I was very pleased to award the World Council of Churches (WCC) a 'blue community' certificate on October 25. Protecting water and assuring just distribution of this life-giving resource is among the most critical of eco-justice issues.
Civil society groups worldwide that support Salvadoran communities and organizations working on mining and environmental issues reacted to today’s decision by the ICSID.
We KNOW that mining abuses the environment and miners and residents’ rights to water, health and a healthy environment. But maybe policy makers will hear this when it comes from Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic. Its newly released report is entitled “The Cost of Gold: Environmental, Health, and Human Rights Consequences of Gold Mining in South Africa’s West and Central Rand”. Or at least it gives us something to organise around to hold the mines and the government accountable.
The Council of Canadians has joined with MiningWatch Canada, Rights Action and numerous other organizations in sending a letter to the Canadian government following the murders of land defenders Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, ongoing threats against the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and the precarious situation of Mexican activist Gustavo Castro, who witnessed Berta's murder.
Flint's drinking water supply became contaminated with lead after the city switched its water supply in 2014 to save money. It had been accessing its drinking water through the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, but Flint's emergency manager, appointed by the state, ordered the city to draw its water from the long-polluted and corrosive Flint River to save about $5 million.
The Council of Canadians and Blue Planet Project have worked with Greek allies to oppose this mine since meeting with them outside the World Water Forum in Marseille, France in March 2012.
On Oct. 26, 2015, the Council of Canadians visited Detroit to learn more about environmental and water justice issues there. On that tour, local activists told us about the Marathon refinery in Detroit.
The challenge is stark. Peri-urban slums ring most of the developing world’s megacities where climate and food refugees are arriving in relentless numbers. Unable to access their traditional sources of water because they have been poisoned, overexploited or priced beyond reach, many must pay exorbitant prices to local water dealers or rely on drinking water contaminated with their own waste.
Right2Water Ireland commented after the meeting, "Today we had the privilege of hosting a meeting with Maude Barlow, one of the most prolific and passionate water campaigners in the world. Maude gets it. She knows what the real agenda is. Privatisation!..."
The Guardian reports, "To cheers, applause and probably a tinge of relief, the 17 global goals that will provide the blueprint for the world’s development over the next 15 years were ratified by UN member states in New York on Friday. ...The ambitious agenda – which aims to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality for all people in all countries – was signed off by 193 countries at the start of a three-day UN summit on sustainable development."