Advocacy and Vision at the UN Water Conference

This week, the Guardian reported that global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030. This week’s UN 2023 Water Conference in New York “will mark the first time in more than four decades the UN has met to discuss water, with previous attempts stymied by governments reluctant to countenance any form of international governance of the resource.”

With so much riding on the UN 2023 Water Conference, both governments and civil society groups are stepping up efforts to guide the conference in a fruitful direction and spur practical changes. The Indigenous Peoples Pre-Summit for the UN Water Conference, March 20-21,  supports and affirms Indigenous peoples’ rights, knowledge and vital roles as water protectors and defenders. New York Water Week, March 18-25, will “showcase game-changing water actions and solutions from across the world and build momentum” for UN Conference.

The Center for Earth Ethics is honored to support other organizations in hosting, co-sponsoring and supporting water-related advocacy efforts during this critical period.

During the week, CEE will stream “Water: An Indigenous Perspective.”  This fireside chat between Havasupai, Tewa and Hopi Elder Mona Polacca and Karenna Gore, executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics, explores Indigenous knowledge and world views about water. The dialogue is co-sponsored by the United Confederation of Taíno People, the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Heritage Network.  An New York Water Week event, this chat is available all week, with a special presentation on Tuesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. (New York time).

On Tuesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. (New York time), “Water is Life: Angel of the Waters Ceremony” will take at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park (at 72nd Street). The ceremony will celebrate the value and enduring significance of our water-related cultural heritage as well as New York City’s more than 180-year history of managing water. At the ceremony, the Angel of Waters Fountain will be marked as a heritage site for water inspiration and city representatives will accept the Water & Heritage Shield.

On Thursday, March 23, at 2 p.m. (New York time), the NGO Mining Working Group and CEE will stream “Impacts of Extractives on Water and the Environment: Protection and Accountability through a Human Rights Framework.” This official side event to the UN conference challenges will addressthe human right to equitable access to clean, safe water with special attention to the role of extractive industries in affecting water supplies. Rosita Silvano Cuscchinchinari (Red Eclesial Panamazonica), Mary Tahu (Solomon Islands Climate Action Network), Blair Nelsen (NGO Mining Working Group), Talia Boyd (Indigenous Environmental Network) and Susan Power (Al-Haq) will participate.

Additional information about these programs, including registration links, is available on the CEE events page.