Blue Planet Projects opposes Veolia in South Korea

Brent Patterson
5 years ago

Meera Karunananthan in Korea

The Blue Planet Project is working in solidarity with the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) at the World Water Forum in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, South Korea to challenge the transnational water corporation Veolia.

Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan has commented, "The French transnational water corporation Veolia Environment – a company with a dismal human rights and environmental record – is among the corporations playing a prominent role at the forum. According to KGEU, Veolia has taken advantage of the event to forge ties with the Korean and local governments."

And she has highlighted, "Veolia took on a contract in 2014 as a consultant for Daegu-Gyeongbuk in order to promote reforms to the water utility. Consultation services are part of a strategy by Veolia to promote its needs through political channels before taking over a public water utility. On April 8, the Korean government announced a plan to facilitate greater private investment in water throughout the country and established new guidelines that would see local governments raising water rates by up to 90% or lose their government subsidies."

On April 12, Karunananthan spoke at a press conference/ rally organized by the KGEU. Her comments were reported both in Korean and Japanese media as can be seen here. While there, Karunananthan also wrote the fact sheet 5 reasons to say “no” to Veolia in Dae-gu and Gyeongbak.

The World Water Forum concludes on April 17.

Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow has explained, “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.”

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-Gyeongbuk.

The next World Water Forum will take place in Brasilia, Brazil in 2018.

For more on the Blue Planet Project, please click here.

Further reading
Support the campaign to get Veolia out of Daegu-Gyeonbuk! (April 2015 blog by Meera Karunananthan)
Blue Planet Project opposes the World Water Forum (April 2015 blog)