Alternative World Water Forum

Workshop on Rio+20 – Marseille March 16th – Summary of the discussions.

It is necessary to develop a unified / common strategy to strengthen the fight against the privatisation, commercialisation and financialisation of life.  That is the common point of our struggles. The “green economy” is a way to promote and  institutionalise these processes, therefore, we must mobilize ourselves against the “green economy” proposal.

To build this mobilisation it is essential to understand and expose what is behind the “green economy” and to disseminate this widely in society to show that the “green economy” is not an abstract idea but is, in fact, a real political project that is based in policies and actions of governments, transnational  corporations and finance capital.

We must be aware that finance capital and the financial industry (banks, insurance companies, investment funds) together with water and other multinationals and governments, are promoting a new and aggressive commercialisation of all aspects of water with the backing of financial and speculative capital, which negatively effects the functioning of public services and further jeopardises the realisation of the human right to water.

It is clear that the key actors behind this continuing commodification are the finance capital and transnational corporations, whose aim is to approppiate all aspects of life – nature, water, work and social relations. At the same time, governments and global governance spaces facilitate the agenda of finance capital and the TNCs to produce institutional scenarios to create new “products” from nature and natural process – now called “environmental services” – and to guarantee the functioning of the markets. The Rio+20 Summit is a key moment, which they are trying to use to advance the consolidation and legalization of that process.

We have moved forward on the alternatives and we believe that it is necessary to pursue the reappropriation and local and community management of nature and social relations. In consequence, we need to build a new vision of “public” that reflects the community building that is central to our proposals.

The water movement has shown that there is a confluence between the fights for environmental and social justice; therefore, we make a call to strengthen together these struggles and to mobilize ourselves against the “green economy” which seeks to further commodify  life and water.

Concretely, it is urgent to denounce the negotiations which will be held in Rio+20 and the role of finance capital and the TNCs in them. Therefore, we propose actions such as:

  • Participate in the Peoples’ Summit 15 – 23 June 2012, the alternative to the official conference.
  • Support the Global Day of Action called by Brazilian and international organizations for 20 June, with local actions showing the clear links between local struggles and the global struggle, for example by occupying extractive TNCS to denounce their ecological, social and economic crimes.
  • Participate in the mobilization actions around 5 June in preparation for the Summit.
  • Promote awareness raising and education on the real meaning of the “green economy” and publicise our struggles, which will continue beyond Rio.

Lyda Forero, Nicola Bullard, Maxime Combes & Tom Kurcharz have contributed to writing this summary.

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