Alternative World Water Forum

On 15th and 16th March there will be workshops on the “Resistance against neoliberal reforms” topic.

  • Thursday 15 March from 13h to 15h30, Dock des Suds C

Neoliberal policies of the international financial institutions

The World Bank Group continues to play a key role in promoting commercially-driven management of water resources and threatening peoples’ control of water – thereby serving as a crucial ally for water bottlers and transnational water corporations. In recent years, the World Bank has introduced new management models and diverse tools for promoting neoliberal policy reform, pushing a radical agenda to transform the water sector. This renewed World Bank strategy includes an effort to implement neoliberal reforms and principles within public sector management through corporatization and commercialization of water services. This change presents new challenges for the water movement and people across the globe. The presentation will expose key components of the World Banks’ changing policies and activities, and examine their impact on people – and the very way we relate to and govern water – from Asia to Europe, Africa to the Americas.

  • Thursday 15 March from 15h30 to 18h00, Dock des Suds C

Water policies and undue influence of the transnational corporations

Transnational corporations have a tremendous influence on water policy and governance across the globe, but often in ways that are veiled, secretive, or not fully understood. This panel aims to expose the variety and breadth of tactics the industry is using to shift water governance and increase their control of water, as well as the negative impacts of those activities. The panel will draw parallels between corporate strategies and the activities of illegal actors that are also seeking to gain power through control over water. This workshop features speakers from unions, social movements, and research networks who share their knowledge of corporate interference and solutions for how to curb such corporate abuses from their own experiences.

  • Friday 16 March from 10h to 12h00, Cabaret Rouge 3

Monopolization of (bottled) water

Bottled water business is one of the fastest development markets in the world. This existence is the most tangible and visible representation of water commoditization. Bottled Water Company consumes as much as water resources to fill the billions of bottles and sells it for tremendous profit, destroys the vulnerable water and natural system and serious affect the riparian rights of using the water. Besides, bottled water company promotes the image of ‘safe’ and ‘healthier’, however, they refuses to disclose the safety information in reality.

Is bottled water an ethical product?  What are the disasters it will possibly bring to us?  How do the local water justice movement fight for their water right? What elses can we to protect the water right in the era of liberalism globalization? Let’s find out in this session!

  • Friday 16 March from 12h30 to 15h30, Cabaret Rouge 3

Local struggles against privatization and public-private partnerships

As the failure of privatization to solve the world’s water crisis  becomes increasingly evident, the World Bank has become more tepid in its endorsement. With the WB’s rhetoric shifting to public-private partnerships (PPPs), we ask, is the partnership in PPPs a “meeting of equals,” or is there an imbalance that allows the other party to manipulate the relationship?

The results of PPPs and privatization in the water sector that will be presented in the workshop, particularly in Chile, Indonesia, Spain and the Philippines are quite telling. They illustrate how disadvantaged governments are, and how, fundamentally, such schemes tip the scale in favour of the private sector.

Constantly, we are being faced by institutions and structures that impose a profit-driven development model on essential resources. A global resistance strategy that will assert the people’s power to choose what system of water sourcing, use, conservation and treatment they will employ in their localities proves to be all the more necessary.

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