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Managing Sea, Soil, and Energy Resources

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Managing Sea, Soil, and Energy Resources



Alternative World Water Forum

Claude Drouot ¤ 31 March 2005
Related themes: Natural resources ¤ Public goods ¤ Rights ¤ Sustainable society ¤ Transports and communications
Translations: français (original) . Español .

The second Alternative World Water Forum (Forum alternatif mondial de l’eau) (Fame) was held in Geneva from 17 to 20 March 2005, with new goals compared to the goals considered to be priorities in the first Forum in March 2003.

The global water policy implemented by the World Water Council, a spin-off of the World Bank, is based on three major principles. Firstly, water must be considered to be an economic good, a product like petroleum or corn. Secondly, access to water is a vital need, not a human right; meeting this need therefore falls within the sphere of responsibility of each individual who will consume a good accessible by means of market mechanisms. Finally, water must be considered to be a precious resource (blue gold); destined to become more and more scarce, it is an important strategic resource; "national" water security therefore becomes a central political issue.

On the other hand, the Fame held in Florence was based on very different things, and its guiding principles, defined in the Porto Alegre declaration of February 2002, have now become widely known. First, water must not be a product and must not be a source of profit. Second, it forms part of the capital of humanity and must therefore be placed under public protection. Third, it must be accessible to all, in sufficient quantity so as not to jeopardize the health of the users. Fourth, the public sector is mandated and designated by the law as the representative of the public interest. Fifth, citizens must be at the heart of the decision-making processes of the public water policies at the local, national, and international levels.






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