Why water protection always is climate protection, and how events benefit from activities and the knowledge transfer around water.
Climate protection is complex and keeping an eye on all 17 UN SDGs at the same time is impossible. A feeling of being overwhelmed can quickly lead to ignore necessary steps. But doing nothing is no option when it comes to sustainable efforts and climate protection. Each of us must look at our own behavior, the touchpoints between life, work, family, company with climate protection and water, and rethink our action.
We believe therefore that it’s a good idea to focus on a specific topic that resonates and that you really want to contribute to. Water can be such a topic.
If you decide on supporting the SDG6 and start to deal with it, you will quickly realize that many other goals from the UN agenda are related to water, its existence, its condition and its functions for the biosphere and for us as humans.
So we suggest to take the SDG6 as a starting point for social, economic and personal change. If then you look at the supply chains of the meetings industry beyond your actual event, there are many ways to connect to water and contribute to solutions.
Where are these connections with water in the MICE business?
They are new educational programs that expand the knowledge of the participants, campaigns and activations organised by NGOs, legacy programs for water conservation, like for RAMSAR wetlands protection, and many more. Cleaning rivers, learning about smart water solutions and research projects.
Civic engagement is important, but targeted engagement by companies and organizations is just as important, especially in connection with conventions, conferences or trade fairs.
The range moves from low threshold offers for participants to get involved, to raising awareness of the connections between water and their own topic, to financial or personal support for important projects. There are many strategies about water and many initiatives – following are a few examples of possible water engagement in the program of an event in Freiburg which can contribute to the meaningfulness of the event.
Our genes are programmed to do good – and as a result they (the genes) benefit greatly in terms of giving us physical and mental health. As a company, you can provide the template for this fact.
- The Regiowasser eV:
The aim of this association is to bring together all people whose profession, responsibility or passion is water and to exchange ideas with each other. The association has existed since 1986 as a response to a major chemical discharge scandal into the Rhine, protest and a human chain between Basel and Freiburg, and a resulting improvement of water legislation. The local water supplier Badenova, engineers, hydrologists, water authorities and committed citizens are all involved in the Regiowasser.
Regiowasser proposes projects such as a “seepage group” that advocates setting up containers to collect water during heavy rain and using this water for the city trees in summer. Rain barrels for this should be made available by the city at a reduced price. This “rain barrel project” was started in 2022 and is to be further expanded.
Controlled seepage is an important issue for groundwater conservation, flood prevention and dry season water conservation. Any event in Freiburg, related to urbanization, sustainable building, garden design, architecture or similar can participate and create a simple and meaningful legacy project here – e.g. by buying water barrels for citizens via Regiowasser, which have already started with the pre-financing for such a project and needs support for the expansion .
- The NABU Group Freiburg
NABU is a German acronym for the conservation of nature, species, biotopes and for environmental protection (NABU for: N = Naturschutz A = Artenschutz B = Biotopschutz und U = Umweltschutz)
The NABU Group Freiburg is a registered association and has over 3000 members. It is one of the largest NABU groups nationwide in Germany.
In addition to the city of Freiburg, the group also is responsible for parts of the district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald (Black Forest). The local Nabu Group for example takes care of a small wetland in the city of Freiburg, the “Erle” – a wetland that has been neglected and overgrown over the years with a high ecological value of the original stock and with a wet meadow area in which several shallow ponds for amphibians are to be created.
The “Erle” is already a small paradise for numerous birds. Since we know that wetlands must be preserved, expanded and protected in order to ensure that CO2 emissions are stored there, there are good opportunities for joint action in nature for meeting organizers with the NABU Group:
- A high-level and very interesting project is the Oberrhein / Rhin Superior wetland.
The designation as a RAMSAR site underlines the special importance of the wetland complex on the Upper Rhine. A Ramsar annotation is an additional distinction and should urgently be used by local authorities and associations as a tourism-related rating in advertising and as an additional argument when applying for funding.
With the inclusion in the Ramsar list of wetlands of intl. importance, the German-French Ramsar area Oberrhein/Rhin supérieur is to be mentioned in a row with important and well-known wetlands such as the Everglades or the Okeefenokee swamp in Florida/USA, with the Okavango Delta in Botswana , the Pantanal in Brazil, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Camargue in France.
For lectures or visits, possibly also programs for CO2 compensation, you can contact the city of Freiburg:
- Taking up a sponsorship for a creek:
The city of Freiburg runs a stream or creek sponsorship program via the garden and civil engineering office. Numerous focal points can be set for the assignments – they range from simple stream cleaning to checking the water quality, removing plants that are not appropriate to the site, upgrading the habitat for special groups of animals and plants to artistic activities.
Contact Ann Zirker, Gardens and Public Works Department, Telephone (0761) 201 – 4456, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sustainable textile industry and fashion:
At the greenflair trade fair in May (organized by FWTM and Freiburg Messe), the fashion and textile industry is one of the important topics for sustainable living, in addition to:
- Daily Live
- Food and Diet
- Associations & institutions
Knowledge tours around the fair offer added value for acquiring new knowledge. For this purpose, there are planned tours for each of the topics, which include specific exhibitors who will share new knowledge and present new products.
greenflair takes place from 5. -7. May at the Freiburg Exhibition Center.
And this is just a small selection of the possibilities for making local connections and context with water issues. Focus on SDG6 with your events to protect water and events!
Johanna Fischer, FrauBlau for FWTM
Freiburg CVB shares content about water-related research, organizations, initiatives in their Green City with the meetings’ industry. The goal is to bring water and SDG 6 related action into the awareness of business events’ planners, as an innovative approach for meeting organizers to think in systems and to learn how to connect important sustainable development goals (like SDG for water) with the planning of meetings and events.
The global meetings industry has a strong voice and can use it to close gaps between awareness and action. Impact and purpose can be achieved through events. To directly intervene in the development of an SDG like No 6 through behaviour change, new on-site programs, governance, legacy, and demonstration of change across all sectors, is a practical step into sustainability for any conference. Use “Water” as your anchor to demonstrate engagement.
If you plan a conference and want to discuss water (or other) legacy concepts, contact:
Christina Fritsch, Project Head Freiburg Convention Bureau / MICE / Netzwerk
See you in Freiburg! https://youtu.be/pO7t6P8AQM8
More Ideas and Inspiration how to connect Water as in SDG6 with the Meetings Industry:
please follow FrauBlau on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12736667/