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UPDATE: Blue Planet Project featured in airline in-flight magazine

Passengers will be reading about the Blue Planet Project on flights this month.

Passengers will be reading about the Blue Planet Project on flights this month.

The February issue of Aspire Magazine – the in-flight magazine for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates – includes an article that highlights the work of the Blue Planet Project. The airline has more than 8 million passengers annually and flies to over 80 destinations worldwide, including Toronto.

The article titled ‘Drying Up’ notes:

“Many crops aren’t even being grown to feed local communities, but rather are being exported for sale. ‘You’re seeing rice being grown in parts of the world where they don’t have enough resources to feed the local people to export to northern markets0,’ explains Meera Karunananthan of the Canadian water organization Blue Planet Project. ‘There’s what we call a virtual export of water. Economies need to be built around the availability of water. In many cases they’re built either on ignorance of availability of water resources or short-sighted strategies.’”

“Governments sometimes contribute to (the water crisis), but large corporations often take basic water supplies from communities. ‘We’re seeing struggles where communities are trying to protect their access to their water supplies against big corporations,’ Karunananthan explains. ‘Often multinational corporations are depleting groundwater resources and polluting lakes and rivers that belong to communities. Water is moving from something that can be shared equally by all to something that needs to be purchased by those who can afford it. This is why we have been campaigning against the bottled water industry and we’ve been encouraging people to travel with their own reusable bottles of water.’”

“Karunananthan says the water crisis is primarily a political problem. ‘There’s an inability or failure of governments to deliver clean, safe drinking water and sanitation services to their populations,’ she says. ‘There is also the massive destruction of water resources through contamination and pollution that goes unchecked.’”

“This is why the Blue Planet has made it its mission to make governments enforce clean water access as a basic human right. In 2010, the organisation’s campaign was successful, with the UN passing a resolution establishing water as a human right, obligating countries to ensure their citizens have access to drinking water and proper sanitation. ‘There are a growing list of governments that are recognising water as a human right in their constitutions, or passing laws or policies,’ Karunananthan says. ‘Governments need to make it a priority in terms of their allocation of funds. Communities that don’t have access then have legal recourse.’”

To support the work of the Blue Planet Project, please visit http://www.blueplanetproject.net/index.php/home/about/support-our-work/.