Tuesday, 22 March 2011

‘Mideast is world’s riskiest region for water security’

Filed under: Environment,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:15 PDT

Study says growing shortages heighten political risk, may raise oil prices; “water isn’t going to be sole cause for civil unrest,” analyst says.

The Middle East and North Africa have the world’s least secure water supplies, a danger that heightens political risk in an already volatile region and may even lead to higher oil prices in the future, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The Water Risk Index, developed by the British risk consultants Maplecroft, found that out of 18 countries around the world at “extreme risk” to their water security, 15 are in the Middle East. The list numbers several key oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Algeria, whose water woes could have global implications.

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It’s World Water Day: Women & Water

Filed under: Environment,gender,Human Rights,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:11 PDT

Water is sacred. It is a basic requirement for all life. And according to experts, it is also a gender issue. According to the UN CHronicle, “In most societies women have primary responsibility for water supply, sanitation and health at the household level. This central role of women is often neglected in efforts to improve water resource management schemes and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, women suffer the largest burden when water and sanitation resources are inadequate.”

Today is International World Water Day. It is held annually on March 22nd as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year’s theme focuses on urban water conflicts–past years have brought awareness to water quality, water scarcity, water and disasters, ground water and other critical issues surrounding the vital stuff. But I want to take a moment to point out the connection between women and water.

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Population growth, climate change raising odds of war over water, forum hears

Filed under: Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:10 PDT

TORONTO – The potential for violent conflict to erupt over fresh water is rising as the global population grows against a backdrop of climate change, an experts forum heard Tuesday.

Until now, speakers said, disputes over water have typically led to co-operation between affected parties but higher demand and lower supplies could alter that pattern for the worse.

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ICRC sounds alarm over water in Gaza

Filed under: children and youth,Environment,Human Rights,Middle East,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:31 PDT

GAZA — Water and sanitation problems in Gaza are compounded by the fact that building materials are restricted, the ICRC warned.

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Palestinians in the West Bank face continuing serious Israeli obstacles to accessing water

Filed under: children and youth,Environment,Human Rights,Middle East,Peace and health — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:30 PDT

Amnesty International has on World Water Day urged the Israeli authorities to end discriminatory practices against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that violate their right to adequate water supplies.

Many of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and featured in the October 2009 Amnesty International report Troubled Waters – Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water – face continuing serious Israeli obstacles to accessing water.

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New poll indicates most Canadians want Harper to recognize the right to water and make water a budget priority

Filed under: Environment,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:09 PDT

Ottawa – A new Environics Research poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians indicates that 73% of Canadians want the Harper government to recognize the human right to clean and safe water and sanitation. In 2010, the United Nations passed a historic resolution recognizing the human right to water and sanitation. The resolution passed overwhelmingly with 122 states voting in favour. 41 countries abstained, including Canada.

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Safe Drinking Water Remains a Major Concern for First Nation Communities

Filed under: Environment,Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:03 PDT

OTTAWA – Today, the Assembly of First Nations will mark World Water Day.

AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated: “World Water Day is an opportunity to make a national commitment to ensuring that First Nations families have safe and clean drinking water. For many First Nations families, it is a daily struggle to get access to clean and adequate supplies of potable water and basic sanitation.”

The National Chief noted that the latest figures indicate there are 116 communities with Drinking Water Advisories, representing 18.4% of the First Nation communities in Canada. In addition, the number of high-risk drinking water systems has increased from 48 to 49 in the past year. As many as 62,955 First Nations citizens could be affected by these water problems, and this does not include communities that lack running water.

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‘If you control water, you control everything’

Filed under: Business, Human Rights, Environment,Environment,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:58 PDT

Water is critical to the health of citizens, communities and the economy. The IJC Report, for example, writes about “the vital ecological link between watersheds, tributaries, wetlands, groundwater and offshore waters of the Great Lakes.”…

There are many ways to assess the importance of water. But a prism that I find most useful is to view water as a national security requirement.

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Libya: Why was pacifism not given a chance?

Filed under: Africa files,Middle East,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:59 PDT

Millions of people across north Africa and the Middle East have been demonstrating the power of active nonviolence in recent months. But British politicians and pundits seem to have learned no lessons, falling in line behind the bombing of Libya as soon as David Cameron announced it. In the face of all the evidence, they are accepting the old assumption that violence works.

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Historian Taylor Branch laments downfall of nonviolence

Filed under: Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:50 PDT

Nonviolence, a potent force in the 1960s fight for civil rights, has become an “embarrassment, an instrument of the weak,” lamented Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch…

“We don’t really understand the dividends that nonviolence has paid,” he said of the strategy for social change…

He said that King and other civil rights leaders used nonviolence as a valuable and “potent tool” in the 1960s, particularly in Mississippi, during the era of the Freedom Riders and the peaceful protests. “For Martin Luther King, nonviolence was a leadership doctrine,” he said.

But by the time of King’s death in 1968, it was being discredited by others in the movement as being “old-fashioned” and “pious.” He cited Stokely Carmichael and others as deflecting attention away from the nonviolent philosophy as they advanced their own, more strident approaches.

“Stokely Carmichael became more fashionable,” said Branch. “Nonviolence became nonrespectable in the New York Review of Books.”…

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