Call for support: Big Jump Challenge – European water solidarity youth campaign

The Big Jump Challenge is the youth campaign of the European River Swimming Day. Inspired by the capabilities approach, it seeks to empower youth and young adults in promoting water conservation in Europe through creativity and celebration, culminating in a Big Jump for water in summer 2015, the goal year of the European Water Framework Directive. The campaign is now looking for partners from all European countries.

Partner teams composed of members from different EU countries take up the international challenge of promoting solidarity for water conservation with their European neighbors. To this end youth groups, schools and student groups are invited to join the campaign in summer and fall 2014. A river camp and an online social innovation toolkit will strengthen local preparation and international ties so that in summer 2015 political demands can be expressed together, and experiences shared at a European water parliament in Brussels.

In 2000 the EU put water conservation on a sound basis: The goal of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is to have all surface waters in good ecological and chemical condition by 2015. The benchmark is not only based on the water quality but also water body structure. Water bodies that have not been changed nor polluted serve as a model - the final objective being: living and free-flowing rivers.

At least, that’s the theory. In practice however, progress has been slow. Although many rivers are no longer as heavily polluted as before and some floodplains have been rehabilitated, there remain many unresolved issues. It’s clear that by 2015, no EU country will have achieved the objectives of the WFD (and some have hardly started …). That’s why it’s all the more important to finally tackle all the steps that have been postponed – and to do so in the way that is inclusive, also of the younger generations. The Big Jump Challenge will create the necessary "water power" required to tackle the issue, and make a big splash for water conservation in Europe.

If you would like to get involved or hear more about this campaign during the HDCA 2014 conference, please contact Rafael Ziegler (rziegler AT uni-greifswald.de).

Further information:

The Big Jump Challenge Homepage: bigjumpchallenge.net

The Big Jump, water solidarity and social innovation: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/socialinnovationeurope/node/4686.

Big Jump Challenge Flyer: http://www.rivernet.org/bigjump/pdf/bj_challenge/BigJump_Flyer_EN.pdf

Big Jump River Reconciliation Film: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYTAgi4M0DJx4aLiAhh2ryA [activate English subtitles]

Big Jump Challenge Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigJumpChallenge