In partnership with Montreal International and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, the two-day workshop hosted by the ISW was under the them of reinforcing the capacity of the young water leaders and promoting the voice of citizen on water-related issues.
The workshop began with an opening ceremony performed by Charles Patton Otsi’tsaken:ra, from the Kanien’keha:ka Community of Kahnawake, followed by opening remarks by Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner at the International Joint Commission, where he developed on the First Nation’s relationship with water, and what Water Beyond Borders means, whether it be in Canada or internationally.
In an interactive session, professional from local and international organisations addressed the theme of innovation, the power of civil society – and youth, and community-based management in water issues related to climate change.
The speakers present were:
Abraham Francis, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Laurie Fourneaux ISW, Alexis Eisnberg, Poly Mer, Maximiliano Cledon, Université de Laval, Luc Vescovi, ISW, Stephanie Woodworth, World Youth Parliement for Water.
As explained by Laurie Fourneaux, from the ISW, the goal of the workshop wasn’t to tell to the young leaders what they need to know, but instead to listen to them, and encourage them to share their ideas.
Abraham Francis, of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, shared with the participants the specific difficulties faced by First Nations communities. The scope of the climate challenges touching these communities is large and can be different from those faced by the rest of Canada. With that in mind, Francis reaffirmed the need for community-based solutions.
The second day of the workshop saw the participants enthusiastically share ideas of the opportunities and challenges posed by water issues, and how, as a society, to come up with concrete solutions.
Karine Péloffy, from the Office of Senator Rosa Galvez introduced the work of the Senate on matters of environment, energy and water issues. She also presented the different legislations adopted in Canada on water issues and discussed with the young leaders in attendance and the challenges that they pose.
The participants were then invited to identify opportunities and challenges that they face in water-related issues, and to create a road-map to establish clear steps to follow to reach their goals. It is with great enthusiasm and creativity that the participants got to work and proposed solutions such an app which allows the user to know the amount of water used in manufacturing a product. Or projects of citizen mobilization such as Water Walks, to encourage people to thank water.
These solutions show the clear desire of youth to seize the opportunities at their disposal as well as consider the context in which they find themselves in.
#WaterGeneration is the concretization of the role that the International Secretariat for Water looks to fill in, developing a global youth movement for water. The activities achieved during the workshops directly relate to that objective, as the young water leaders in attendance could connect with different actors in the field, local and international.
To read more about the official launch of the global hub for youth, water and sustainable development, click here
Thank-you to our partners:
Montreal International, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie (MRIF), Government of Canada, City of Montreal, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne