World Mountain Forum: «Water and Energy»

Article, 03.12.2012

International Mountain Day

To mark International Mountain Day on 11 December 2012, the World Mountain Forum (WMF) has organised a meeting in Verbier on the theme: «Water and Energy». Specialists from Switzerland and abroad will discuss questions concerning the impact of climate change on these key sectors as well as the subject of public-private partnerships. The Carafe Initiative, launched within the framework of the WMF in 2011 in support of the Blue Schools project, will also be presented at this meeting.

What has been the impact of climate change on the water and energy sectors? What resources are being invested in the clean energy sector? How can water resources be optimised and what are the scientific prospects at the level of water management in the context of a changing climate? Are public-private partnerships a real option or mere illusion? At the World Mountain Forum the general public will have the opportunity to discuss these questions with national and international, public and private actors. The Forum takes place in Verbier on International Mountain Day, 11 December 2012.

The World Mountain Forum came into existence as a result of a public-private initiative with the aim of encouraging sustainable development in mountain regions and improving the living conditions of vulnerable and often marginalised populations living in these regions. The SDC is participating in this initiative in order to make its experience internationally available. 

The Carafe Initiative and the Blue Schools
The Carafe Initiative, developed in partnership with the SDC, was launched at the Verbier World Mountain Forum in 2011 to raise global public awareness of the importance of water and the sustainable use of this resource. The profits made on the sale of locally produced and designed carafes to hotels, restaurants and private homes in and around Verbier are used to support the Blue Schools programme which was launched in 2005 by the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA).

The idea of the Blue Schools is original: it puts in place programmes for providing access to drinking water and sanitary facilities in schools in poor communities in mountain regions throughout the world. Pupils learn about hygiene and are made aware of nutrition issues. The children then take the knowledge they have learnt in school to their families and villages thereby improving the living conditions and the health not only of the children but also that of their parents, teachers and communities through simple, efficient and relatively inexpensive means. This project, the result of a public-private partnership, will be presented at the Forum on 11 December 2012.
The alpinist, guide and explorer, Jean Troillet, will conclude the event.
The meeting is open to the public.

Information and registration

The Carafe Initiative

Blue Schools programme