World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization
Founded in 2009, we are a non-profit, non-governmental international organization formed by a number of canal cities and economic or cultural institutions worldwide. Our full official name is World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (abbreviated as WCCO). The Organization has its domicile and Secretariat in Yangzhou, a city on the China Grand Canal in east China’s Jiangsu Province.  Our work is oriented around canals. We work to promote the economic and cultural exchanges between canals cities, share their development experience, push for mutually beneficial cooperation, and facilitate the common development and prosperity.

Since its founding, we have been dedicated to exploring the conservation and utilization of canals as well as canal-related heritages, seeking the paths of canal-based city development, and pushing for enhanced friendship, cooperation and common advancement between the world’s canal cities. We have grown into an influential NGO on inter-city exchanges and cooperation featuring standardized, international operation.

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Inland Waterways International
Inland Waterways International brings together people and organisations who support the conservation, use, development and proper management of inland waterways worldwide. It aims to raise public awareness of the benefits of using waterways for a wide range of activities, from inland water transport to recreational navigation, towpath walking and cycling and other recreational uses, as well as appreciating their architectural and landscape values as heritage. It also promotes restoration, where appropriate, of waterways which have become derelict.

Its membership includes leading navigation authorities, operators of passenger boats or rental boat fleets, as well as voluntary bodies, museums and commercial companies. Individual members include both users and experts in the various disciplines. IWI gave advice to the Yangzhou-based World Heritage Nomination Committee in preparing the submission for China's Grand Canal to become a World Heritage Site.

All members have a keen interest in both the history and the modern significance of inland waterways for commercial carrying and recreational use. Today the membership covers 25 countries from around the world.

The World Canals Conference comes under the auspices of IWI  who select the host for the annual World Canals Conference.This is the second time the conference is being held in China.

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