Teaming up Water, Youth and Education
Feb 22nd, 2010 |
Based on the Brundtland principle of sustainable development defining this concept as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, youth, education and culture are critical and irreplaceable components for a modern water efficient society needed to manage and preserve water resources in a sustainable way, to enable and ensure safe hygiene practices and sanitation, to be aware of the importance and responsibility of behavior towards future generations.
As water is key for our existence – no water no life, no business, no biodiversity, education on water is essential for our existence. It’s a key for growth – growth on the personal level – receiving education on water will lead to becoming a responsible environmental steward understanding the interlinkeages, the interactions, the planning and management of natural resources and ecosystems with communities. It means also social growth – by avoiding exclusion, marginalization and poverty a more equal society with equal opportunities for everybody can be achieved. Lastly it means also economic growth – education on water will not only lead to a more healthy society but also to a more wealthy one. Europe is lacking professionals to address current water challenges. Water conscious and curious youth will not only long for trainings and apprenticeships, it will boost new job and employment opportunities, provide more and better skilled professionals, leading to a smarter and better served society. Innovative technologies and approaches will alter business mindsets developing more water and money saving production patterns.
Some might assume Europe is save on water, and compared to other regions Europe is rightly better off. However the water realities in Europe are very diverse and various regions indeed face concrete challenges. Making the youth aware about these realities leads not only to a better understanding for local solutions and methods, but also for different cultural approaches towards water management, for sharing experience and techniques and for Europe’s diversity. It creates respect, solidarity and democracy.
Motivation for action can only arise if people are aware of the risks and negative consequences of their habits and behavior on the one side. On the other hand information and education in form of practical tools and incentives will encourage the move towards sustainable water management. Working together with youth, who are eager to take action but also are in the crucial phase for further education or planning of their careers, will help spreading knowledge on sustainable water management like waves throughout their local and regional communities.
Teaming up education, youth and water will generate smart decision makers of tomorrow, keep sustainable environments and ensure good local governance. The EWP is contributing to this process by organising the European Youth Water Summit. For more information on the EYWS, please follow this link.