Rukhsar: “I see great potential in more interdisciplinary collaboration”

Rukhsar Asif

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Rukhsar Asif is working as Climate and Water Adaptation Officer with the Danish Ministry of Environment. She participated in the EJWP Bootcamp last January in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in parallel with the EU Refreshing H2O Policy Workshop. “I saw an opportunity to connect with other passionate young people on a similar journey like me.”

What made you interested in the EJWP Bootcamp in Rotterdam?

I like to explore different people’s approaches and journeys to impact our globe sustainably, especially with a focus on sustainable use of the world’s natural resources like water. Through the EJWP Bootcamp, I saw an opportunity to connect with other passionate young people on a similar journey like me. Furthermore, we could support each other’s learning and impact by connecting and having a bird’s eye view before, during and after the ‘Refreshing H2O Policy workshop’.

What is your current work position?

I am working as a Climate and Water adaptation officer (Head of Section) in The Danish Ministry of Environment. In my daily work, I am able to develop my passion for sustainable solutions and implementation of environmental policies. I work with nature restoration, and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive with a focus on sustainable handling and extraction of the Danish groundwater.

What value would you expect to bring to your organization, career and/or community from external training-networking events like with EJWP?

Through an international background working with sustainable solutions around the globe, I can now focus more on the European level challenges and opportunities for the water sector. This has been of value in my current work, where we i.e. contribute to the European work on the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and take part in existing WFD collaborations. I also have a greater European network of professionals working in the water sector, that I can draw on in different situations to optimize and share good practices with about my work.

What is a topic that you see as important now and in the future? What can we do about it?

I see great potential in more interdisciplinary collaboration and holistic work around water and environmental topics. It has been claimed academically that sustainability revolves around a holistic approach integrating social, economic and environmental considerations simultaneously. Therefore, in order to apply a fully sustainable and holistic approach, we as water ambassadors and environmental actors, have work in front of us requiring new thinking, more diverse and interdisciplinary environments, and brave frameworks to truly grasp the essence of a sustainable trinity. We already started some brave discussions during the workshop, and as we talked about during the EJWP the change starts from ourselves and brining those insights into play in our daily work where possible and when possible. 

What and where did you study?

I have a master’s degree in International Business & Politics with a specialization in sustainable solutions from Copenhagen Business School. I did one year of fieldwork in South-East Asia and Europe, inspired by ethnographic tools obtained during by degree in Market and Management Anthropology, through which I could gather in-depth data from the rulers to the ruled on a global scale. Thus, I was able to develop a holistic approach called Top-down Bottom-up to capture global sustainability challenges and find holistic solutions. I see myself continuously developing within the field of environmental governance alongside managing sustainable projects. 

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