Concept and objectives of the Civil Forum

The Civil Forum will be representative in professional, topical, and geopolitical terms. Every effort will be made to ensure wide participation, and thus providing a chance to gather reflections on all five session themes from environmental, social and economic viewpoints, and from different parts of the globe.

The Civil Forum will have civil ownership. Experienced and respected civil organisations will be invited to play roles of facilitators, moderators and rapporteurs at each of the five sessions.

Civil Forum participants from developing countries will be sponsored within available means through an award scheme accessible via the Budapest Water Summit website.

The Civil Forum programme will run parallel to the plenary and other fora so that stakeholder groups have the opportunity for sharing and discussion.

The Civil Forum will offer written contributions for BWS session themes. Timely delivery of these contributions will allow for their consideration in the final document, as well as a summary intervention during the closing plenary.

Programme structure

In five consecutive sessions, the BWS will address the five following topics:

  1. Universal access to water and sanitation: Critical issues of access to water and sanitation, urban water infrastructure planning, waste water management, development and maintenance from technological, financial, public health and human rights aspects, with a view to providing sustained access.
  2. Integrated water resources management for the 21st century: Challenges related to adaptation and resilience in the face of a growing population and changing climate, namely: complex solutions for pollution prevention, soil and groundwater protection, food security, disaster risk management (including floods, droughts and manmade disasters), water storage and recycling, and water/energy nexus.
  3. Good water governance: International cooperation, transboundary river basin and aquifer management; integrated institutional strategy in planning and implementation; stakeholder participation in the preparation of water policies; capacity development, education, research, data, monitoring and assessment.
  4. Green economy for blue water: Traditional and innovative water technologies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; practical, affordable, local solutions in various regions of the world.
  5. Financing and implementation of water and sanitation-related SDGs: Availability and best use of national and international financial resources and institutions; best practices and lessons learned, with special emphasis on the role of private philanthropy in solving the global water and sanitation crisis.

Each of these themes will follow the below structure:

In the spirit of the “Rio process” and Rio+20 outcome documents, contributions of the BWS will be developed in an inclusive process and with the participation of major stakeholder groups, such as government, business, academia and civil society. The governmental agenda of the water summit will be accompanied by and intertwined with stakeholder fora.

For more information on the Civil Forum, visit

The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)