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Sep 18 2008
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Cochabamba, Bolivia, August 25, 2008

COCHABAMBA DECLARATION IN DEFENSE OF WATER

From the 23rd to the 25th of August, 2008, gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia; human beings with a holistic view of life, activists from social movements, public companies, unions, non-governmental organizations, networks in struggle for the defense of water, territory, and common goods, who, over the course of these three days have shared and debated ideas, struggles, concerns, and proposals, declare that the struggle of our peoples for water is no longer invisible and transcends all political boundaries with the goal of bringing an end to the privatization of our vital liquid in the search for a different way of life.

We represent many of the peoples and organizations of the world defending the human right to water, and we are committed to continuing the struggle against privatization in every corner of the Earth.

In the face of diverse goals, challenges, and opportunities, and following on commitments made in prior years, as social movements from across the planet, we struggle for the right to water with a holistic vision, according to the varying realities of every organization, nation, culture, and people.

We declare ourselves opposed to the commodification of water in all of its aspects, spheres, modalities, and possibilities; we commit to continue confronting this global problem from every locality, based in an exchange of knowledge, experience in the management of water systems, and mutual aid and solidarity to strengthen and empower all peoples.

With the same force with which we struggle against privatization, we defend and promote the creation of public, non-profit, community-based models of water management, in the service of the commons and the common good, in forms that are autonomous and equitable, with solidarity, social participation, inclusiveness, efficiency and an ecological vision that ensures the reclaiming of all that belongs to us, advancing a popular vision and the integration of all peoples.

Being that:

1. We consider that water and all natural resources are the source of the social organization, unity, and identity of diverse sectors working for life and for resistance; water is not a commodity, but a common good; for this reason we reject all forms, modalities, and spheres of privatization, including public-private partnerships, commercial agreements, and forms of strategic subcontracting which have been shown to fail everywhere in the world.

2. We ratify our bond and complete agreement with the Latin American struggle for the defense of water, the commons, and the common good, and against megaprojects that reinforce the corporate model and violate the rights of nature and all peoples.

3. We agree to strongly promote public-public, public-community and community-community cooperation as alternative forms of relations, exchange, and solidarity in distinction to the utilitarian logic of the free market. We declare our support for societies that are democratic, founded on solidarity, and in full harmony with nature.

4. We commit to continue supporting, in Latin America and throughout the World, constitutional, legislative, and institutional reforms that promote the reversal of privatization and commodification of water, and the recuperation of popular water management and the processes that will bring these changes into effect.

Sindicato Obras Sanitarias de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (SOSBA) – Argentina
Fundación de Estudios Sanitaristas y Medio Ambiente (FESMA) – Argentina
“5 de Septiembre” –Operador Técnico de ABSA – Argentina
Cooperativa Integral de Villa Carlos Paz (Córdoba) COOPI Argentina
Unión de Usuarios y Consumidores, APDA, Argentina
Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores Luz, Fuerza, Telecomunicaciones, Agua y Gas de Bolivia CSTLFTAGB-ISP; La Paz, Bolivia
Cooperativa de Agua Potable Primero de Mayo Tuntirrancho LTDA, Bolivia
FEDECAAS, Bolivia
Fundación Abril, Bolivia
Coordinadora de Defensa del Agua y de la Vida, Bolivia
AAPOS, Bolivia
APPAS, Bolivia
ASICASUR, Bolivia
Confederación de Trabajadores Fabriles de Bolivia
Federación de Trabajadores Fabriles de Cochabamba, Bolivia
FASE / REBRIP, Rede Basileira Pela Intergracao dos Povos, Brasil
Censat Agua Viva, Amigos de la Tierra, Colombia
SINTRACUAVALLE, Colombia
Acueducto Comunal de Concepción de Naranjo, Costa Rica
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Protos/ CENAGRAP, Ecuador
Foro Regional del Azuay – Cañar, Ecuador
Centro para la Defensa del Consumidor (CDC), El Salvador
Campaña Ciudadana Democracia Azul, El Salvador
Ingeniería sin Fronteras, España
Just Harvest, USA
Other Worlds, USA
Food and Water Watch, USA
Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina (ACRA) Italia
Asociación Yaku, Italy
CeVI, Italy
Bloque Popular, Honduras
Transnational Institute, Holland
Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua, (COMDA), México
Sindicato de Empleados Públicos del Sistema de Agua y Alcantarillado de Guadalajara SEPSIAPA, México
Sistema de Agua de Xoxocotla, México
Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, México
Comisión Nacional de Defensa del Agua y de la Vida, Uruguay
Federación Funcionarios de OSE, Uruguay
Mesa técnica de Agua de Venezuela
Proyecto Andino de Agua, ISP
Movimiento para la Salud de los Pueblos, Internacional
Corporate Accountability International
Federación de Juntas Vecinales de la Ciudad de La Paz, Bolivia
Federación de Juntas Vecinales de la ciudad de El Alto, Bolivia
Cooperativa de Agua y Alcantarillado, COOPAGAL LTDA., Bolivia
Reclaiming Public Water Network
Red Vigilancia Interamericana por la Defensa y Derecho al Agua (Red VIDA)


August 25, 2008

STATEMENT of COMMITMENT

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, during the event “Agua: Bien Común, Gestión  Pública y Alternativas” (“Water: Common Good, Public Management, and Alternatives), the organizations present – public operators, municipalities, civil society organizations, NGOs, federations, communities and community-operated water systems, cooperatives, unions and universities – declare our engagement in a common process of exchange and cooperation among all, and eventually among any two or more organizations that wish to exchange knowledge, technologies and experiences, to improve the management of water and sanitation and the training of our communities and organizations at the regional and global levels. This initiative is part of the process of struggle and resistance of people everywhere against the privatization and commodification of water.

We declare our commitment to promote the ways and means to realize these cooperation agreements. These exchanges may be public-public, public-community, and community-community, and will in every case occur on a strictly non-profit basis, with the purpose of providing safe and sufficient water for all as the foundation of a healthy and dignified life.

Declaring the human right to water as a common good and not a commodity, we commit to the creation of meeting spaces, independent of political boundaries, to consolidate social relations to replace the capitalist model that abuses our lands and water sources and displaces communities from their territories. Toward this end, we respect ancient wisdom and values and recognize the need to generate progressive changes toward institutional and political transformation.

We commit to struggle for participatory spaces in the planning, management, and control of public water and sanitation services, recognizing the watershed as the basic unit of water management.

The exchanges to which we commit are based in the principles of solidarity, reciprocity, fraternity, transparency, equity, and social and environmental justice.

We will cooperate on an equal basis, accepting our cultural differences and promoting an exchange of intercultural knowledge that will enrich the process of constructing a new horizon for public participation and management.

Working from state, municipal, social, community-based and cooperative levels, we are united by the goal of preserving life, and it is for this fundamental reason that we commit to this autonomous process.
 
This 25th day of August, in the year 2008, the following entities agree to this accord with full consensus.

Sindicato Obras Sanitarias de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (SOSBA) – Argentina
Fundación de Estudios Sanitaristas y Medio Ambiente (FESMA) – Argentina
“5 de Septiembre” –Operador Técnico de ABSA – Argentina
Cooperativa Integral de Villa Carlos Paz (Córdoba) COOPI, Argentina
Unión de Usuarios y Consumidores, APDA, Argentina
Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores Luz, Fuerza, Telecomunicaciones, Agua y Gas de Bolivia CSTLFTAGB-ISP; La Paz, Bolivia
Cooperativa de Agua Potable Primero de Mayo Tuntirrancho LTDA, Bolivia
FEDECAAS, Bolivia
Fundación Abril, Bolivia
Coordinadora de Defensa del Agua y de la Vida, Bolivia
AAPOS, Bolivia
APPAS, Bolivia
ASICASUR, Bolivia
Confederación de Trabajadores Fabriles de Bolivia
Federación de Trabajadores Fabriles de Cochabamba, Bolivia
FASE / REBRIP, Rede Basileira Pela Intergracao dos Povos, Brasil
Censat Agua Viva, Amigos de la Tierra, Colombia
Acueducto Comunal de Concepción de Naranjo, Costa Rica
SINTRACUAVALLE, Colombia
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Protos/ CENAGRAP, Ecuador
Foro Regional del Azuay – Cañar, Ecuador
Centro para la Defensa del Consumidor (CDC), El Salvador
Campaña Ciudadana Democracia Azul, El Salvador
Ingeniería sin Fronteras, España
Just Harvest, USA
Other Worlds, USA
Food and Water Watch, USA
Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina (ACRA) Italia
Asociación Yaku, Italy
CeVI, Italy
Bloque Popular, Honduras
Transnational Institute, Holland
Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua, (COMDA), México
Sindicato de Empleados Públicos del Sistema de Agua y Alcantarillado de Guadalajara SEPSIAPA, México
Sistema de Agua de Xoxocotla, México
Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, México
Comisión Nacional de Defensa del Agua y de la Vida, Uruguay
Federación Funcionarios de OSE, Uruguay
Mesa técnica de Agua de Venezuela
Proyecto Andino de Agua, ISP
Movimiento para la Salud de los Pueblos, Internacional
Corporate Accountability International
Federación de Juntas Vecinales de la Ciudad de La Paz, Bolivia
Federación de Juntas Vecinales de la ciudad de El Alto, Bolivia
Cooperativa de Agua y Alcantarillado, COOPAGAL LTDA., Bolivia
Reclaiming Public Water Network
Red Vigilancia Interamericana por la Defensa y Derecho al Agua (Red VIDA)

 

 



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