This relevant and eye-opening question was asked by GWP Senior Network Officer Alex Simalabwi at the Water and Climate Dialogue event at the COP 16 climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, last year. The question was so jarring that it became widely quoted by some participants and won its place on the back cover of the Call to Action from the Dialogues (see picture).
But what did Alex mean? He was referring to the way in which so many of us work in our separate sectors, oblivious to what other sectors are doing even though what they are doing will, somewhere along the line, affect what we are doing.
For those working in development, we are part of that community. The work of that community is threatened by climate change. And water is the medium through which climate change will be experienced. So it seems to us that we need to be one community, working for sustainable solutions that take a holistic approach to the world’s development challenges. We live in a shared world, with shared water. The only way forward is for collaboration based on stakeholder participation and dialogue. It is about managing the world’s resources in an integrated way!