A Year of Rivers, Water and Rights

How about Earth Day everyday?
How about Earth Day everyday?
Normally, my experience with the hoopla surrounding national and international days of commemoration–Black History Month (US), World AIDS Day, International Women's Day, etc.–is tempered by a good dose of caution (except for our own International Day of Action for Rivers of course).

Call it an early onset of cynicism perhaps, but I can't help feeling that a lot of these commemorative days and months get short-changed. Schools in the US do a day-long event on famous Black figures in US history for one day a year, and then go back to reading their ancient history textbooks "as written by the winners." Earth Day started as a global movement; now it looks more like a global commercial vehicle for "green" consumerism. (A more positive example may be the momentous movement building by 350.org around its international day of climate action.) In an ideal world, I suppose we'd be so multicultural and aware that we wouldn't need such days. We'd be conscious of these things everyday.

So in an effort to maintain this consciousness as it relates to what we at International Rivers care about most (and to save myself from my own cynicism), I'm sharing with you all the exciting events that have and are happening all year long. I'm declaring 2010 the year of rivers, water, and rights. (I believe 2010 is also the year of biodiversity–I'm willing to share.)

Here's a starter list of all the things that have or will happen this year, and how some groups are commemorating them:

Instead of feeling cynical or suffocated by the gloom-and-doom tone most environmental news takes these days, you might just hear something that inspires you this year.

Do you know of other events scheduled this year to raise awareness around issues of freshwater, rivers, and rights? If so, please comment below this blog.