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Friday, February 23, 2024

“To the last drop”. Debate after the premiere of Ewa Ewart’s film on the condition of rivers and water protection

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I hope that this film will make a large number of people aware of the scale of the problem we face – said Ewa Ewart, the director of the documentary “To the last drop” about the bad condition of rivers, in a debate on TVN24. An expert on the protection and restoration of rivers, Piotr Nieznański, pointed out that there is a difference between “use of rivers and waters” and “skillful use” of them. Attorney Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz talked about the trend of giving rivers legal personality. The artist and activist Ewa Ciepielewska admitted that she has “moments of simple despair over what is happening”.

To the last drop“, the latest documentary by Ewa Ewart, tells about one of the greatest threats to human civilization, which is the growing crisis of fresh water shortage. The film premiered on Sunday evening on TVN24 and TVN24 GO. this global crisis.


The director of the documentary, Ewa Ewart, talked about the backstage of the making of the film. She mentioned that she had come across a report on water. – An amazing report that a group of international scientists worked on for four years. This was the report I started reading in 2021, early on, and the conclusions of this report absolutely mesmerized me,” she said.

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“As I turned the pages, I just realized that I was holding an absolutely priceless document in my hand that led me to the ultimate idea that a film about water should be told through rivers, give them a voice and make the river a hero,” she explained.

“I hope this film will make a large … number of people aware of the scale of the problem we face,” said Ewart. She added that she would also like her documentary to inspire everyone. – I always think about my documents, that they are mirrors, mirrors that I set up for a person, that in this mirror we will see our own stupidity, the immensity of our own stupidity and we will just come to our senses – she said.

Ewa Ewart on how the idea for the documentary “To the last drop” came aboutTVN24

Nieznański: just over one percent of Polish rivers is in good ecological condition

Piotr Nieznański, co-initiator of the Save the Rivers Coalition and an expert on the protection and restoration of rivers, who appeared in the film Ewart, pointed out that “there is a huge difference between the exploitation and use of rivers and waters and the skilful use (of them – ed.)”.

He reported that “slightly more than one percent of Polish rivers are in good ecological condition”. – This means that 99 percent of Polish rivers already require measures to improve their ecological status. We made it happen,” he said.

In his opinion, “it is uplifting that the need, intuition, atavism to protect waters awakens in people, it is depressing that the system, administration, officials still do not keep up with these changes, that there are no changes introduced in a systemic way.”

Nieznański: just over one percent of Polish rivers is in good ecological condition

Nieznański: just over one percent of Polish rivers is in good ecological conditionTVN24

Rudzińska-Bluszcz: Whether the laws of the river will be implemented depends on three factors

The director of the ClientEarth Lawyers for the Earth foundation, Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, spoke about protecting rivers by granting them legal personality. She assessed that this “has already been a trend among lawyers for several years.” – Obtaining legal personality by a river constitutes its protection, it constitutes a certain declaration that the river should have rights. However, whether these rights will be implemented in practice depends on three factors – she reserved.

– The first such factor is an independent judiciary. (…) If we have Polish Waters or State Forests, it is known that if the courts are not independent, they will not be able to settle disputes in favor of even a river that has legal personality, if there is a state entity on the other side, explained the expert.

– The second necessary element is a certain mentality change in society – she continued. – The third element is institutions, administration. We can introduce the best law, but if the institutions do not implement it properly, then we are in the forest – added Rudzińska-Bluszcz.

Ciepielewska: We will not move anywhere outside of this planet, our beloved

Ewa Ciepielewska, an artist and activist working in the “Sisters of the River” collective, a member of the Save Rivers Coalition and the creator of the “Flow / Flow” project, spoke about her feelings about how rivers are treated. “There are moments of sheer despair over what is happening and just plain ignorance of things that seem unacceptable to a reasonable person,” she said.

She mentioned that instead of “letting the river spill”, for example, the Vistula, money is spent on activities that lead to its deterioration.

– We will not move anywhere except this planet, our beloved. The human condition, our condition, is related to the here and now. So basically we have no choice, we should all take care of it – she added.

Main photo source: TVN24

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