
A team of 12 reporters from the University of Pennsylvania Master of Environmental Studies program and the University of Richmond Law School are covering the Forum. Their expertise ranges from energy to green growth, from art to law – promising a multi-faceted look at the WWF. The Reporters come from around the world – the US, Greece, India, Mexico and more. (You can take a look at their bios here>>.) They will be interviewing experts and participants from around the world, writing blog posts about forum topics, and bringing a critical eye to the Forum. If you are at the Forum, we want to hear from you – please comment on the posts, engage in discussion and approach us about what your thoughts are. You can follow us on Twitter (@Oikosreporter) or like us on Facebook (@Student Reporter) to add your thoughts.