Water ethics and water solidarity - Big Jump Challenge - Toolbox

Water Ethics

A youth campaign for water protection is a good thing, of course! But what do we really want to protect - the animals and plants? The river? Or ourselves?

New Module Wild Rivers and Ethics!


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Do we need to justify the protection of freshwater?

Ethics attempts to determine human behaviour, to question it and justify the reasons for it. It's about the reasons, why something should be done. Environmental ethics tries to do this with regards to environmental protection, and water ethics, with regards to protection of freshwater and water in general. But is that all? Environmental ethicists don't believe so, because then we would intuitively do everything right in the first place.

What role do values play in freshwater protection?

It is therefore important first of all, to recognise that human behaviour and in our case the question of how we deal with water, are determined by values. Because of these values, we can judge high water consumption as a wasteful use of water for example, and thus poor management of water, and ultimately poor behaviour with regards to water. Conversely, our value systems help us to acknowledge what is good and right action when dealing with water. We cannot always trust our intuition in distinguishing right from wrong. When a flowing river has less and less water in the wake of climate change, it's hard to decide who can continue to take water to irrigate their fields and who can't. Even more difficult to assess is whether it's right or wrong to have a hydropower plant, when it produces on the one hand, "clean energy", but on the other hand, a large part of the landscape is submerged under a reservoir and there is destructive impact on many living things.

What does a discussion of values bring?

An examination of values helps to articulate different values in case of conflict. This not only simplifies the choice between, good, bad, and reasonable courses of action. Often the position of the other party is understandable, when one knows which values are based on this viewpoint. Sometimes it is then possible to even agree on common values and find a solution that is acceptable to all.

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1. Wild rivers & Ethics

Why are wild rivers important? What are important arguments for wild river protection? Which arguments do you agree with, which arguments do you object to? This module invites you/your group to reflect on these questions.

Download the module here.

2. Discussion Session Water Conservation and Water Solidarity

What are your reasons to care for water conservation and water solidarity?

This tool gives you a chance to understand and bond with the rivers and lakes of your community. Discover your relationship with water and how the impact of human activities on water affects your own life along with the life of many other beings. This module will help you to clarify what you and your friends care about, and thereby what can be your specific contribution to water conservation and the Big Jump Challenge.

Please download the instructions for the discussion tool here: Pdf Link zum Tool/Modul

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Send your notes of what you care about as well as your open questions to the Big Jump Challenge co-ordinator. You can also send this as a drawing, for example a map of your river basin where you have identified the points that you particularly care about.


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