On 19 March 2009, during the high level segment of the 5th World Water Forum, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC), in partnership with the World Water Council (WWC), presented their proposal for creating a helpdesk to aid parliamentarians in the development of water-related legislation.
Introducing the presentation at this unique event, which brought together members and representatives of national assemblies from around the world, ELC Director Dr. Alejandro Iza emphasised the role of law makers in the context of water governance capacity. They must set up the strong legal and regulatory system on which successful water governance depends, in order to achieve the results anticipated by policy makers for civil society.
ELC Legal Officer, Thomas Greiber, together with Forum Officer of the WWC, Laila Morsli, presented the main purpose of the helpdesk, which is to assist and support Parliamentarians, and to enhance their capacity to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. This will be achieved through improved sharing of information related to all water and water-related laws and legislation, and establishing greater linkages with other Parliaments or Parliamentarians, and in particular to learn lessons from the experiences of more developed legislatures.
The water helpdesk initiative was very well received by the parliamentarians, who are on the brink of creating a working group to further its creation and future implementation.