Alternative World Water Forum

On 15th and 16th March there will be workshops on the “Water and Agriculture” topic.

Water, agriculture and food security should be more prioritized by the water sector, the food sector and the political decidors. The stake is to combat hunger, undernourishment, water grabbing, inequitable sharing and counter-productive solutions. How do we want to nourish increasing population, richest diets, loss of land, mortiferous dominant agricultural models, negative social and environmental impacts ?

These questions will be dealed by Northern and Southern organizations: farmers’s associations, NGO’s, trade union organisations, political parties and searchers from 14 countries. They will explain the struggles and solutions which must be traduced in advocacy and concrete actions.

  • Thursday 15 March from 10am to 12.30pm, Docks des Suds B

The right to water and food security, Internationalisation of local water battles: Empowerment of local actors

Agribusinesses are expanding and taking over control over water resources, buying the right to exploit land and water resources. This leads and will lead to water battles between people that see their rights to water reduced and the agribusinesses that accumulate water.

We will promote and show real solutions towards resilient agriculture, food, energy and water systems from a water justice perspective. This should raise awareness that equitable and ecologically sustainable water governance system is a cornerstone for realizing not only right to water but also climate justice and the right to food.

This will include empowerment of local stakeholders and promotion of public investment in water-wise and climate-friendly agro-ecological practices as one of the key strategies for realizing right to water and food security at individual/ household levels. The mainstream, conventional water and climate solutions being promoted in the world water forum (WWF) include tech-fix solutions/ instrumentalist economic solutions that will help continue and consolidate the corporatized food, energy and water systems and increase already existing inequalities. These false solutions mean that the right to water will be in the hands of the few and powerful agribusinesses, while the (mostly poor) people in rural areas will be further deprived from right to water.

  • Thursday 15 March from 1pm to 3.30pm, Dock des Suds B

Agriculture policy, water use and the sharing of water: Productivity-oriented agriculture and the water crisis: The PAC policy and the free market policy with emerging countries

While climate change is now significantly altering the water cycle, European agriculture policies remain the same – they are still based on yield. Furthermore it is crucial to examine how water is transported (concept of virtual water), seeing that industrialised countries import water from developing countries and Africa. Many products require large quantities of water, and the imports of these products endanger the ecological balance of these countries. The industrial culture of agrofuel is a telling example. We must work on universalist and ecological protectionism, and be inspired by The Havana Charter that was approved in 1948. This charter was supposed to be the foundation for the ITO, the International Trade Organisation. It is based on based on cooperation among governments, not on competition, the latter being the main principle of the free market-oriented WTO.

  • Friday 16 March from 10am to 12.30pm, Docks des Suds B

The right to water and food security, struggles and pleas

Water is a common good which is grabbed by other users politically more powerful. How do small farmers face this problem and resist? Who advocate for them? Who help them? What can we do? Political message. Adopt a rights-based approach in national and regional water, agriculture, climate policies, that support agro-ecological practices. Safeguard women’s human rights and recognize women’s involvement in farming. Ensure the voices of smallholders and indigenous groups are central to policy reform. Implications for the food and water security of vulnerable groups must be part of any global, regional and national solutions for food and water security.

  • Friday 16 March from 1pm to 3.30pm, Dock des Suds C

Local and democratic management of water and food sovereignty

Water is a common good which is equitably shared by the rules the local users give to themselves. How do small farmers do when they face other users more politically powerful? Several testimonies prove that, yes, they can.

Political message. Smallholders must organize themselves and negotiate with other users to share water equitably. River basin authority and political deciders must recognize the smallholders right to manage water locally and make them participate.

  •  Friday 16 March from 3.30pm to 6pm, Dock des Suds E

Agriculture policy, water use and the sharing of water: Conditions for use, water conservation, regional specialisations

If water is essential to agricultural production, in many parts of Europe, the high level of consumption by the agricultural sector places the water issue at the heart of usage conflicts. However, all farmers do not use or have access to irrigation. In this context, the issue of how to allocate the resource between all different uses and what is the hierarchy of priorities is raised.

Agricultural policies have often led to the specialization of farms and of regions. The technological solutions proposed are often dead ends. A reconsideration of the production system is required to move towards more sustainable and more agro-ecological models that place agronomy as a central concern. 

How do we use water? Why? What water management? What type of agriculture we want?

The complete presentation of the workshops “Water and Agriculture”

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