FROM CONFLICT TO SUSTAINABILITY – CASES THAT HAVE TRANSFORMED ENVIRONMENTAL WATER-RELATED PROBLEMS IN THE BEST EXAMPLES IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT (SPECIAL SESSION)
FROM CONFLICT TO SUSTAINABILITY
CASES THAT HAVE TRANSFORMED ENVIRONMENTAL WATER-RELATED PROBLEMS IN THE BEST EXAMPLES IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT (SPECIAL SESSION)
In general, social, environmental and political challenges were pointed out when disasters or serious water-related environmental problems occurred. Facing these problems, one can go for known solutions, with infrastructure works without social dialogue or really consider the opportunity of social dialogue to constitute a differentiated and sustainable model that rebuilds social and political ties and promotes the vitalization of that territory (social, cultural, environmental, political and economic). To this end, actions should be promoted: community engagement; deep social participation considering that certain disasters imply the reconstruction of towns and cities; intergenerationality in the process; bottom-up approach planning, which takes into account the long-term sustainability of the proposed models; the sustainable development goals to be achieved and the character of the municipal, state, national and international boundaries. Therefore, it is not only about looking at the environment, but also about taking actions that improve the lives of communities and people.
It is not possible to dissociate humans from the environment, and listening to the voice of affected communities is a necessary path to environmental management that overcomes disasters and serious problems related to water and the environment. Those who experience the problem and are linked to that territory are the ones who are better able to give their opinion on the necessary actions to be taken for a sustainability process. The challenge is to provide the tools and generate knowledge and awareness of the problem to set the stage for sustainable social growth in all its aspects. One of the examples pointed out in Japan was the existence of an earthquake-ravaged village whose majority of the population was elderly and did not want to leave that place. After the earthquake the village had its average population age increased because young people left the village. There was great resistance from the remaining population to engage in the reconstruction of the village. Among the many actions taken, student volunteers visited these people, listened to their stories, and this changed the residents’ view of themselves and their potential, giving them a more positive outlook for reconstruction. This made the population revitalize and restore the village’s self-esteem and activities. Another example of re-establishment was with the construction of the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam. Itaipu Binacional has invested in environmental education with social mobilization and an agenda of economic development and empowerment of communities and local workers, enabling the settlement of the rural population in its territory, avoiding exodus and maintaining the quality of life in the countryside. Another example was the Jimotogaku Community Learning methodology, conducted in Minamata, Japan, with mercury contamination in seawater, infecting plants and fish and the people who ate the fish. The population became extremely ill and isolated in Japan. The whole process of community and environmental revitalization at the local was presented, recognizing and training masters in sustainable production processes, promoting local organization and revitalization of rural communities, promoting healthy eating and technological processes (together with the communities) to overcome the problem.
As conclusions, some future trends were observed, such as the growth of a notion of sustainable rural life; the predominance of holistically focused approaches to human development; concept of development focused on the capacities of individuals; participatory water management; and a set of procedures and tools to form a fruitful space for dialogue with communities.
RICARDO BURG MLYNARZ – BRAZIL
AMONRA ARUANDA SILVA BARBOSA – BRAZIL
LÍLIA DINIZ – BRAZIL
SILVANA VITORASSI – BRAZIL
TAKAYOSHI KUSAGO – JAPAN
TETSURO YOSHIMOTO – JAPAN