Talk43 Should there be Collective Rights to Water?

Thursday, 18 July, 2019


The competition for water resources due to scarcity and pressing water demands is real and has developed challenges in water allocation mechanism and compromised collective water rights. Such persistent water woes and their possible irreversible consequences are alarming and perilous until a proper mechanism is taken under consideration at both: interstate and intrastate level. LEAD Pakistan is hosting an interactive session by Mr. Ayub Qutub that will give an overview of international water laws and principles seeking to govern water uses. This talk will provide a narration of examples of mutually beneficial community water management as well as the overuse, misuse and abuse of water in Pakistan. Next, this talk will review the concept of collective human rights- the third component of the humanist slogan of 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity'. It will unveil the answers of questions including: is Fraternity a relevant principle in mediating the relationship between water users/uses? Could Fraternity extend to other species and to Nature? Similarly, Mr. Qutub will present a vision of a collective rights based regime of land and water planning and management at multiple scales and how eco-social solidarity could be implemented. This talk seeks to reflect on the limitations of direction and bargain based approaches and it will discover if it is time for a new ethical imperative in line with extended human powers and reach.

Ayub Qutub is Chief Executive at PIEDAR- a non-profit engaged in policy advocacy based on action research with communities. His field work includes promoting farmer organizations for improved water conveyance. He was the lead author of a regional study on water sharing conflicts within countries. He drafted the National Drinking Water Policy and served as the National Coordinator at Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), 2003 to 2012. Earlier, he was the Coordinator and Principal Writer of Pakistan's National Conservation Strategy. His publications include chapters and papers on children, youth, environment, population, and urbanization, and water & sanitation in books and international journals.

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