The Youth Network for River Action (YNRA) together with Generation Earth standing up for our water bodies at the EU Water Conference in Vienna
On the 20th and 21st of September the Water Conference in Vienna reunited 400 representatives from all over Europe to discuss the future of water protection in the EU. And while some participants are eager to weaken the legal protection of our water bodies, the Youth Network for River Action set a clear sign that this can NOT happen. After all, a current EEA report points out the shocking truth: only 40% of Europe’s water bodies are in a good ecological state. A lot has to be done to protect and restore our water! Before the conference, YNRA had laid down its demands in the Youth Water Manifesto. As the basis of all protection is a solid law, the existing regulation protecting our rivers, lakes and wetlands, the Water Framework Directive must not be weakened nor cut back. In contrary, YNRA calls for a reinforced implementation at all levels!
Right after the conference had started YNRA activists handed over the Youth Water Manifesto to Veronica Manfredi, representing the European Commission and the Austrian Environmental Minister Elisabeth Köstinger. Both expressed their support for water protection – now it is on us to hold them accountable and remind them, that they can´t possibly let down Europe´s water bodies, when the majority of them is in a bad ecological state!
For the lunch break YNRA together with Generation Earth had prepared a surprise for all conference participants: In a cast of over 90, we performed the dance flashmob WATER BODIES. The creative approach worked: many conference participants immediately started filming and sending the images all over and several participants referred to the Youth Networks´ demands during question rounds and even on the panel! Watch the flash mob and spread it, preferably together with the Manifesto, so we can reach even more people: www.facebook.com/WWFgenerationearth/videos/296650860933445.
For us it is clear, that we do not inherit water from our ancestors, but we borrow it from future generations. Therefore, we urge you all support our demand for upholding the strong legal protection by taking part in the Commission public consultation from mid-October on!
About the author
In my studies Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy I deal a lot with environmental policy. With Generation Earth I found a group of motivated young people with whom I can get active and implement environmental projects. I think it’s important that there is strict environmental legislation, because this is the basis of environmental protection. Water bodies are currently the most threatened ecosystems. That’s why I want to work for the protection of our water bodies and the biodiversity that depends on them. Because diversity is beautiful! 🙂Magdalena