“Water – too much, too little”

Climate change increases the intensity of weather phenomena. This is most evident in the case of the element without which life on our planet is impossible: water.

ELSIA alternatively showing the moment as elsia1

Floods and water shortages often occur in the same area at different times of the year. Floods endanger residential areas and submerge agricultural land for long periods. Extreme water shortages make farming difficult, if not impossible, in areas that were considered the “vegetable garden of Europe” just a few decades ago. Prolonged drought is causing forest fires in southern Europe to occur earlier in the year, with devastating consequences. The natural habitat of rivers and the biodiversity of life in and around them are in danger of being lost. Conflicts of interest over water are increasing in Europe – between agriculture and industry, between drinking water supply and energy production, between transport and housing.

As part of the ‘Season of Creation‘, which ends on 4 October, the European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA) wants to look at how we manage water from different perspectives: We will begin on the evening of Tuesday 1 October with the opening of an exhibition by a French painter whose work has been inspired by the experience of burnt landscapes – and the dramatic absence of water – in Greece, and continue with a half-day conference the following morning. After an introduction to relevant passages of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, three distinguished speakers will address conflicts of interest around water in three different European regions in relation to EU policies. EU policy-makers will react and offer perspectives for EU policy on water.

The event is aimed at ELSiA members, European Commission officials, MEPs working on water, Brussels NGOs working on water.

You can register using the following link (https://forms.gle/zcvenUTdBDP1eBHk6). Please register by 24 September if possible (registration is mandatory as the event is limited to a maximum of 100 people).

(Draft) Program
Tuesday, 1 October, 7 pm : vernissage “Burnt Landscapes”
Paintings of Claire Forgeot (France) with an introduction by F. Bernd Günther sj, Director of the Chapel for Europe
Wednesday 2 October, 9.30 am: half-Day conference “Water – Too much, too little“
9.30 – 9.35: Welcome by a member of the ELSiA leadership
9.35 – 10.00: Introduction by:
Dr Gerard Kuperus, Director of the Laudato Si Institute at the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands): The transversal issue of water in “Laudato Si‘“
10.00 – 11.00: Too much, too little – examples from the Netherlands, France and Spain with:
Dyke count Mr. Kees-Jan de Vet, dyke count of the Brabantse Delta water board  (Netherlands): Managing an unstable resource.
Mrs. Estelle Cournez, Director of the Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels Allier, Châtel de Neuvre (France): Protecting the natural heritage river Allier.
Dr P. Quintana Seguí, Director of the Observatori de l’Ebre, Tarragona (Spain): Facing extreme drought.
11.00 -11.15: Break
11.15 – 12.15: What can, what should the European Union do? with representatives from the European institutions.
12.15 -12.20: Conclusion by a member of the ELSiA leadership Moderator: still to be announced.

ELSIA alternatively showing the moment as elsia2

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