Skip to content

Maude Barlow on the World Water Protocol

EurActiv reports today that Mikhail Gorbachev, “the former Soviet leader launched a high-profile water initiative in the European Parliament yesterday, calling for water issues to be included in UN negotiations over a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.”

EU PRICING POLICIES, WATER AS A HUMAN RIGHT “With water supplies under growing strain due to intensive use and climate change, the EU has introduced pricing policies to persuade users – farmers, industries and households – to save the precious resource. Meanwhile, pressure is growing to recognise access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a basic human right.”

“A Peace with Water international conference organised by the World Political Forum took place in the European Parliament on 12-13 February. It aimed to contribute to ongoing international negotiations on a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change for 2013 by proposing a Memorandum for a World Water Protocol.”

“The memorandum, published yesterday, argues that the global water crisis is such that profound structural changes to the economic system and lifestyles are needed. It calls for a global political paradigm shift regarding water, and the establishment of a world water plan featuring:

*The universal right to water and sanitation, and;

*acknowledging the universal individual and collective responsibility regarding safeguarding water for future generations.

“Maude Barlow, special advisor on water issues to the president of the UN general assembly, said that while water is ‘half of the climate change equation,’ the chances of getting water added to the Copenhagen agenda are ‘slim’. ‘Copenhagen is already so contentious. There are so many issues, and we are late in trying to get it in there. However, I think we should try. And even if we don’t succeed in getting it officially recognised in Copenhagen, it can be there as part of the round of post-Copenhagen talks’.”

As I reported to you yesterday, Maude gave a plenary session speech on ‘the vision and expectations of peoples’ at the ‘Peace with Water’ conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Maude endorsed their proposed Memorandum for a World Water Protocol, which they want included in the international negotiations of the treaty that is to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change in 2013.

Maude told the hundreds of parliamentarians, locally elected officials, administrators, academics, and government, union, and civil society representatives there that:

* water is a human right and that she is working with the President of the United Nations to create a protocol on the right to water;

* water is a public trust, a global commons and a public service;

* nature has rights; and that enough water must be left in the eco-system for the health of the hydrologic cycle and watershed health;

* the European Union should ban bottled water;

* all decisions about water must be democratic, transparent and involve the local commuities they affect; and

* we must learn to live within our own water footprint and not abuse the water supplies of poor countries.