WAR OR PEACE
By Studio Bozzetto
The final room of the itinerary dispels a myth much loved by sensationalists all over the world: future wars over blue gold. Despite being a juicy topic, it is based on incomplete statistics and warmongering projections rather than on actual facts.
During the course of human history, water-related conflicts have often taken place but political disputes were more frequently at the root of the problem rather than just physical water availability. It needs to be noted that events of conflict on the access or management of freshwater resources are infinitely less than those in which water played the role of common denominator; being a reason for cooperation rather than conflict.
Global human population more than doubled in the last half century and is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050. Despite this incredible growth, the amount of natural resources we dispose of remains constant. Sharing the same amount with more means less per person, but in addition to this these resources are not equally distributed. The latter is often valid in both a geographically (water scarce versus water-rich areas) as well as a sociological context (the rich versus the poor layers of society). Since recently also human-induced climate change has come in play. Due to its expected effects, it is most likely that water will become an ever-increasing factor for conflict if no proper water governance systems are in place and may therefore further aggravate already existing tensions and disputes.
Incompetent water governance often lies at the base of these conflicts. Developing tools for hydrodiplomacy is becoming increasingly urgent to address issues of conflicting water uses, particularly in transboundary settings. Achieving sustainable development, a world governed by principles of equity, transparency, participation, accountability, in which water security is no longer a wish but a reality, a place that is safe and fair for humans and ecosystems –this will surely depend on visionary and ambitious decisions taken by our world leaders. But it all starts from individual choices and a deep, true mind-shift of mankind.
Studio Bozzetto & Co., founded by Bruno Bozzetto, Andrea Bozzetto and Pietro Pinetti, is a production company and animation studio, known nationally and internationally. As well as producing television series and commercials, in recent years Studio Bozzetto & Co. has developed a strong expertise in “educational” projects, commissioned by both public and private companies and focused on scientific, economic and social communication.
For the final and closing video, UN WWAP embarked with Studio Bozzetto into the creation of an animated video covering the sensational topic of water and wars. It mocks the stupidity of humanity with regards to conflicts related to water resources – and its poor management. The video ends with a cataclysmic scene featuring the destruction of our planet by ourselves and leaves space for reflection on the fact that action from every one of us will be needed to achieve a sustainable future.
WWAP & WWDR REFERENCE
Below you may find a selection of resources, related to the topics displayed and discussed in the short movie. This is a non-exhaustive list which only serves to provide with additional background material. Most of the subjects tackled have been covered by the different WWDR reports and from this regard the most relevant WWDR references are listed, followed by a number of external resources.
Aaron Wolf, ed. Sharing Water, Sharing Benefits: working towards effective Transboundary Water Resources Management: A Graduate Professional Skills-Building Workbook, UNESCO-IHP, 2010.
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WWF serving the Public interest: Corporate water stewardship and sustainable development
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Water Conflict Chronology Timeline by the Pacific Institute
Unilever “We Can’t Wait – A report on sanitation and hygiene for women and girls”
From local to virtual water control: The globalization of water insecurity and water access conflicts (Dr. J. Vos, Prof. R. Boelens & P. Mena, Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
Transboundary freshwater dispute database
Carl Sagan Foundation