Virtually #occupy the World Water Forum!


12 March 2012

Guest post by Meera Karunananthan, The Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians, Food and Water Watch and Focus on the Global South invite you to virtually Occupy the World Water Forum – a corporate trade show aimed at giving the world’s largest water multinationals privileged access to high-level policy making behind closed doors.

The World Water Forum, held every three years, is run by the World Water Council, a corporate think tank whose founding members include the World Bank, Suez and Veolia. With endorsements from several United Nations and government agencies, the World Water Forum fancies itself a multi-stakeholder platform for policy negotiations, yet its 18-month process and expensive entry fees make it inaccessible to grassroots organizations and frontline communities facing the impacts of the global water crisis, particularly those from the Global South. And “high-level” policy roundtables are open only by invitation. 

Organisers of the sixth forum, which will take place in Marseille from March 12-17, are promoting it as a platform for developing solutions to the global water crisis. The types of solutions being promoted, include massive hydroelectric dams, which have displaced millions of people around the world and led to large scale destruction of freshwater ecosystems; payment for ecosystem service models which have granted corporations greater access to land and water (read about Vittel in France - PDF) and integrated water resource management models aimed at eliminating political constraints and emphasizing corporate access to decision-making about water resources over participatory methods.

Many social justice and environmental groups will be in Marseille to denounce the World Water Forum and promote an alternative vision at the Forum Alternatif Mondial de l’Eau (FAME).

You can support our protests virtually from anywhere in the world by occupying the World Water Forum online.

Write on the World Water Forum’s Facebook wall and tweet messages using the #WWF6 hashtag. Here are some suggested messages you can send to counter the commodification of water:

  • Public water and sanitation is a human right #WWF6   
  • People in [your community/country] reject private water and sanitation #WWF6   
  • The WWF6 is a corporate trade show: we support a democratic public forum on the human right to water #WWF6 
  • The WWF6 is illegitimate #WWF6                    
  • No more corporate water forums: we need transparent, public participatory discussion on the global water crisis #WWF6 
  • Our water is not for sale #WWF6
  • Suez/Veolia out of [name a community] #WWF6
  • The World Water Council does not speak for me #WWF6  
  • Water is not a commodity #WWF6
  • Stop the corporatization of water #WWF6
  • Stop trampling on our food sovereignty #WWF6

Help us deliver a message to policymakers and corporations that our water is not for sale!

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