Spring 2011, Details

Meeting 1
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: “Microfinance and the Right to Water - Stuck between Full Cost Recovery and Rights Fulfilment.”

This study group will examine whether microfinance is an effective means of improving access to water and sanitation services, and thereby enabling states to meet their human rights obligations. We will discuss these questions in the context of India, which has witnessed an explosion of microfinance growth over the past decade.

Speaker: Philip Mader doctoral student, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany.
 

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Meeting 2
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: "Just distribution of water in Iraq: Conflict, Islam and Human Rights"

This study group will examine the reasons that Iraq is now considered one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. We will discuss the relationship between water and conflict, exploring how war and sanctions contributed to the deterioration of Iraq's water and sanitation infrastructure and impacted water resources management. We will also examine the potential for water to exacerbate ethnic and sectarian tensions within Iraq. Finally,we will look at several provisions of Iraq's constitution (adopted in 2005) that require the "just distribution" of water, analyzing the phrase in the context of Islamic and human rights law.

Speaker: Sharmila L. Murthy, Fellow, Carr Center.
 

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Meeting 3
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: "The Human Right to Water and Corporate Responsibility"

This study group will use the human right to water as a case study for examining the emerging field of corporate responsibility. After briefly reviewing the international legal frameworks, we will examine steps that corporations like Pepsi and Intel have taken to address concerns about their water-intensive business activities. We will discuss how investors assess water-related corporate risks and explore the role of shareholder resolutions. Finally, using a hands-on, interactive group exercise, we will consider how a corporation could use a human rights impact assessment tool to assess the effectiveness of its right to water policy.
 

Study Group Leaders: Alia Karsan, Lesley Fleishman and Sharmila Murthy with Julie Goodridge and Mari Schwartzer of NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. Under Julie's leadership, NorthStar has been instrumental in getting six local and multi-national companies, including Pepsi and Intel, to adopt human right to water policies. For more information, visit: http://northstarasset.com/

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Meeting 4
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: World Water Day Panel: "Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge Through Ecological Waterscapes, Rainwater Harvesting and Participation."

In honor of World Water Day, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Right to Water Initiative is pleased to host a lecture by Herbert Dreiseitl and Bettina Wanschura on "Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge Through Ecological Waterscapes, Rainwater Harvesting and Participation." The lecture will take place during the Right to Water Study Group session on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 from 5:15-6:45pm.

Click here to view the event listing for this special event.

This World Water Day lecture will focus on how "Ecological Waterscapes" can be used in urban environments to capture rainwater and re-charge riversheds, thereby improving access to water. Herbert will show examples of his work from Portland and Singapore, which inspires us to think about how art and better planning can enable cities and states to meet the challenges associated with realizing the human rights to water and sanitation. Drawing on examples from her own work in Europe, Bettina will then discuss how community participation can support the implementation of Ecological Waterscapes.

About the speakers:

Herbert Dreiseitl is an internationally renowned sculptor, artist, landscape architect, and interdisciplinary planner. He founded Atelier Dreiseitl, a globally integrated design studio with a 30-year history of excellence in landscape architecture and urban planning.
(Click here to learn more).

Bettina Wanschura is a landscape architect who focuses on how governments can use participatory social processes and communication strategies to improve urban and environmental planning. She is a founding partner of PlanSinn Gmbh in Vienna/Austria, where she has worked for the past 15 years. Most recently, Bettina has concentrated on developing frameworks for participation in watershed politics as prescribed by the European Water Framework Directive.
(Visit here for more details)
 

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Meeting 5
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: "Water Politics and Human Rights in Central Asia"

This study group will examine critical water issues in Central Asia with a focus on the Aral Sea catastrophe, as well as the growing water scarcity and ethnic tensions in Ferghana Valley. The group will discuss the policies of states in the region, comparing the interests of upstream and downstream countries and the role of international organizations. We will also consider how the situation regarding “water politics” relates to human rights and the U.S. interests in the region.

We will look carefully at the recent Majority Staff Report of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, "Avoiding Water Wars: Water Scarcity and Central Asia's Growing Importance for Stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Group Leader: Fatima Mendikulova.
 

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Meeting 6
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
5:15 - 6:45 pm
Carr Center Conference Room
Rubenstein Building
(Floor 2, Room 219)
Directions to Venue
Topic: "Can Good Practices be Achieved on Small-Scale, but High Impact Water Distribution Projects? An example form an Engineers Without Borders team in Guaimaca, Honduras"

This study group will evaluate Engineers Without Borders' project in Honduras according to the independent expert's "good practices" guidelines related to the access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The study group leaders will also present the results of willingness vs. affordability to pay study for clean water in Guaimaca, and discuss the preliminary design (technical and financial feasibility) of the water distribution system.

Speakers: Claire Barker, Alec Peralta Scheerer and Diego Ponce de Leon Barido.
 

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