Wherever we live in the world there are things that we all commonly depend upon. These in turn are dependent upon environmental conditions on the other side of the world.

It is high time that humanity regains and works with the natural common sense and understanding of this common connectivity. We need to recognise that nature is an interconnected web of interrelated systems in the same way that the human body is and that we are an interlinked part of it and not independent from it.

No aspects of nature show this more clearly than the atmosphere and the hydrological cycle, which supply the same fundamental air and water to all beings around the world. The same common water that supplied the needs of all our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago provides for our needs today. It is not so long ago that the water in a river in the county where we live, was in a river, lake or even aquifer thousands of miles away.

We all depend upon a common water cycle and this cycle depends upon common ecosystems around the world to function. Amongst these, mountain ecosystems worldwide play a pivotal and essential role. Mountains are located on all continents and in most countries around the world.

Mountain regions are essential parts of a common interconnected global system.

If we were to consider them as the roof of a very large building with many floors and rooms, we could more easily understand their interrelated common relationship. We could more easily perceive the relationship between the different countries in the world, like the various rooms and the mountains regions like the one, all protecting, all maintaining common roof. We could more easily understand the need to take responsibility and collectively care for the whole rather than just the parts, which seem to most directly, affect us.

As water unites all the parts of our body in one living system, it also unites all environments in one living system. Water makes up approximately 60% of our bodies and we can’t go for more than a few days without it. The global water cycle likewise unites all the regions of nature in a common relationship. Water is a common and absolute necessity.

“Since all people and nature are part of an integrated whole, the well being of all people and nature are essential to us all.” (Growing the Commons, 2013)

With so many varied water and climate related crisis, we are all facing common problems.

We can no longer afford to put all our focus on maintaining local sources of water without recognising that these are dependent upon global environmental conditions. For successful outcomes, we need to also put a percentage of our focus and energy into maintaining these. Therefore we need to take common responsibility and work together on common solutions.

It is becoming more and more evident that good international collaboration needs to take place in order to resolve these problems. This is why we need to cooperate with and support communities around the world to maintain our common interests. We also need to give support for the protection and restoration of biodiversity in the mountainous regions of the world.

The water cycle is the common uniting factor between all life forms on Earth and is central to life itself. This is most certainly the central commons around which all else spins and is akin to the nucleus at the centre of the atom. All of our well being is intertwined and dependent upon others. We all share a common wish to survive and be happy. We all have more in common than otherwise. We all share a common Earth. We all share a common responsibility towards our ancestors and our descendents.

How can something that is as vital as water is in sustaining virtually all life on Earth and which is in a constantly changing and regenerating state be anything but a global commons?

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