In an effort to help children and families in need for safe and clean drinking water, we launched a unique Peace initiative in 2008, entitled "H2O Ambassadors". This unique industry-led initiative encourages individuals and organizations to raise awareness and much needed funds for water projects worldwide.
UNESCO, The 1st World Water Development Report 'Water for People, Water for Life', and from Potential Conflict to Co-operation Potential (PC-CP) website, 'Water security and peace - A synthesis of studies prepared under the PC-CP and Water for Peace process' publication:
Facts and Figures about Water and Peace
Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment. In light of this fact, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Professor Wangari Maathai, who stands at the front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Africa and particularly in Kenya. She concluded her Nobel lecture with these words: 'Today, the stream has dried up, women walk long distances for water, which is not always clean, and children will never know what they have lost.The challenge is to give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder'.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has identified more than 3,600 treaties relating to international water resources dating from AD 805 to 1984, the majority of which relate to some aspect of navigation.
In the last 50 years, 200 water-related treaties were negotiated and signed.
An empirical study of water conflict and cooperation, completed in 2001 at Oregon State University (United States), documents a total of 1,831 interactions, both conflictive and cooperative, between two or more nations over water during the past 50 years.
The total number of water-related events between nations, are weighted towards cooperation: 507 conflict-related events, versus 1,228 cooperative ones, implying that violence over water is not strategically rational, effective or economically viable.
Water was the last and most contentious issue resolved in negotiations over a 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and was relegated to 'final status' negotiations - along with other difficult issues, such as Jerusalem and Palestinian- between Israel and the Palestine.
The Water Court, operating in the city of Valencia, Spain has been in existence at least since the 10th century. This court is a good example of a local initiative for peacefully resolving conflicts. It is composed of farmers, who hear disputes over irrigation waters and make judgments on the spot conducting all proceedings orally.
Awareness and education can reduce conflicts and improve the availability of clean and safe drinking water. "We need to make people aware of the world water crisis, and how they can help. Communication and collaboration will promote understanding between people and nations. The LetCleanWatersFlow Ambassadors was launched in 2008 by H2OAlliance EU team, inspired by the Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, the Nobel Peace Prize 2008, for his work on several continents for over three decades to resolve international conflicts. His efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to build a fraternity between nations in Alfred Nobel's spirit. We want to continue his valuable work to the world", Minna LeVine, CEO, H2oAlliance Global. President Ahtisaari, the Nobel Peace Prize 2008:
Nobel Lecture by Barack H. Obama, Oslo, 10 December 2009:
"It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can't aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.
And that's why helping farmers feed their own people – or nations educate their children and care for the sick – is not mere charity. It's also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement – all of which will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action – it's military leaders in my own country and others who understand our common security hangs in the balance".
Source: The Nobel Foundation 2009, www.Nobelprize.org