Water experts from around the world came to Chiang Mai to attend the 2nd Annual World Irrigation Forum held at the Chiang Mai International Convention Center from November 6 – 8, 2017.
The forum, which was attended by 1200 people from 52 countries saw ministers and senior officials from governments attend to discuss the issues facing water and irrigation. Ministers from Bhutan, Ethiopia, the People’s Republic of Chian, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic met with the Minister from Thailand. Additionally other countries sent senior officers as well as irrigation experts.
The World Conference was divided into five meetings, 12 parallel meetings, academic presentation via 50 posters, and 17 subordinate meeting hosted by international organizations and institutes.
Dr.Saeed Nairizi, President of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage: ICID, offered his condolences to the Thai people on the loss of His Majesty the King and commended them on their dedication to ensure that the event still went off smoothly. He reminded everyone of the important work of His Majesty King Bhumibol in the areas of irrigation and visited the Huai Hongkhrai Development Study Center in Doi Saket along with other ministers.
He concluded that the Forum had been successful because all countries attending understand the importance of irrigation and sustainable water management that can help lead to food stability and eliminate poverty. The Ministers issued the Chiang Mai Declaration regarding cooperation of countries to increase irrigation performance parallel with generating food stability, improvement of networks linking rural development with country development, supporting participation of people and increasing power of negotiation in agriculture.
Each country attending presented its problems their solutions as well as introduced ways to develop irrigation and agriculture. Thailand presented research on rice farming using less water, dry rice farming and irrigation during drought. The methods introduced by the Thai team can help to reduce the use of water by 20%-30% and production costs, but still produce more rice. The Thai research won the WatSave Awards 2016 at the forum.