the eve of a key World Trade Organization meeting in BaliFor more information about the 3-6 Dec. WTO meeting visit https://mc9.wto.org/, Friends
of the Earth International launched a new report exposing how trade and
investment strategies, including WTO negotiations, act as economic
drivers of water financialization“Financialization is a term that describes an economic system or process that attempts to reduce all value that is exchanged […] either into a financial instrument or a derivative of a financial instrument,” according to Wikipedia. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financialization..
The report, “Economic Drivers of Water
Financialization”The report is online at http://www.foei.org/water-financialization. includes 12 cases, from the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Colombia, El Salvador, England, Mexico,
Mozambique, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United States, and
The cases show how many corporations, financial
institutions, trade agreements and cooperation strategies are paving the
way for water privatization and financialization.
also exposes that these factors often cause territorial conflicts while
providing greater impunity and profits for the corporations concerned.
William Waren, from Friends of the Earth US, one of the authors of the publication, said:
trade and investment agreements threaten people’s right to water. It is
essential that nations that are members of the WTO and other trade and
investment agreements listen to their people and stop any attempt by
corporate and financial interests to turn water into a mere commodity
traded on international markets. The traditional view under
international law is that water is a natural resource and part of the
public commons, not a good or product."
The report includes
proposals from communities around the world to secure community water
management and to keep water as a common good and a human right.
key case study of this report exposes the major injustice of the water
situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza
Strip), where locals suffer from structural water scarcity due to
“The Palestinian population endures significant water deficits, and most water resources are concentrated in the hands of Israel. In some places, Palestinian farmers have been forced to purchase water at high prices from water sources controlled by the Israeli Water Company. This leads to many problems, including increased production costs for agricultural crops,” said Jagoda Munic,
chairperson of Friends of the Earth International, who led a solidarity
visit to Palestine in October 2013.
The report includes a case study from Colombia. Danilo Urrea, from Friends of the Earth Colombia, said:
“In Colombia, international cooperation supposedly focused on the development of a national policy framework for water and water management has been turned into an investment protection system. This is a huge problem which also prevents us from delivering more successful public, community-based water management solutions such as our 'aqueductos communitarios'.”