GWP China Host Institution Celebrates 60 Years

GWP China’s host institution, the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), celebrated its 60th anniversary with a week of academic sessions in Beijing, China. On 18 October, an international high-level forum was held on the topic of Modern Water Governance and Technological Innovation. Around 1000 guests were invited, including GWP representatives from its worldwide network.

Leaders of a dozen international water-related organisations gave keynote speeches, and 120 awards in 6 categories were handed out – GWP Technical Committee Chair Jerome Delli Priscoli received one of the awards for his contribution to international cooperation.  

GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr moderated one of the sessions of the day, on the topic of modern information technology and smart water management. Cases from France, Korea, and China were presented and discussed in this session. 

Belt and Road World Youth Forum 

On 19 October, GWP, in collaboration with IWHR, hosted a session called the Belt and Road World Youth Forum. The aim was to raise awareness of the role of youth in water management, and establish an exchange platform for young representatives.  

During this event, Monika Weber-Fahr took the opportunity to share some challenges from the diverse GWP network, and presentations by several GWP Communications Officers further highlighted experiences from around the world.  

One of the topics discussed was gender, and at the end of the session, three of the speakers answered the question on how they are able to manage, as women, to work so hard, following their hearts, without sacrificing themselves. 

Yaqiong Hu, IWHR Youth Development Prize Laureate, said: ““At my age (40) pressure does not only come from work, we have to take care of my mother and father and also my mother in law, father in law, and also I have to take care of my kids for their studies etc. And at the same time we need to work hard, we studied for 20 years, we did our master and PhD, and we can’t waste our knowledge. So we have to try our best."

Xiaoya Deng, IWHR PhD on IWRM & Ecosystem Protection of River Basin under the Belt and Road Initiative, said: “I don’t want to waste the knowledge. To work as a true heart, it’s hard, but I’m fulfilling my dream, I want to do something."

Margarita Figueroa, Communications Officer of GWP Central America, said: “In our region we come across women who are not educated who work in their community. They have advanced form having to stay at home to go and get the water the family need. They have gone from that to become community leaders. So it’s encouraging to see this change."