Every year, the International Day Of Action For Rivers is observed on March 14. And, in the time of rising climate crisis, it is the need of the hour for us to take it more seriously. By Kumar Shree
1. What is It?
The International Day of Action for Rivers, sees communities from around the world, come together in solidarity to voice their concern and reinstate the importance of rivers. It also aims at making people aware of the woes of those relocated from their homes near rivers for the construction of dams. The idea is to drive the message that people should get to have a say in decisions that affect their access to water and lives in general.
2. Past Editions
The theme for 2020 edition of the day focuses on women, water, and climate change. Year 2019 witnessed a gathering of around 100 women from 32 countries at the Women and Rivers Congress. All of these women are leading efforts around the world to protect and defend rivers against reckless manipulations at the hands of humans.
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It was the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams in March, 1997 at Curitiba, Brazil that seeded the idea of having an International Day Of Action For Rivers. Representatives from as many as 20 countries zeroed in on March 14 as the day to celebrate the International Day Of Action For Rivers. Coincidentally, the day also happens to be Brazil’s Day of Action against Large Dams.
4. Aim and Impact
One of the central motives of the day is to develop and strengthen the regional and international networks for solidifying the international anti-dam movement. The day also aims at reclaiming the health of rivers and watersheds by raising voices against destructive water development projects and by demanding sustainable management of waterways.