Thursday, December 15, 2011

Water for Life: Embassy of France to the Philippines and Alliance française de Manille raise awareness in the Philippines


Water for Life Decade

The United Nations has declared 2005 to 2015 as the Water for Life Decade, with aims to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015.

Water is important on so many levels. First of all, as a basic human necessity:

"Many millions of people around the world face water shortages and a daily struggle to secure safe water for their basic needs. Millions of children continue to die every year from preventable water-borne diseases. Water-related natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and tsunamis exact a heavy toll in human life and suffering. And all too regularly, drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition." (Former UN Sec Gen, Kofi Annan)

And on another level, water is also a contributor to development:

"It is a major source of energy in some parts of the world, while in others its potential as an energy source remains largely untapped. Water is also necessary for agriculture and for many industrial processes. And in more than a few countries, it makes up an integral part of transport systems. With improved scientific understanding, the international community has also come to appreciate more fully the valuable services provided by water-related ecosystems, from flood control to storm protection and water purification."(Former UN Sec Gen, Kofi Annan)

Doing their Part:
Embassy of France to the Philippines and
the Alliance française de Manille

Doing their part to contribute to the Philippines, the Embassy of France to the Philippines and the Alliance française de Manille put together the "Water for Life, Tubig at Buhay!" week-long festival last 21 - 26 November 2011.

It used a variety of activities held at multiple locations to engage every sort of audience and at different parts of Manila.

From the heavier, more academic events such as the conferences and roundtable discussions on "Integrated Coastal Management"(which gave Filipino scientists a chance to pick the brains of two French experts, Mr. Yves Henocque and Alain Miossec), to the lighter cultural activities featuring performances by our very own PETA and an exhibit featuring the work of French photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand, they made sure everyone had a chance to get involved. Even the kids could join in on the fun at several kid-friendly partner organizations - Museo Pambata, Manila Ocean Park and the Quezon City Interactive Science Center.

Check out their jam-packed schedule of activities below:

It's not the first time I've seen the Embassy of France / Alliance française de Manille involved in such efforts. I recall catching the launch event of last year's SineSiyensya 2010, the first Scientific Film Festival in the Philippines, and the film they showed was a beautiful contribution from the French filmmakrs, Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud: Oceans. The AfM was also a venue for several film screening sessions in November 2010. It's great to see that they continue to support education on environmental and scientific awareness :)

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“Water for Life, Tubig at Buhay” is organized by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, the Alliance Française 
de Manille with the support of Institut Français, Air France-KLM, University of the Philippines (Diliman and Los 
Baños), Museo Pambata, PETA, Science Discovery Center, the Quezon City Interactive Science Center, FELTA, Manila 
Ocean Park , ABS-CBN Foundation, E-Media and lightwater. 

For more info about the festival “Water for Life, Tubig at Buhay!”,please contact Ms Julie Blazy, Scientific 
Attaché of the French Embassy ( or call +63 8857 69 36) or Ms. Sabrina Durand, 
AFM the Cultural Coordinator ( You may also visit the followings websites: www.ambafrance- or 

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