|World Water Week 2012 from a young professional’s perspective|
Ms Emma Lupton, working on her Msc in Environmental Technology and Water Management at Imperial College London, provided us with her perspective on this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm.
»During World Water Week, what quickly became apparent was the necessity for an educated generation; where youth is aware and empowered and communities are proactively engaged. Where food and water are valued, not wasted, with attitudes and purchasing patterns having been positively changed.
Another observation, from a newcomers point of view, is that much greater levels of collaboration are crucial to tackling the extreme, transboundary issues. Knowledgable leaders from an array of international agencies were represented and it seemed that productive goal driven initiatives should come out of such an influential network being physically present together. Presumably these opportunities were used at meetings away from the official agenda... I hope so anyway. At the closing plenary it would have been motivating to hear about new collaborations formed or goals set. Hence, UN-Water choosing 2013 to be the «International Year of Water Cooperation» is extremely positive and should prove to bear fruit.
It was encouraging to see a significant presence from the business community, with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development playing an excellent ambassadorial role. The worlds of business and finance are important in providing long-lasting solutions; therefore, their power and capability should be harnessed. Challenges of sustainable development, sanitation, water and food security should be incorporated into the strategic framework of companies, as opposed to being solely Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) points.
The younger generation of water professionals are a vital element to the future of solution provision; as long as they have the opportunity to be so. By being present at decision making forums they can learn from experience and expand their understanding. Leaders, of the future as well as of the present, must be inspired, focused, adaptable and committed to the long term.«
Emma Lupton, Imperial College London, Msc Environmental Technology and Water Management