Ignacio is the Deputy Executive Director at the International Water Resources Association (IWRA). He is an Ambassador for all topics around fresh water resources and their protection and management with many brillant ideas and an open mind for disruptive discussions and ideas, very much out of the box.
He is definitely the prime example for an “ecomice” attitude, taking all impact in consideration caused by events – of his own and others. And he is looking for the ultimate context of water topics related to the destinations he visits and how to integrate solutions or awareness for urgent local water issues everywhere.
Question 1) How open is your association and its stakeholders to consider sustainable options for their conference and congress programs?
The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) is a multi-disciplinary, membership-focused Association for the sustainable management of water resources across all sectors, scales and communities. IWRA facilitates and inspires dialogue, knowledge sharing, and science-based solutions at the interface of the science and policy arenas through events, publications, projects, and other activities.
For its events, including the World Water Congresses, IWRA promotes and seeks sustainability principles with the co-hosts. These include eco-friendly venues that generate energy from renewable sources such as solar, geothermal and wind, and reduce the impact of paper by disseminating and sharing information digitally.
Moreover, we also look for ways to minimize the use of plastic as much as possible through plastic-free products, as well as encourage venues for responsible purchasing, appropriate waste management, among many others. The sustainable management and use of water resources also depend on this, as there are many direct impacts from human activities and the effects of events in the health of the environment.
For me it’s the first time to participate in IMEX. I think it’s fundamental to put more and more focus not only on the legacy but the environmental impact of IWRA’s events, and what else we can bring to our congresses, conferences, webinars, master classes, etc. This is of crucial importance.
And, certainly the community and regional considerations, both ecological and economical, provided as a unique value by this group of experts and professionals at ecomice, can help build and encourage alternative products/ services and narratives for the Association. We need to rethink how we are doing things in the midst of a pandemic, a new geopolitical setting in Europe and the world, and other risks that may affect our operations and strategy in the next few months and years.
Question 3) Can you give an example of a conference, event or other program that you have organised/or participated at, taking sustainability aspects into account?
The IWRA’s XVII World Water Congress was held in Daegu, Republic of Korea, from November 29th to December 3rd, 2021, on Water Security and Resilience.
It was jointly organised by Association, Daegu Metropolitan City, Korea Water Resources Association (KWRA), and K-water. The Congress was also supported by the Minister of Environment of Korea, and hosted at EXCO – a green convention centre using renewable energy. It is Korea’s first convention centre with multi-renewable energy systems (i.e. photovoltaic, geothermal, solar water heating, etc.). In addition, this event was conceived as a paperless and “plasticless” Congress, reducing as much as possible the amount of both printed documents and materials, as well as consumed products in plastic bags or containers.
In the future, we aim to work with destinations and convention centres that put in place sustainable legacy programs and take into account the ecological and economical gains of implementing these strategies for the achievement of the SDGs and the sustainable management of the water resources, globally.
Here is a guest article written by Ignacio Deregibus to learn more:
It is an initiative of tmf dialogue.
Travelling today means to carefully reduce negative impact as much as possible and to take responsibility for the destination. Our collaborative business model integrates all stakeholders to jointly follow the sustainable goals of the UN Agenda. We support building legacy projects (environmental and societal) and creating new programs. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/ecomice