Asit Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada attend a seminar at the Vatican

Asit K Biswas, the Distinguished Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and Cecilia Tortajada, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore attended an international seminar on “the human right to water,” held at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences on February 23 – 24, 2017.

The Pontifical Academy of the Vatican brought together some of the world’s leading water experts from different religions, theologians and development specialists to discuss water as a human right. Pope Francis himself participated in this discussion.

In 2015, the Pontiff issued a landmark encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. This substantive document is addressed to “every person living on this planet with the expectation of entering into dialogue about our common home.”

In this historic document, the Pontiff asserts “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.” He also noted freshwater is “indispensable” for “supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.” Further, “Caring for ecosystems demands farsightedness, since no one looking for quick and easy profit is truly interested in their preservation. But the cost of the damage by such selfish lack of concern is much greater than economic benefits to be obtained…”

Please read more about Prof Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada’s views here and register to attend a research seminar on the subject by Prof Biswas here