Category Archives: Water

Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century (H. Gökçekus, et al)

Editor(s)

Hüseyin Gökçekus, Türker Umut and James W. LaMoreaux

Keywords

Biodiversity, Environment, Sustainability, Water

Abstract

The International Conference on Environment: Survival and Sustainability, held at the Near East University, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus 19-24 February 2007, dealt with environmental threats and proposed solutions at all scales. The 21 themes addressed by the conference fell into four broad categories; Threats to Survival and Sustainability; Technological Advances towards Survival and Sustainability; Activities and Tools for Social Change; Defining Goals for Sustainable Societies.

Activities and tools that move the society towards greater sustainability were emphasized at the conference. These included environmental law and ethics, environmental knowledge, technology and information systems, media, environmental awareness, education and lifelong learning, the use of literature for environmental awareness, the green factor in politics, international relations and environmental organizations. The breadth of the issues addressed at the conference made clear the need for greatly increased interdisciplinary and international collaboration the survival and sustainability concept. The exchanges at the conference represent a step in this direction.

Citation

Hüseyin Gökçekus, Türker Umut and James W. LaMoreaux, Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century (Springer, 2010)

Book

Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century

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Public Participation in the Enforcement of China’s Anti-Pollution Laws (J. Wu)

Author

Jennifer Wu

Keywords

China, environment, government, industry, legislation, litigation, pollution, rights, State Environmental Protection Administration, society.

Abstract

China’s spectacular economic growth has caused the incidence of absolute poverty to plunge over the past two decades; however, this massive rate of industrialisation has also led to a pollution crisis with serious health and environmental concerns such as air pollution and contaminated drinking water supplies.

China has hundreds of environmental laws and regulations, and is party to over eighty environmental treaties. Yet an official from the state environmental agency has described this as ‘a wealth of laws with shallow roots’, since despite all its legal commitments Chinese cities remain some of the most polluted areas on earth.

This paper examines the reasons for the discrepancy between law and practice in combating pollution. Anti-pollution legislation is too vaguely worded to be useful in creating enforceable rights and obligations. There is also a considerable gap between national policy and local implementation by Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs). EPBs are beholden to local governments, which are in turn dependent on the biggest industrial actors (and polluters) in their locality for economic development. One way to circumvent the inadequacies of government agencies is to allow citizens to bring their own actions in enforcing the law. This requires a strong support structure to provide the necessary resources for public participation: information and funding. In addition to the work of NGOs, the media, and legal aid centres, one potential initiative for increasing information flows is the establishment of a public emissions database. It is possible that the new China Pollution Source Census will fulfil this role.

Citation

(2008) 4(1) Law, Environment and Development Journal 35

Paper

Public Participation in the Enforcement of China’s Anti-Pollution Laws

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Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals (UN)

Author

United Nations

Keywords

Provision of Water and Sanitation in Cities; The Impacts of Deficient Provision; Explaining Deficiencies in Urban Water and Sanitation Provision; Increasing Water Stress and Its Impact; Changing Perspectives and Roles: Privatization and Beyond; Improving Provision Through Integrated Water Resource Management; Governance for Good Provision: Getting the Best from Public, Private and Community Organizations

Abstract

The world’s governments agreed at the Millennium Summit to halve the number of people, mainly in the world’s cities, who lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation by 2015: an immense challenge. This is an assessment of the problems and how they can be addressed. The report sets out in detail the scale of inadequate provision of water and sanitation; it describes the impacts on health and economic performance, showing the potential gains of remedial action; it analyses the proximate and underlying causes of poor provision and identifies information gaps affecting resource allocation; it outlines the consequences of further deterioration; and it explains how resources and institutional capacities – public, private and community – can be used to deliver proper services through integrated water resource management.

Citation

UN, Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals (Earthscan, 2003)

Book

Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals

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… Integrating Kuleana Rights and Land Trust Priorities in Hawaii (J.B. Garovoy)

Author

Jocelyn B. Garovoy

Keywords

Hawaii , conservation, land trusts, complex challenges, Kuleana lands, native Hawaiian tenant farmers, land rights

Abstract

For Hawaii -based conservation land trusts , kuleana lands present both unique opportunities and complex challenges to land conservation efforts. Kuleana lands are those parcels granted to native Hawaiian tenant farmers between 1850 and 1855. Rights attaching to these special lands include: reasonable access, agricultural uses, gathering rights , rights to a single-family dwelling, water rights , and fishing rights . In consideration of these rights , the political and cultural context surrounding conservation acquisitions, and outside agencies’ funding requirements, Hawaii conservation land trusts are advised to take a balanced approach to land acquisitions. Such an approach involves conducting thorough title research, investigating opportunities for collaboration with native Hawaiian community leaders, and negotiating agreements with respect to access rights and land and water use on kuleana lands located within or bordering on land trust -managed parcels. Both land trusts and native Hawaiian community members stand to benefit from strategic collaborations that integrate kuleana rights and land trust priorities .

Citation

(2005) 29 Harvard Environmental Law Review 523

Paper

‘Ua Koe ke Kuleana o na Kanaka’ (Reserving the Rights of Native Tenants): Integrating Kuleana Rights and Land Trust Priorities in Hawaii

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Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization (F. Pearce)

Author

Fred Pearce

Keywords

Water – Globalization – political ambition – conflict – people – farmers – rural villages – impoverished communities – global water crisis.

Abstract

Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water in an Age of Globalization by Fred Pearce

“(a) remarkably well-researched book” – San Diego Union Tribune

Water has long been the object of political ambition and conflict. Recent history is full of leaders who tried to harness water to realize national dreams. Yet the people who most need water—farmers, rural villages, impoverished communities—are too often left, paradoxically, with desiccated fields, unfulfilled promises, and refugee status.

It doesn’t have to be this way, according to Fred Pearce.  A veteran science news correspondent, Pearce has for over fifteen years chronicled the development of large-scale water projects like China ’s vast Three Gorges dam and India ’s Sardar Sarovar. But, as he and numerous other authors have pointed out, far from solving our water problems, these industrial scale projects, and others now in the planning, are bringing us to the brink of a global water crisis.

Pearce decided there had to be a better way.

To find it, he traveled the globe in search of alternatives to mega-engineering projects. In Keepers of the Spring, he brings back intriguing stories from people like Yannis Mitsis, an ethnic Greek Cypriot, who is the last in his line to know the ways and whereabouts of a network of underground tunnels that have for centuries delivered to farming communities the water they need to survive on an arid landscape. He recounts the inspiring experiences of small-scale water stewards like Kenyan Jane Ngei, who reclaimed for her people a land abandoned by her government as a wasteland. And he tells of many others who are developing new techniques and rediscovering ancient ones to capture water for themselves.

In so doing, Pearce documents that these ‘keepers’ are not merely isolated examples, but collectively constitute an entire alternative tradition of working with natural flows rather than trying to reengineer nature to provide water for human needs.

The solution to our water problems, he finds, may not lie in new technologies—though they will play a role—but in recovering ancient traditions, using water more efficiently, and better understanding local hydrology. Are these approaches adequate to serve the world’s growing populations? The answer remains unclear. But we ignore them at our own peril.

Citation

Fred Pearce, Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization (Island Press, 2004)

Book

Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization

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