Monday, August 26, 2002

New York Times about water.

Terje Tvedt, interviewed in the journal of the University of Bergen, Magasinet:
Water is a central factor in the complex political interactions of the Middle East, between India and Bangladesh, in Pakistan as well as in the American West - in fact in most areas of the world. Water plays important roles in both conflicts and cooperation, while dominant perceptions have moved from one extreme to another. At the beginning of the 90s some international organisations declared that future conflicts would centre on water. Nowadays, it is more politically fashionable to claim that water is first and foremost a source of cooperation. We hope that this conference, taking a long-term view of the role of water in history will encourage research and debate in order to demonstrate that such one-sided perceptions are not based on historical experience, and that what is required is more balanced knowledge and understanding.

Terje Tvedt is the author and program director of the documentary television series A journey in the history of water. The conference mentioned in the article was in Bergen 2001. The next conference of the IWHA - International Water History Association - is in Egypt 2003. As water becomes a rare and scarce commodity the historical importance of water becomes increasingly relevant on a global scale, and Terje's research interests almost take on a visionary aspect.

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