ASI Symposium Water in Times of Climate Change

Date: 6 and 7 November 2019
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Water in times of climate change is one of the most compelling challenges societies worldwide have to meet: rising sea levels, desertification, shortage of drinking water and sanitation. In many ways our struggles with water will be crucial to the sustainability and viability of the earth. The symposium aims to build dialogues between activists, scientists, governments, businesses, NGO’s, and religions. It envisions to investigate issues related to water and climate change on interlocking dimensions: science, politics, economics, and religion. The symposium will address the challenges from the vantage point of three major urban areas: Cape Town, Jakarta and Amsterdam. The symposium will stimulate a holistic perspective in search of mutual understanding and shared languages for our common world.

During the symposium we look at threatening water, cleansing water and life-giving water – three themes were the interaction with meaning becomes recognizable. To add concreteness to the themes, the symposium will address them from the vantage point of three major urban areas: Jakarta, Cape Town and Amsterdam. Jakarta is the fastest sinking city in the world. Cape Town looked set to be the first major city where the taps would run dry – so-called “Day Zero”. Amsterdam is one of the lowest lying capitals under sea level. The symposium envisions to investigate these areas on interlocking dimensions: science, politics, economics, and religion. In line with SDG 17 (partnership) and the theology of the Patriarch the symposium aims to build dialogues between activists, businesses, religions, governments, financial corporations, media, NGOs, and academia.

The opening session in the morning of November 6th – with contributions from youth, Patriarch Bartholomew, Jeroen Aerts (professor watermanagement), CEO Pieter van Oord, Cardinal Turkson and Iyad Abumoghli (United Nations Environment) – will be held in the aula of the Vrije Universiteit to allow as many people as possible to participate in this event.

For more information and registration:

For this symposium the Vrije Universiteit and its Amsterdam Sustainability Institute work together with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, ABN AMRO, Cordaid, DSTS, Van Oord, City of Amsterdam, Amsterdam International Water Week, VUvereniging, Nuffic NESO, Blue Deal, NWB Fonds, Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations, VNO NCW and United Nations.

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