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Press Release The Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Region will host the next World Water Forum: the 5TH international meeting is planned to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2009. At the closing of the 6TH Rhodes Ecofilms Festival a new strong synergy emerged to carry on this assignment, together with other important cultural initiatives throughout the region. To strongly focus on the protection and conservation of Mediterranean natural resources INFO/RAC-MAP, the Information and Communication Centre of the United Nations Mediterranean Programme, MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative of the Ramsar Convention and the French Water Academy have joined forces to support the preparation work for hosting the 5th World Water Forum in Turkey.

- During the Festival we agreed that the way towards the 2009 Istanbul event on water will be significantly reinforced by the synergy and the contribution of the networks that contributed to the success of the 6TH Rhodes International Ecofilms Festival - declared Spyros Kouvelis, MedWet Coordinator.

The Rhodes International Film and Visual Arts Festival, organized in the Greek island on 20-25 June 2006, is member of the Environment and Sustainable Development Network of INFO/RAC-MAP. The Rhodes Festival is also one of the key events leading up to the Mediterranean Environmental Award (MEA), to be held in Turkey next September, with the active participation of other numerous MEA partners for the promotion of sustainable development in the Mediterranean.

- The Rhodes Festival together with the MEA and the view towards the World Water Forum in Turkey - declares Sergio Illuminato, Director General of INFO/RAC - are part of an effort we share with MedWet, as stated in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, and the French Water Academy that joined us during the meeting. Our intention is to connect and enhance our work towards prominent educational and cultural initiatives throughout the region that strongly focus on the protection and conservation of Mediterranean natural resources.

The previous 4th World Water Forum was held in Mexico City last March, with a special Water and Film Event organised in collaboration between the French Water Academy, the World Water Council and the Mexican Water Authorities. A special section of the 6th Rhodes Ecofilms Festival was dedicated to the Spots on water especially selected by Salvador Aguirre, Director of the Mexican event.

For more information:

Paola Richard Press officer INFO/RAC-MAP Email: prichard@inforac.org Tel: +39 346 3795736

Sofia Spirou MedWet Communications officer Email: sofia@medwet.org Tel+30 210 80 89 270, +30 6944 741 777

INFO/RAC-MAP - Via Cagliari, 40 - 00198 Roma - ph. +39.06.85305147 - fax +39.06.8542475 - info@inforac.org

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