Barlow presents a blue community certificate in Thessaloniki, Greece today.
Maude Barlow has tweeted, "In Thessaloniki Greece today for a ceremony as this city becomes the first in Greece to become a Blue Community, pledging to protect water as a human right and public trust!"
Barlow was at a ceremony at the Thessaloniki town hall to mark this occasion with officials including Mayor Yannis Boutaris and EYATH (the city's public drinking water utility) president Yiannis Krestenitis.
Oema reports (in Greek), "Thessaloniki becomes the first city in Greece - a member of the Blue Communities network after the signing of a relevant agreement and a primary duty to protect water as a common good."
Barlow stated, "Our Blue Communities Initiative started from my country, Canada, and spread around the world. I am excited that Thessaloniki has joined the Blue Communities network along with other cities in the world, including Paris, and Berlin is due to join soon. I hope all of Greece will become 'blue', because water is precious."
Boutaris says, "This is in fact an initiative that states that water is a public good, and it promotes the use of tap water to bottled for reasons of environmental protection. We will promote the use of tap water in the City Hall and then in other municipal buildings as well as in catering professionals."
And Krestenitis noted, "It is a great pleasure for EYATH and for me personally, that the Blue Community Ambassador gives this certificate, with which the Municipality of Thessaloniki is part of the Network. EYATH will launch an effort to promote tap water in all professional facilities and in cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the archaeological services, we will revive old public fountains, which will be and an object of tourist and cultural visibility of the city."
Voria News adds (in Greek), "Following the signing of the Partnership Agreement, Krestenitis and Barlow, presented to the Municipal Council of Thessaloniki the profile and goals of the Network and welcomed the energy together with the Mayor Boutari." That presentation was broadcast live on the municipal TV channel.
A 'blue community' is a municipality that adopts a framework that recognizes water as a human right, opposes the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, and promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services. A blue community can also be a university, faith-based grouping, union, First Nation, or another kind of association.
Globally, blue communities now include:
- Thessaloniki, Greece
- Paris, France
- Berlin, Germany
- Bern, Switzerland
- Cambuquira, Brazil
- St. Gallen, Switzerland
- University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
- University of Bern, Switzerland
- World Council of Churches
- Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirchgemeinde Spiez, Switzerland
- Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Bern-Johannes Church, Switzerland
- AEOPAS, Spain (blue community ambassador)
For more on the Blue Planet Project, please click here.
More photos from today!