March 2013: World Social Forum Tunis

The European Water Movement will be participating at the World Social Forum this March in Tunis. Our main aim is to build up links with local and regional groups and set up a Euro-Mediterranean Alliance to facilitate the exchange of experience and information. Many North African countries are currently facing the same problems we have in Europe namely with the threat of privatization of water services and unconventional energy sourcing projects such as hydraulic fracturation.

As part of the global water justice movement, we will organize a roundtable on the implementation of the right to water which will focus also on specific regional issues as well as a water justice day where we hope to enlarge our discussions with groups also working on large infrastructure projects such as dams, extractives such as mining and fracking as well as agricultural groups.

25 March:  WATER JUSTICE DAY in Tunis


As the global water crisis deepens around the world, we water justice advocates see the problem as a political one. The water crisis highlights the extent to which injustice and environmental devastation are intrinsic to the dominant global agenda of neoliberalism. As corporations scramble to acquire greater access to scarce water resources in order to ensure continued economic growth, we are communities and solidarity organizations asserting our right to defend water sources for people and the planet.

Because water is a cross-cutting issue that is central to many of our struggles for justice, we will hold a water justice day prior the World Social Forum allowing groups to connect, share strategies and ideas.


  • Bring together key allies of the water justice movement
  • Explore strategic discussion trends, challenges and opportunities for the water justice movement with emphasis on strategies and solutions being employed currently
  • Explore intersections with other sectors/struggles (climate, mining, dams, anti-colonial struggles)
  • Hear updates from activists involved in key struggles
  • Share strategies for water justice
  • Connect water justice advocates from around the world with Tunisian movements
  • Link global campaigns with local water justice struggles in the Maghreb and around the world

Convening organizations:

  • Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
  • Blue Planet Project
  • El Taller
  • Eyes Network
  • European Water Movement
  • Federación española de Ingeniería Sin Fronteras
  • Focus on the Global South
  • Food and Water Watch / Food and Water Europe
  • France Libertés
  • Jubilee South
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
  • International Rivers
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  • Italian Forum for Water Movements
  • Les Petits Debrouillards
  • Public Services International
  • Transnational Institute

When: March 25, 2013, 1- 7 pm. Location: Université de Tunis, Blvd du 9 Avril (room to be confirmed)

Draft agenda:

Part 1 – Welcome and Updates on frontline struggles for water justice

  • 1:00 - 1:30 pm - Round of quick intros using matchstick methodology
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm – What are the challenges we are facing as a movement today?
    30 min presentations (ideally 3 x 10 min presentations):
    Indigenous rights and the defense of water against extractives (tar sands, fracking and extractives in the Americas)
    Gender and women’s economic empowerment – Asia/Africa
    Austerity and privatization – Europe
    Financialization of water
    30 min – interactive discussion
  • 2:30 - 2:45 pm - BREAK
  • 2:45 -3:45 pm - Mobilization strategies and solutions
    Community partnerships and the water commons – Latin American rep and/or other
    Indigenous rights and strategies of resistance – Indigenous rep
    Other? - Someone from Northern Africa/Subsaharan Africa
    Fight-back against austerity
    (Lots of good strategies of resistance to draw on here including alternative economic models emerging out of Latin America, resistance to mega projects in India etc.)
  • 3:45 - 4 pm - BREAK

Part 2 - Global strategies and common political goals

  • 4:00 - 4:30 pm - Intro and overview of methodology
  • 4:00 – 5:30 pm - Break-out discussions
    (World café methodology: each table requires at least 1 facilitator and 1 rapporteur)
    Table 1 – How to engage the UN? (UN water agency, post-MDG discussions)
    Table 2 – People’s forums on the human right to water
    Table 3 – International targets and how to mobilize collective opposition?
    Table 4 – Open
  • 5:30 – 5:45 - BREAK
  • 5:45- 7 pm - Report back and summary

Roundtable on water as a commons and a human right

The campaign for a human right to water and sanitation was spawned by social movements who have fought against privatization of water services, the commodification of resources and the corporate takeover of community water supplies. Now that the right to water and sanitation has been formally recognized by the United Nations and a growing list of national governments, we must push for an implementation of this right that allows us to move forward in our campaigns for water justice. This roundtable discussion will bring together water justice groups from the Global South and North to discuss key strategies in promoting an implementation of the human right to water consistent with our local campaigns to protect water as a commons, free from privatization, commodification, marketization and financialization. We hope to build links and exchange key strategies with local groups in Tunisia and Northern Africa.

When: March 27, 2013, Session 2 (13H00 - 15H30). Location: P19

Please come join us!

For the moment, you can also find more information on the WSF 2013 official website