Opportunity Green attends the Artivist Film Festival in New York

Posted on 29. Dec, 2010 by in Business & Policy, Politics

Did you know that that although an overwhelming majority of the planet is composed of water, 97% of this water is constituted of saltwater; the freshwater used to sustain humans is only 3% of the total amount of water on Earth?

As the newest member of the Opportunity Green team, I have a lot of “green” knowledge to learn.   While visiting New York, I saw that the Artivist Film Festival was taking place in Tribecca.  The Artivist Film Festival was founded in 2003 with the mission of raising awareness for humanity, animals and the environment through advocate films.  I thought this was a great way to dive into the learning curve!  I decided to see one of the opening night films, ”Water on the Table”, a documentary about one woman’s relentless pursuit to protect Canada’s fresh water by having it declared a human right.

Canada contains 6.5% of the world’s available fresh water.  Maude Barlow, often referred to as an “international water warrior”, feels that access to such water is a public trust and human right.  The importance of designating water a human right is: “you cannot sell it, trade it, or deny it to someone because they can’t pay for it”.  She has worked tirelessly petitioning the Canadian government, the United Nations and businesses currently threatening fresh water sources in Canada.

The film which was written, produced and directed by Liz Marshall, follows Maude Barlow for a year while she serves as the United Nations Senior Advisor on Water.  It shows interesting counter-arguments from business leaders and policy makers who feel the best way to save freshwater resources is to privatize them.  On July 28, 2010 the United Nations voted to recognize the right to water and sanitation.

I left the film feeling inspired that one woman could take on such large responsibility for the greater of mankind and the planet.  I’m not sure of the impact the ruling of the United Nations will have in really making fresh water available to all, but look forward to continuing to follow this interesting story and debate.  The film has many inspiring moments, but it feels just a tad too long towards the end.  It is definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re interested in learning more about the possible impact of privatizing natural resources or seeing first-hand the destruction of natural resources caused by unnatural processes like extracting oil from tar sands (which is ruining 3 million barrels of freshwater a day in Alberta, Canada).

For more information:

“Water on the Table” official website

Artivist Film Festival official website

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