October 16, 2012

Water’s role in ‘peace building’ will be examined

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The essential role that water plays throughout the world is the focus of a lecture this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Carl Bruch, a senior attorney and co-director of international programs with the Environmental Law Institute, will present "Water Resources and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding," at 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18. The event will be in Morris Library's John C. Guyon Auditorium.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  A reception will follow at 4 p.m.

"Water is a basic human need, and despite predictions of 'water wars,' shared waters have proven to be the natural resource with the greatest potential for interstate cooperation and local confidence building," said Shanna McClain, a graduate student at SIU Carbondale who is an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellow. "Indeed, water management plays a singularly important role in building trust during water-stressed times, in rebuilding trust after conflict, and in preventing a return to conflict."

Bruch's lecture will examine how water policy plays an integral role in supporting basic human needs, maintaining public health, bolstering lives, fostering economic strength and recovery, and long-term sustained development after conflicts occur, McClain said.

Bruch is an adjunct professor at John Hopkins University and teaches a graduate course on international environmental policy. He is coordinating a global initiative with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the University of Tokyo, and McGill University to examine experiences in managing natural resources to support post-conflict peace building.

Program sponsors include SIU Carbondale's Environmental Resources and Policy program, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, the National Science Foundation, IGERT's Watershed Science and Policy Program, and the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. (UNA-USA).

For more information, contact McClain at shannamcclain@siu.edu

or at 954-873-8052.