Blog Post

For November’s 2013-2014 Another Drop Seminar Series lecture, the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) is pleased to announce its next free, public lecture: A panel event featuring Dr. Nancy Doubleday, Dr. Ross Pink, Mr. Paul General on the right to water, sanitation, hygiene, and health (WaSH)! Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, will also be debuting a special virtual keynote address on this topic!

Seminar Topic:  

The Right to WaSH; the Right to Health

In 2010, the United Nations declared Access to water and sanitation a human right. Despite this declaration and the efforts of many NGOs and governments around the world, 780 million people remain without access to improved sources of drinking water, with 653 million of them living in rural areas; 2.5 billion are still without improved sanitation and nearly 1.2 billion people still practice open defecation (UNICEF/WHO, 2012). Water and sanitation are strongly linked to hygiene and together they comprise WaSH (water supply, sanitation, and hygiene). WaSH problems are especially acute in low and middle income countries, which often lack the financial, human, and infrastructure resources. There is a critical need, both in Canada and globally, to address the problem of inadequate supplies of clean, safe water in rural, remote communities in order to improve health and wellbeing.


Seminar Details:

When?: Monday November 25th, 2013

Time?: Reception at 5:30pm (registration required), Lecture at 7:00pm

Where?: McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Road South, L8P 0A1

What Room?: Ground Floor Conference Centre (The Atrium)

Admission Cost?:  Absolutely free! Please register by sending an email to

Parking?: On-site parking is available free of charge after 5pm.

Do I need to be an environmental scientist to attend the Another Drop Seminars?: No, UNU-INWEH’s Another Drop Seminar Series was created as a means to help the general community understand key linkages/challenges on issues regarding water, environment, and health.

Where can I learn more about the Another Drop Seminar Series?:  Visit for more information.

To watch the seminar live as a webcast, go here.

For more details, view the flyer below!


Seminar Speakers:

About Catarina de Albuquerque (Virtual Keynote Address)

Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation (formerly Independent Expert). She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in September 2008, having started her mandate on 1 November that year. Between 2004 and 2008 she presided over the negotiations of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UN General Assembly approved by consensus on 10 December 2008. She was awarded the Human Rights Golden Medal by the Portuguese Parliament (10 December 2009) for outstanding work in the area of human rights. Her work in human rights was also honoured by the Portuguese President of the Republic (October 2009) with the Order of Merit, which is a recognition of an individual’s personal bravery, achievement, or service.

About Dr. Nancy Doubleday (Panelist)

Dr. Nancy Doubleday holds the Hope Chair in Peace and Health at McMaster University. As well as having expertise in ecological sciences, Nancy holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall, was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1982, and is a member of the Law Society of Canada. In her career as a lawyer she has contributed to development of international and domestic law embracing human rights, health and the environment. Currently she chairs the Cold Region Environments Commission of the International Geographical Union and has just completed a major International Polar Year research project addressing human experience of impacts of a changing tree line to better understand change and adaptive capacity in social-cultural-ecological systems. Professor Doubleday joined McMaster University in 2009.

About Dr. Ross Pink (Panelist)

Dr. Pink lectures in International Law at the University of Toronto and International Relations at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He has designed and taught courses on water rights and development. Dr. Pink’s article, “Child’s Rights, Right to Water and Sanitation and Human Security” was published in June 2012 by Harvard University Health and Human Rights Journal. Global Water Rights, a non-profit organization, was initiated by Dr. Ross Pink.

About Mr. Paul General (Panelist)

Paul General is the Wildlife Officer/Eco-Centre Manager at The Six Nations Wildlife Management Office and the Six Nations Land Use Unit at the Six Nations Eco-Centre. Since 1993, the Wildlife Management Office has been very effective in opening the lines of communications with various outside agencies both private and public. Appropriate provincial ministries and federal departments have all been contacted and the office also has an open and ongoing working relationship with several colleges and universities in the surrounding area and has formed partnerships with several others on long term projects.  These working relationships are useful for acquiring accurate and up-to-date information regarding projects, proposals, environmental issues, hunting and fishing rights both on and off Six Nations reserve.