A Year of Rivers, Water and Rights
International Day of Action for Rivers of course).
Call it an early onset of cynicism perhaps, but I can't help feeling that a lot of these commemorative days and months get short-changed. Schools in the US do a day-long event on famous Black figures in US history for one day a year, and then go back to reading their ancient history textbooks "as written by the winners." Earth Day started as a global movement; now it looks more like a global commercial vehicle for "green" consumerism. (A more positive example may be the momentous movement building by 350.org around its international day of climate action.) In an ideal world, I suppose we'd be so multicultural and aware that we wouldn't need such days. We'd be conscious of these things everyday.
So in an effort to maintain this consciousness as it relates to what we at International Rivers care about most (and to save myself from my own cynicism), I'm sharing with you all the exciting events that have and are happening all year long. I'm declaring 2010 the year of rivers, water, and rights. (I believe 2010 is also the year of biodiversity–I'm willing to share.)
Here's a starter list of all the things that have or will happen this year, and how some groups are commemorating them:
- March 14th: International Day of Action for Rivers (be sure to check out all the photos Martina got!)
- March 22nd: World Water Day. The National Geographic recently came out with a great issue on water (freshwater supply, climate change impacts, our water footprint, a great map on the world's major rivers), and plans to hold a free talk in April in Berkeley, CA, on critical global water issues.
- September 5th-11th: World Water Week. We'll be participating in Stockholm so be sure to check out our activities closer to the date.
- October 1st-7th: Rivers for Life 3: the 3rd International Meeting of Dam-Affected People and Their Allies
- 2010: 10th Anniversary of the World Commission on Dams (WCD). Here at International Rivers, besides planning our 3rd International Meeting, we'll be coordinating events around the 10th anniversary of the WCD, currently the gold standard of dam-building. If you'd like to receive information about these events and why the WCD is still the only dam standard that puts people and the planet first, please consider joining our Newstream list.
Instead of feeling cynical or suffocated by the gloom-and-doom tone most environmental news takes these days, you might just hear something that inspires you this year.
Do you know of other events scheduled this year to raise awareness around issues of freshwater, rivers, and rights? If so, please comment below this blog.