The project Rios Livres from GEOTA establishes a partnership with the project How to squat a river
To the extent that it contributes with important scientific knowledge, as well as with a great experience, in the defence of our rivers.
It was during a short time found in a busy schedule that Ana and Pedro received us at the GEOTA’s headquarter. We thought about filming the interview on the street, but that December morning was too rainy for that. The interview began with a presentation of what Rios Livres is and its objectives: the project comes as a response and to question the Programa Nacional de Barragens (National Dams Program), onsidering it “one of the greatest threats to Portuguese rivers”. Thus, it is Rios Livres’ mission to halt the construction of the dams provided there, as well as to “prove that there are other less aggressive and cheaper ways to obtain energy, to the detriment of that produced by large dams.” Rios Livres also wants to raise public awareness of “the urgency of protecting and preserving Portuguese wild rivers, disseminating their characteristics and relating them to sustainable development models.”
The conversation with Ana and Pedro enabled us to inaugurate the discussion of the rivers as common goods, in a more deep and sustained way, within the How to squat a river. The two environmental activists argue that river management must fit not only with local authorities but also with populations. For a river is a common good, and as such, there must be an involvement of all people in its management.
The conversation gave rise to some important questions:
What happens when people are not involved in river management?
How to counter this gap and promote greater linkage between populations and rivers?
What procedures should be adopted by governments and municipalities in order to promote the rapprochement of people and rivers and thus reproduce common interests?
What management tools promote this approach?