Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan is in South Korea this week to protest against the World Water Forum.
The Korea Herald reports, “The water forum, organized by the World Water Council, is under way in Daegu and Gyeongju, 302 and 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul, respectively. …[It] brings together about 1,800 political leaders, businesspeople and activists from around the world under the theme of ‘Water for Our Future’, according to the organizers. The triennial event, held since 1997, provides a platform of discourse for world leaders, experts, business officials and activist group members in going over political and technological aspects of global concerns related to water shortage issues.”
But Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow explains, “The World Water Forum is convened by big business lobby organizations like the Global Water Partnership, the World Bank, and the leading for-profit water corporations on the planet. The discussions focus on how companies can benefit from selling water to markets around the world. While governments are present, they are not in charge.”
While in South Korea, Karunananthan will also be attending the Alternative Water Forum.
While there, Karunananthan will be warning against Veolia. She recently wrote, “As the world’s biggest water profiteer, the French multinational Veolia Environment has had to reinvent its corporate image several times over the decades because of corruption scandals, human rights violations and bad labour practices. …The company is currently acting as a consultant in Dae-gu and Gyeongbak, South Korea where the 2015 World Water Forum is being held. …The World Water Forum will serve as a launch pad for Veolia in the region.”
The Blue Planet Project also joins with the European Water movement which has stated, “We want to express our solidarity and support to the fellow activists and trade unions in Korea who give voice to social movements, citizens, grassroots and labour organisations who want water to be recognised as a common good and access to water as a human right, who know that water supply must publicly owned and management of the integrated water cycle should be public, democratic and participatory at a community level, and fight against commodification and privatisation of such a fundamental resources for the life of people and the planet.”
The Blue Planet Project has been intervening against the World Water Forum for the past fifteen years. This has included The Hague in 2000, Kyoto in 2003, Mexico City in 2006, Istanbul in 2009, Marseille in 2012 and now in Daegu and Gyeongju.
For more on the Blue Planet Project, please click here.
Photo by Meera Karunananthan.