Issues of water security faced by Small Island Developing States will feature high on the agenda when the 7th Global Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC) comes off at Hilton Barbados from Monday, October 28, until Thursday, October 31.

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, will deliver the feature address during the opening ceremony on Monday, October 28 beginning at 9:00 a.m., while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Edison Alleyne, will speak at the closing ceremony on Thursday, October 31, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The conference, which is being hosted by the Government of Barbados under the theme: Economic Valuation as a Tool to Bridge the Science-Policy Gap, is expected to highlight the issues of water security that confront Small Island Developing States daily.

A key feature of the conference will be three technical site visits, developed under the theme: Ridge to Reef, Barbados, which are designed to highlight a range of water management challenges faced by Barbados. In addition, traditional and new management approaches in the areas of land use planning, coastal zone management, wastewater re-use and treatment, marine protected areas and groundwater protection, will form the core elements of the site visits.

The technical conference is also geared towards encouraging opportunities for learning on scientific and technical innovations and interaction training for International Waters project managers and country representatives. It is also expected to review the usage of economic valuation as a means of translating project outcomes into policy.

Over 200 participants are expected to attend the conference, including project managers and leaders from government ministries, trans-boundary basin commissions, the private sector, civil society, donor agencies, along with the Global Environment Facility???s (GEF) Secretariat and its partner agencies.

The conference is organised jointly by GEF and the United Nations Development Programme.

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