Water and sustainable development: a unique and everlasting concept
Water as an essential element for living is the theme for Expo Zaragoza 2008; and man's development starting from the ethical commitment for sustainability is its objective and purpose. The theme takes on a challenge of intelligence: innovation for sustainability. New languages were experimented with for the communication of its messages, producing severity in information, clarity in expression and emotional force as support and protest.
The great water challenge
The technological advances of the 20th century created the illusion of being able to guarantee well-being on Earth by dominating the forces of Nature, but along with great achievements there have been serious ecological and social instabilities, among them the water crisis resulting from the increase in population and consumption and the unbalance between the supply and demand of this resource in many parts of the world. At the start of the 21st century, Humanity faces difficult environmental problems, one of which was the water crisis. A challenge that reaches a planetary scale and is characterized by the dizzying rate of changes and complexity of the interaction between natural and cultural systems.
Innovation for sustainability
Expo Zaragoza 2008 will present the value of technical-scientific innovation, new improvements and renewed management and social collaboration formulas leading towards the sustainability of water resources. Therefore, at Expo Zaragoza 2008, participants will present innovations in knowledge and technology, as well as ideas and experiments which enhance quality in the management, transparency and responsible commitment of society and the increase in autonomy in the making of decisions. The innovation for sustainability isn't always synonymous with new; it also means rethinking the present and recuperating uses, practices and exemplary traditional techniques.
Water for life: the new biocentric paradigm
Water is the foundation of life and decisive factor in the distribution and mobility of species and, among them, the human species which has intelligence and, consequentially, the capability and responsibility of managing the natural resource with sustainability. The conservation of the vital systems is absolutely necessary for the survival and development of the human species. Men and women suffer the consequences of the poor management of the environment. The participants of Expo Zaragoza 2008 will be able to show their contributions in order to overcome the environmental crises (climate change, deforestation, degradation of water systems...) as well as the landscapes built by civilizations for the better advantage of natural resources, among which water is the genuine protagonist.
Water - unique resource: a challenge for governance
Water plays a fundamental role in the satisfaction of vital human needs, health, reliability in food production, well-being and sustainable development opportunities. The world water crisis is frequently present in different forums exclusively as a problem of scarcity, as a lack in the supply of the resource. However, it is also a crisis tied to the governance which demands the development of plans, strategies and actions for a sustainable management of water which is more intelligent, efficient, fair and solid in its four dimensions: social, economic, political and environmental.
Water as a human right
"Water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realisation of other human rights" (United Nations, 2002). Expo Zaragoza 2008, through its participants, also recognizes the access to water as a universal Human Right, presenting the objectives of the United Nations and the initiatives and experiences towards the entire world population counting on enough water which is safe, of acceptable quality, physically accessible and economical for personal and domestic use. There will be a special sensitivity with themes of fairness and equality among genders and generations.
Water - shared resource: the hydrographic region as a management unit
The political-administrative barriers do not always coincide with the limits of the hydrographic areas. Expo Zaragoza 2008 wants to underline the convenience of considering the hydrographic area as a management unit, highlighting the agreements, experiences and good international practices in the planning and sustainable management of the complete water cycle in the shared hydrographic areas of different parts of the world.
Water - shared resource: the shared responsibility of involved parties
The challenges posed by the water crisis on a local, regional and world scale can only be resolved with the integrated participation of all those involved, assuming shared responsibilities. In Expo Zaragoza 2008 the participants will present experiences in the shared management of international areas with the participation of governments, managers and users; experiences of mediation and resolution of conflicts in the use of water resources from the same area; innovations in the integrated management of water and responsible participation of different players: politicians as well as public and private users and managers.
Water - source of creativity and cooperation
In the present, as well as throughout history, conflicts regarding water are a source of cooperation and creativity in the entire world. The water crisis in the past has awoken the talent and creativity of the societies which have left us a rich cultural patrimony. Water, in addition to being the source of conflicts, is a catalyst for peace. The participants of Expo Zaragoza 2008 will be able to establish the conflicts and challenges, project future scenarios and diffuse international agreements and model experiences of international cooperation.
Common ground: interchange, communication and party
Expo Zaragoza 2008 is above all a common ground for diverse cultures and different people, favouring the exchange of ideas and experiences of all types with a positive vision in order to take on the challenges brought upon by the water crisis. But above all, it is a meeting with the visiting public and all those who will receive the messages of Expo Zaragoza 2008 through the communication media. Expo Zaragoza 2008 wants to spread the principles for building the new relationship of humans with the sole and essential resource for life and development: water. Expo Zaragoza 2008 will celebrate the advances and innovations for sustainability with a grand party in which an enjoyment of the senses, intellectual satisfaction, a welcoming environment and joy turn the meeting into an unforgettable experience for the visitor and a legacy filled with hope for humanity.