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Setsipane Mokoduwe 
1st IORA Water Science and Technology Workshop, 5-6 February 2014

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Water Science and Technology Working Group met for the first time in a workshop held at the Riverstone Lodge in Muldersdrift, South Africa on 5-6 February 2015. The Water Research Commission (WRC) proudly hosted the IORA countries Oman, France, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Yemen, Indonesia and Australia.

Amongst other things, the workshop discussed a framework for researcher exchanges between member countries especially, in the water research and development domain, and  explored opportunities  for support and networking in further engagements to promote cooperation in water resource management domain.

Science and Technology is increasingly being recognised as one of the main drivers of development across all areas of human endeavour. This shift requires active engagement across all those affected to develop mechanisms to understand the opportunities and challenges of this new paradigm. Given the centrality of water to all facets of development, the interaction of water, science and technology presents an opportunity for dialogue and the development of common approaches to water resource management. Whilst the role of water across all facets of development is undisputed, very little emphasis has been placed on the role of science, technology and innovation in the water sector. To address this challenge, the WRC, with the support of Australia, India and Oman, jointly proposed the establishment of an IORA Water Science and Technology Working Group (IORA WSTWG) at the Bi-annual Committee of Senior Officials meeting in Mauritius in August 2012 and in October 2013, at the Committee of Senior Officials meeting in Perth, Australia, this proposal was accepted and approved.

The main objectives of the IORA WSTWG were to:

  • Concentrate efforts in the water R&D domain inside the IORA
  • Coordinate the development of the IORA Water Science and Technology Working Group, which entails a framework for researcher exchanges in member countries in the water R&D domain
  • Provide support for networking measures in the form of several workshops to promote cooperation activities.
  • Create an active community of research-based institutions interested in water research and development
  • Establish links with universities and research-based institutions in the region
  • Encourage members to focus on IOR water issues around specific themes, with the explicit goal of producing an agenda for future research
  • Build capacity, by empowering a younger generation of researchers, academics and scholars to take ownership of their research environment and to aid in shaping its direction; an advisory team of experts would also guide this process and help to equip a younger generation to better deal with future challenges.

 Contact: Dr Inga Jacobs-Mata ingaj@wrc.org.za and Mr Setsipane Mokoduwe, email:  SetsiM@wrc.org.za


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