Water is more than a precious commodity that requires careful management to maintain its quality, quantity and accessibility. We are all charged with its preservation and protection for the benefit and survival of ourselves and all living beings we share this planet with. The world’s freshwater resources are increasingly the subject of conflict between parties with vested interests and those advocating for biodiversity and protection of shrinking habitats.
Water is the core to life and has deep-time cultural and spiritual values. In 2017, Te Awa Tupua, the Whanganui River catchment, was recognised in New Zealand law as a living being possessing all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.
E rere kau mai te Awa nui, Mai i te Kāhui Maunga ki Tangaroa, Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au. (The Great River flows, From the Mountains to the Sea, I am the River and the River is me.)
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui
In the same year the Uttarakhand High Court in India ruled that the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, sacred in the Hindu religion, have the same legal rights as a person.
Junctures invited submissions from authors on the impacts of land use and resource consumption on water quality, and on various forms of stewardship and kaitiakitanga for our waters, both fresh and marine, now and in the future, whether from the hard sciences, humanities, visual, social sciences, law, education or medicine. Junctures encourages discussion across boundaries, whether these are disciplinary, geographic, cultural, social or economic. This allows us to highlight the resonances and disturbances of dialogue. With New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region as a backdrop, but not its only stage, Junctures seeks to address the matters which concern us all as we negotiate the contemporary environment. We accept commentaries and interventions that sit outside academia.