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The Challenge of Environmental Governance
Following the release of Riccardo Petrella’s "Water Manifesto," a series of meetings were organized in Lisbon around the issue of access to water in the world. These meetings led to the writing of a manifesto for a world contract on water. Since then, the text has become a reference for all movements acting or wishing to act to promote access to water.
We come from Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe. We gathered together in l998 with no other legitimacy or representativeness than that of being citizens concerned by the fact that 1.4 billion of the planet’s 5.8 billion inhabitants do not have access to drinking water, the fundamental source of life. This fact is intolerable.
Now, the risk is great that in the year 2020 when the world population reaches around 8 billion human beings, the number of people without access to drinking water will increase to more than 3 billion.
Here are the principles that we support: Water, "the source of life," belongs to all the inhabitants of the Earth in common. The right to water is an inalienable individual and collective right. Water has to contribute to the strengthening of solidarity among people, communities, countries, genders, and generations. Water is the business of citizens. Water policy implies a high degree of democracy at the local, national, continental, and world level. Access to water necessarily takes place through partnership. It is time to go beyond the logic of "warlords" and economic conflicts for the domination and conquest of markets. We believe that the financial responsibility for water must be at once collective and individual according to the principles of responsibility and utility.
These are the proposals needed for the rules to become a living reality in the course of the next 20 to 25 years: creation of a Network of Parliaments for Water; promotion of information campaigns, awareness-raising and mobilization around "Water for All"; the establishment of a World Observatory for Water Rights.