World Water Forum in Marseille in 2012, various topics

  • ben
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Re: World Water Forum : Priority for Action: Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all.

Hi Jonpar,

It might not be the goal of your post and I don't want to enter too much in a polemic if you want to avoid it, but I'd like to have the point of view of an organisator. Don't see any agressivity toward this forum, I just want to have the point of view of all stakeholder, for personal curiosity.

Why do you think some people though that would be important to make an alternative forum ? The Fame ( www.fame2012.org/en/ ) describes the organisators as :
"World Water Forum (WWF) which is organized by the World Water Council, is a mouthpiece for transnational companies and the World Bank and they falsely claim to head the global governance of water".

As an organisator could you share your feelings about it, did you feel the big guys at the head of organisation treated you like the "nice face" of the forum when the ultimate goals are not about the genuine points you're raising in this topic.

Funny enough, I just had a conversation (more a monologue actually) on the contreversial partnership between WSSCC and Unilever over lifebuoy promotion all over the world (Unilever has been found guilty of fixing prices in europe last year) in the ecosanres forum. I found them in your core group with one of the goals "involvement of the different stakeholders (Multi-stakeholder Forum)". Can we remind that the principle stakeholder of this forum are Veolia, Suez, Saur, HSBC ... all "nice" actors in the water and sanitation sector.

Thanks for your time, and again I don't want to sabotage your topic, just have your opinion on the subject.

Ben
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  • Erja
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Re: Finnish Pavilion and the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland at 6th World Water Forum, Marseilles

Dear all,

Finland is present at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille 12-17 March with a country pavilion with some interesting panel discussions and themes. Our side events will be on transboundary cooperation, lake rehabilitation and community managed approaches – please find more information below (the link in the end of the left side will take you to a brochure with descriptions of the events and actors). In addition to international panelists, several Finnish ministries, research institutes and funds, as well as companies will be present.

Come and familiarize yourself with Finnish know-how in the water and sanitation sector!
HALL 3, BOOTH 3.111


Please open the Brochure here: www.issuu.com/cleantechfin/docs/6th_worl...e_france_2012_-_clea

Kind regards,
Erja Takala
Conference Secretary
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  • jdoczi
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Re: World Water Forum in Marseille

Wish I could be there in Marseille! Unfortunately, I have essays to write! :(

I will be very interested in hearing from SuSanA people about their impressions of the event once it is complete. Were the commitments made stronger than at previous WWFs? Weaker? Was there a sense of real progress toward getting the big players interested in sanitation, or not so much? How much finance was put on the table? How about progress on the 'human right to WATSAN' issue? etc. etc. - Hopefully we can get a 'conference report' on here from the attendees?

Thanks and Best Regards,

Julian Doczi
Current Student, M.Sc. Climate Change & International Development
University of East Anglia, UK

---
Julian Doczi
Senior Research Officer - Water Policy
Overseas Development Institute
UK
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  • jonpar
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Re: World Water Forum : Priority for Action: Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all.

Hi Ben, thanks for your message. I have not been to or been involved in any previous World Water Forums. I was also not involved in the early stages so I am not sure about the process by which the eight targets were defined or how the different target leads were identified. My initial impression (which still stands) was that the Forum was overly "engineered" and as a result of so many different priorities for action etc, there was not as much interaction between some groups as one would hope for. In addition, greater effort to facilitate more communication/interaction between the thematic and political processes at an earlier stage would have been beneficial - especially as we were expected to make commitments, which is not really possible unless you have the mandate and resources to put policy into practice.

However, the organisers were obviously making a great efforts to structure the processes in way that did provide opportunity for voices from different stakeholder groups to be involved. This was also the first time that sanitation had such a high profile at such a large event which has traditionally been very much focused on water supply and water resources management. The recognition which is articulated in the Ministerial Declaration that sanitation is not only integral to nature resource management and therefore vital for protection of water resources and production of food as well as fundamental for health, livelihood, social-development and economic benefits (from household to national level) is an important one.

The scale of the event was rather daunting and those who have highlighted the costs of the event - both financial and environmental - have a strong argument. I am not going to enter into a discussion about whether it was all worth it or not. Rather than find reason to criticize, I think far better to take a positive stance and see how we can keep the momentum going and continue to look for ways to engage with national and sub-national governments to support the development and implementation of sanitation policies that uphold the principles stated in the Ministerial Statement.

From my perspective, speaking from the perspective of co-ordinator of the Priority for Action on Integrated Sanitation, I think that one of the most important things that we achieved in Marseille was bringing together the different communities within the field of sanitation - some who are coming from the "equitable access to sanitation" perspective whilst other are focusing on "systems for wastewater management", and others are focused on supporting governmental organisations at different political levels prepare and implement sanitation plans. This would not be possible unless the people involved were not open to partnership and collaboration with other organisations that represent the interests of groups that are not so closely aligned with their own policies and constituencies' interests.

Yes, some of the large companies who contributed sponsorship to the event had a prominent position but it was my impression that there was a large and active NGO community at the Forum as well. The entrance fee was undoubtedly expensive (this is not surprising given the scale of the event and the location), but there was quite a large sum to pay for the expenses of people from low-income countries. However, we would have to make some inquiries to find out exactly how much this was. I hope this helps to give you some indication as to how I viewed the event.

It is not in my interest to take sides. IWA has members from all sides and - irrespective or our own personal views - we aim to represent our members interests as much as possible. It would not helpful if we were seen to be acting more in the interests of one particular group. Also, it is primarily in our interest to use events such as the World Water Forum to our best advantage and further the mutual agenda to promote improved sanitation for all. best regards. Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: World Water Forum : Priority for Action: Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all.

Dear Jonathan (and all),
Many thanks for these well deliberated and elaborated comments, which quite well reflect my experience as well. Sanitation was high in the agenda and this is definitively a good result that rewards the efforts of actors involved. Let's try to keep the momentum going and use the Ministerial Statement to support us continuing working on an enabling environment for integrated and sustainable sanitation.
Best Dorothee

Dorothee Spuhler
WG1 Co-lead
Working with Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) based at seecon, Switzerland
www.sswm.info / www.seecon.ch
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  • jonpar
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  • As part of the Engineering team, my role at IMC is to lead on the delivery of projects requiring specific expertise on urban sanitation (including excreta/waste/wastewater/stormwater management) focusing on technical, institutional and financial aspects in project design and implementation.
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Re: World Water Forum : Priority for Action: Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all.

For those who want to find out more from NGOs about how they perceived the forum, you might want to check out the "Butterfly Effect" - a global coalition of NGOs working together on independent civil society mobilization around the forum. The Butterfly Effect aims to facilitate meaningful and effective presence of NGOs and CSOs before and during the 6th World Water Forum, which will takes place on 12-17 March 2012. I am sure you will find information and contacts on the internet. regards. Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • jonpar
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  • As part of the Engineering team, my role at IMC is to lead on the delivery of projects requiring specific expertise on urban sanitation (including excreta/waste/wastewater/stormwater management) focusing on technical, institutional and financial aspects in project design and implementation.
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Re: World Water Forum : Priority for Action: Improve access to integrated sanitation services for all.


Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • ben
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Re: World Water Forum in Marseille

Dear all

Thanks a lot for sharing your feelings, I respect you positive spirit and am happy that it wasn't too corporate oriented. I think the "butterfly effect" didn't put yet their summary of the event ... I'll keep looking on their website.
I had some feedback from Ps-eau as well which was sharing more or less your views on the forum. Here is a blog maybe some of you would like to visit butterflyeffectwwf.blogspot.com/2012/03/...tion-to-6th-wwf.html
They highlight the following statements :

First, we are pleased that, for the first time in the history of the forum, the process of drafting the text, has been a participatory one in which civil society has been largely involved.

Secondly, for the first time since 1997, the explicit affirmation of the right to water as an inalienable human right and the determination for signatory states to implement it, are recognised.

Finally, because the notion of humanitarian crisis, preparing for disasters and emergency response, is officially recognized by this declaration of states as a priority. However the text does not explicitly mention the commitment of states to implement this right in accordance with the UN process. Indeed, only this would make them fully accountable towards their population.


I don't really manage to understand what diference make a signature of this paper for "the right to water and sanitation" for the countries which have been struggling for ages with water and sanitation problems. Is the goal simply to globally talk more about the problem and therefore get more funding in these issues ? Or is there through that text, for example, a legal frame for palestinian to have right to get some of jordan water ?

Thanks again for having taken the time, wish you all a good day.

Ben
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