"There are 256 water related events"

As an experienced PCO do you observe a rising demand for conferences about water?
Water scarcity has been underestimated for too long but not anymore. While water demand all over the world is increasing, the need for exchange of information creates a demand for conferences. There are 256 water related events but the World Water Forum is the top water-related event aimed at global collaboration on water problems. It offers the water community, policy-and-decision makers the opportunity to come together to attempt to find solutions to achieve water sustainability.

What are the challenges in organising the 5th World Water Forum in 2009 in Istanbul?

It is the most important global gathering for water, emphasizing water-based problems and their ever increasing importance for the source of life. Istanbul will be a mini summit expecting 15 presidents, over 100 ministers and 120 mayors. Almost 20.000 experts, members of nongovernmental organizations and international institutions, representatives of governments, producers and consumers, ministers of environment and energy from 190 countries will meet in the city of “Water Civilization.” The aim is to reach the “Istanbul Consensus”, a joint declaration covering water and environmental issues.

Will the forum itself be “green”?

Yes. We signed a contract with the secretariat to make the Forum an environmentally sound event. We have to implement green practices throughout the processes.

Why there was a need to set up a new purpose built convention centre?
Istanbul has hosted many important international fairs and congresses due to its location as a central spot both geographically and also culturally functioning as a bridge between Asia and Europe. But a forum of this magnitude is the first of its kind. The city was therefore indeed needed a new convention centre. The new Golden Horn Congress & Cultural Centre can easily meet these expectations. It will be completed by the end of this year.

Why did you establish the PCO Perl?
The 5th World Water Forum organized by the World Water Council will be held in March 16 to 22, 2009 by the Republic of Turkey, the Ministry of Environment and Forest, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the State Water Works and the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration. This large gathering will be carried out by Perl PCO, a joint venture of VIP Tourism and Figür Tourism. By joining human resources, knowhow, and capital we will ensure a successful Forum. The joint venture was necessary as the amount of commitment to be made was rather high since it is a turnkey project with many aspects, creating also income for the municipality of Istanbul. PERL PCO is formed not only to organize the 5th World Water Forum but other upcoming large events too.

Ceylan Pirinccioglu is CEO of Perl PCO organising the World Water Forum 2009 in Istanbul.