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Posted 5/18/2015

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   PIANC USA was instrumental in planning, organizing, and securing a place in the World Water Forum* Technical Program for Session 1.4.7 – Waterborne Infrastructure for Sustainable Transport and Economic Development.  The session was moderated by Mr. Geoffroy Caude, President of PIANC International, who spoke on Sustainability in the Inland Waterborne Transport Sector.  Mr. Jim McCarville, a PIANC USA Commissioner, delivered a presentation on U.S. Waterway Infrastructure – Investments and Benefits.  Other presentations focused on the River Rhine, the Gyeongin Ara Waterway in the Republic of Korea, and the Parana-Paraguay Waterway in South America. 

The U.S. presentation highlighted the important role which navigation played in the ‘nation building’ phase of U.S. development.  It also discussed how river transport was used to increase U.S. economic competitiveness in world trade, more recent concerns about environmental sustainability, and the place for water transport within integrated water resources management. 

The PIANC Session was part of the broader theme of “Water Infrastructure”.  At the end of the Forum, participants from the various other sessions in this theme convened to discuss common ground and to develop an Implementation Roadmap for the future. 

Critical enabling conditions for the PIANC Roadmap were identified:

·        Consider navigation as a water use combined with others in an integrated water resources management framework

·        Raise decision makers’ concern on financing for aging infrastructure and take advantage of available capacity for additional inland navigation on some major rivers

·        Build a worldwide network of navigable river basin authorities

Key follow up actions identified by PIANC include:

1.      PIANC will make use of an International Working Group on Climate Change Adaptation and a Special Task Force on Waterborne Infrastructure Needs in the Future to ensure that the resilience of the inland waterways against extreme events is strengthened and that the level of investment is sufficient for good maintenance and reliability of the infrastructure during the entire life cycle.  These efforts are reaching out to not only PIANC member countries and sister organizations, but also to inland and maritime transport stakeholders worldwide, PIANC will solicit data, reports, and industry knowledge that can inform the work of the groups and lead to a useful dialogue on the future of this vital global enterprise.

2.      PIANC will use the informal platform created by WWF7 to cast a wide network and involve all parts of the world in this effort, including the large inland navigable waterways system network.

3.      Next events are the SmartRivers Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina 7-11 September 2015, where a dedicated workshop on large navigable multi-state basins will take place, and the COP 21 Climate Conference in Paris, France in December 2015. 

 *The 7th World Water Forum, Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea, 12-17 April 2015, is the world’s largest international event devoted to water issues. The 7th World Water Forum will give participants a platform to exchange positions, share their ideas and expertise, improve water security globally by influencing the global agenda, and mostly become actors for positive change in their communities. The 7th World Water Forum is jointly organized by the World Water Council and the Republic of Korea together with the city of Daegu and the Province of Gyeongbuk.

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WWF 2015