On Friday March 23rd the 2012 International Development Conference focused on key issues surrounding water, and asked key questions such as; Should water be a human right and accessible to all of humanity free of cost? Can water be considered a commodity and be privatized and/or regulated? Is it possible to provide water globally, sustainably, and free of cost, or are we running out?
Water: Human Right or Commodity? was pleased to host Dr. Zafar Adeel, Director of the United Nation’s University Institute for Water, Environment & Health as our keynote speaker. Dr. Adeel’s experience is varied in a number of water and environmental issues, including monitoring and control of water pollution, water management in dry areas, solutions to industrial environmental problems, modeling of environmental systems and environmental policy formulation.
The conference encouraged independent thinking, looking beyond surface issues and solutions, and interdisciplinary collaboration.This conference was entirely student run and was hosted by the Student Association of International Development.
Breakout Sessions were presented by Robyn Baron from Oxfam Canada, who spoke on women, development and water issues, along with Natalya Melnychuk and Michelle Morris, PhD Students, University of Waterloo: collaborative approaches to water governance; with an interactive presentation comparing the pros and cons of water as a human right or a commodity.
Pannel was moderated by Dr. Larry Swatuk, who introduced the panelists, began the discussion and opened the floor to those attending the conference to ask questions as well.
The panelists speaking with their own views and knowledge on water were:
Dr. Zafar Adeel – Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health
Professor. Pieter Van Der Zaag – Professor of integrated water resources management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands
Professor Dominic Mazvimavi – Professor of Water & Environmental Science, Department of Earth Sciences, and Director of the Institute for Water Studies, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa.
Moseki Ronald Motsholapheko – Researcher at the Okavango Research Institute in Maun, Botswana
Robyn Baron – Oxfam Canada
Natalya Melnychuk – PhD Student, University of Waterloo: collaborative approaches to water governance, legitimacy
Michelle Morris – PhD Student, University of Waterloo: transboundary water governance, collaborative water governance, water security, water allocation
All put together it was a FANTASTIC day, organized by SAID’s one an only conference director, Stephanie Higgs.
Congratulations, job well done!
Faculty of Environment’s short article on the 2012 International Development conference: