The Popayán Declaration

The Platform for Public and Community Partnerships of the Americas (PAPC) held the Horizons of Public and Community Water Management Meeting on September 25, 26, 27, 2023 in the city of Popayán, Cauca, Colombia, to share knowledge and experiences and allow us to renew our understandings of new and old strategies of water dispossession and privatization and to confront, organize and fight against them.

People, organizations and movements from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia met over three days in the capital of the Department of Cauca, paying homage to this Territory which sits at the confluence of centuries of struggles by Indigenous Peoples and Black and peasant communities in defense of land, cultures and water. But we regret to note that some of our comrades from Africa and Asia could not be here because of the injustice and racism that characterizes international mobility through the arbitrary and inequitable granting of visas and travel permits. We deplore the barriers to entry into Colombia for our compañerxs from the global South which demonstrate that international mobility is controlled by racist and colonial forces that limit the possibilities of face-to-face solidarity between formerly colonized peoples. We will insist on breaking down barriers, meeting and strengthening the exchanges of the peoples of the South.


The « flying rivers » essential factor of the global climate

Translation in English of an article from Reporterre

Les rivières aériennes de vapeur issues de la forêt amazonienne jouent un rôle capital pour le climat. CC BY-NC-ND@Neil Palmer/Ciat/Cifor

To avoid climate collapse, it will not be enough to reduce the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It will also be necessary to protect forests and soils from deforestation and intensive agriculture, because the water cycle is also very important for climate regulation. We are just beginning to understand that.

Shortly after the New York Convention (1992), which launched the process of conferences on global warming, scientific publications drew attention to the “air rivers” which are steam or water vapour currents very active for rainfall. Initially called tropospheric rivers, these «aerial rivers» are created by the evaporation of the oceans and by the evapotranspiration of the great forests of Amazonia, Congo, Siberia.


Preserving and restoring wetlands in Europe

Wetlands are not only reservoirs of biodiversity but are also crucial for the sustainable management of water resources, both in terms of quantity (groundwater recharge) and quality (purification). They mitigate floods and coastal storms and provide water in times of drought, thus limiting the effects of climate change.

However, wetlands are declining all over the world due to multiple anthropogenic pressures (land occupation and soil drainage by intensive agriculture and urbanisation, increased water abstraction, mining, pollution). According to the European Commission, two-thirds of wetlands in Europe have disappeared since the beginning of the 20th century. As the main cause of wetland loss in Europe, their transformation into agricultural land has slowed down in recent years, while urban and tourist developments and the development of transport infrastructures in place of wetlands have increased.

With this in mind, World Wetlands Day 2022 has called for action to preserve existing wetlands and restore those we have degraded where possible.


Report of the "EU water policy" workshop by the EWM during the ESU 2022

The European Water Movement (EWM) was at the 2022 European Summer University of Social Movements (ESU) in Mönchengladbach forging ties with European organisations.

The ESU held in Germany, Mönchengladbach, from 17th to 21st of August, 2022, was a very engaging event where hundreds of activists from social movements in Europe and other parts of the world shared experiences, ideas, initiatives for a different world. In this context we as the EWM presented and discussed two workshops on water, a commons presently under threat of liberistic policies of commodification, privatization and appropriation.

ESU plenary picture @ Sigi MF


The Alternative Water Forum #FAME2022 starts today

Every 3 years the World Water Council organises the World Water Forum. The name of the forum is not fair, as it is a forum for private water companies. The World Water Council is a private lobby formed by the main water multinational companies, such as Agbar, Suez and Veolia, which promote the privatisation and deregulation of public water and sanitation services in the world.

This is the reason why the organisations and people who fight to make access to water a human right and a common good, organise a counter-summit called the Alternative World Water Forum (AWWF) for each World Water Forum. We work within a common framework that understands water as a human right and a non-marketable public good. And we understand that a World Forum to discuss the main issues and problems of water cannot be co-opted by private interests or ignore the participation of citizens and, above all, the communities most affected by the lack of access to the right to water.

After the first Water Forum in 1997 in Morocco, the World Forum returns to the African continent, this time in the capital of Senegal, Dakar. When the official forum was announced, local and regional organisations quickly mobilised to organise the alternative forum (FAME). The aim of this #FAME2022 is to unite efforts from around the world to guarantee the right to water and protect water resources, especially for those populations suffering from poverty and social exclusion. The #FAME2022 will address the challenges of secure and affordable access to water, as well as climate change and democratic water governance.