February 21, 2024

Karachi Water Conference Makes Waves in Addressing Global Water Crisis, Climate Discourse

water conference

6th Karachi International Water Conference

by Arbaz Ahmed Janjhi

KARACHI, Nov 27, 2023 – The 6th Karachi International Water Conference kicked off on Monday, Makes Waves in addressing global water crisis and climate discourse. The conference was organized by the Hisaar Foundation in collaboration with Infra Zamin and various partners.

The conference, spanning two days, attracted a diverse audience and emerged as a crucial platform for addressing pressing issues related to the water crisis and climate discourse.

Featuring fifteen enlightening sessions, the event facilitated in-depth discussions, detailed presentations, and engaging dialogues with a diverse lineup of speakers and panelists from Pakistan and the international community.

One of the highlights of the conference was the launch of “Undertow,” a captivating collection of selected photographs by Maazim Kamil.

The exhibition of eye-catching photographs from the book added an artistic touch to the event.

Simi Kamal, Chairperson of the Hisaar Foundation, inaugurated the conference with an opening address.

The Opening Plenary, titled “Water Matters in Climate Change,” featured an impactful parliamentary-style debate led by Simi Kamal and framed by a keynote address from Dr. Adil Najam, President of WWF International and Dean Emeritus of Boston University. Renowned personalities such as Dr. Igna Mata Jacob participated in the debate.

The discourse on water and climate change was further explored in a session led by Dr. Adil Najam.

The second session delved into the intersection of water and finance, discussing “Why Water Matters for Finance: Investing in the Water Economy.”

Keynote speakers and panelists, including Boo Hock Khoo, Emilio Cattaneo, Maheen Rahman, Amir Shehzad, Kazim Saeed, Francois Onimus, and Adnan Asdar, emphasized the crucial role of investment in Pakistan’s water economy.

After a tea break, the third session featured simultaneous discussions in three different rooms. “For Whom Does Water Matter: Justice Denied” addressed water justice in an environment with skewed land rights. Chaired by Rabiya Javeri Agha, with a keynote presentation by Dr. Barbara Schreiner, the session included panelists Muhammad Arfan, Rabel Akhund, Nazeer Ahmed Memon Essani, Shahab Usto, and Fiza Qureshi.

Another session explored the hidden links between water quality and human health in “Water Matters in Health & Nutrition: Links that are not Obvious,” featuring keynote speakers Dr. Ghazala Mansuri and Dr. Kulsum Ahmed, joined by panelists Dr. Zulfiqar Umrani, Sheikh Ali Hussain, and Dr. Huma Baqai.

The third session emphasized nature-based solutions in “Watershed Management Matters: Nature-Based Solutions from Source to Sea,” featuring panelists from ICIMOD, IWMI, Hisaar Foundation, and PHWI, moderated by Afia Salam & Dr. Humaira Jahanzeb.

The day concluded with sessions on “Women Matter in Water: Examples of Action,” featuring panelists Zahra Ali, Mahnaz Rahman, Dr. Lubna Ghazal, and Nayab Raza.

Simultaneously, sessions took place on ‘Water Quality Matters: Circular Economy’ and on ‘Water Disasters Matter,’ providing a comprehensive exploration of critical water-related issues. The conference continues tomorrow with more insightful sessions and discussions.