What did Both ENDS do at the World Water Forum?
Halls filled with booths, stands, professionally set up corners, wifi-spots. Big rooms where lectures, interactive sessions and workshops are held. People from all corners of the world and from different kinds of sectors (companies, government, and social organisations) are gathering here for five days. They have one thing in common: they are talking about water. The sixth World Water Forum in Marseille is about 'solutions'. For water issues, that is. Almost a billion people worldwide have to cope without clean drinking water.
Many of the numerous NGO's that are represented have united in the 'Butterfly effect', a temporary cooperation, which gives a strong message to policy makers and companies. Through communal sessions at the forum, a common meeting spot and jointly press conferences, the message is being reinforced.
But the organisations also organise individual activities. Tobias Schmitz, expert of water and sanitation at Both ENDS, is giving a couple of presentations on the so-called 1% mechanism, which enables water companies to use 1% of their profits for development projects on water and sanitation.
The Drynet network, in which Both ENDS is also represented, has a very important role at the WWF. Situated between the big halls of the forum terrain is a sunny square where Drynet has put up a couple of tents. Meetings are being held here and information is exchanged. When entering the tents, you feel like you're in a dessert landscape: a welcome change after the square halls on the forum terrain.
NGO's and donors
Both ENDS has also started the 'Citizens' Forum on Participatory Integrated Water Resource Management'. Here, examples of successful water management in river basins, where all stakeholders (and especially the local community) are involved and consulted are presented. After these presentations, present deputies of governments are asked the following questions: would you invest in these projects? Why or why not?
Both ENDS has invited partner organisations from Latin-America, Africa and Asia to support and be a part of the so-called 'Declaration of Commitment'. The undersigned declare to do everything to keep applying this 'Participatory Integrated Water Resource Management' in the 15 river basins they work and to make it even more successful. Other organisations are also encouraged to commit to this promise.
Despite the early hours at which the Citizens Forum is held, it's continually visited: some observers have to stand because all the seats are taken. The examples of successful participatory water management from places like Senegal, India and Mexico, where cooperation with the (local) government is very intense, appeals very strongly to the audience. "We have similar problems, but it's good to see how others deal with it, that gives us insight in our next steps", says Jane Lingbawa of CPA from the Philippines. "They key remains information: explaining plans and problems of the area and making sure that the input of the locals is being integrated into policy making. There are a lot of different ways of doing that, and it's good to learn from each other".
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A Negotiated Approach envisages the meaningful and long-term participation of communities in all aspects of managing the water and other natural resources on which their lives depend. It seeks to achieve healthy ecosystems and equitable sharing of benefits among all stakeholders within a river basin. This inclusive way of working is an essential precondition for the Transformative Practices that are promoted by Both ENDS and partners.
Event / 23 March 2023, 09:00 - 11:00
Online side event at the UN Water conference in New York
This event will present The Transformative Water Pact (TWP), an innovative framework for water governance that has been developed by environmental justice experts from around the world. The TWP will serve as a starting point for dialogue between representatives of the government of Colombia, academia, regional and international NGOs in relation to Colombia's current ambitions in multi-scalar water governance.
Press release / 20 March 2023
Academics and civil society representatives from around the world came together to articulate an alternative vision and framework for water governance, in the run-up to the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York. The Transformative Water Pact was developed in response to the continued exploitation of nature, neglect of human rights and the extreme power-imbalances that characterize contemporary water governance throughout the world. It details an alternative vision of water governance based on the tenets of environmental justice, equality and care.
Publication / 31 August 2005
Publication / 21 March 2023
News / 21 March 2023
Water is literally life, the lifeblood of ecosystems, of nature, of humans. However, in many places the distribution and use of water is unjust and unsustainable. Water management is generally focused on short-term economic interests, on maximizing the profit of a well-connected few at the expense of people and nature. This dominant view of water and water management has its origins in the European industrial revolution, which became the global norm through colonialism and globalization. But according to Melvin van der Veen and Murtah Shannon, water experts at Both ENDS, this view will have to give way to equitable, sustainable and inclusive water management. Both ENDS cooperates with and supports communities and organisations worldwide who are working to this end.
News / 13 August 2021
The situation in the southwest delta of Bangladesh is critical. Because of sea level rise, floods are increasing and the area is about to become uninhabitable, despite Dutch-style dikes and polders built in the previous century. Partner organisation Uttaran works with local communities on climate-friendly solutions that restore the living environment and give the inhabitants a say about their future and food production.
Publication / 25 November 2011
Publication / 16 March 2011
News / 4 July 2019
Tidal rivers in the southwest coastal area of Bangladesh have been dying since flood plains were replaced by Dutch-style polders in the 70s. Rivers are silted up, and during monsoon season water gets trapped within embankments. Every year, this situation of waterlogging inflicts adverse consequences particularly on women, as they take care of the household in waterlogged conditions in the absence of men who travel to the city in search of temporary work. NGO Uttaran is advocating for a change in policy and practice.
News / 3 July 2019
Through pollution and water scarcity, communities along the Kenyan Athi River have learnt the hard way that upstream and downstream communities are inevitably connected. In response to indiscriminate impacts on the environment and people's livelihoods, civil society organisations within the Athi River Basin formed the Athi River Community Network (ARCN).
News / 2 July 2019
The water quality of East Java's largest river, the Brantas River, is increasingly deteriorating due to a combination of industrial and household waste. This environmental pollution has a disproportionate impact on women. Yet, their participation in decision-making remains lacking. ECOTON is working to improve the situation.
External link / 3 December 2014
The Indonesia Water Community of Practice (IndoWater CoP) was declared on December 3, 2014 by a group of Indonesian NGOs whose members felt very concerned about the poor management of Indonesia's water resources due to a lack of integrated planning on river basin management, community participation and law enforcement.
Video / 1 July 2013
In this short movie we follow Indian professor Vijay Paranjpye, who has dedicated his life and work to finding ways of involving local communities in the management of natural resources such as water. What is the Negotiated Approach and what has been achieved so far? This film takes us to India and to Benin to show both results and possibilities.
External link / 19 June 2020
Tidal River Management (TRM) is based on age-old community practices. In 2019, Uttaran helped ensure that TRM was seen by policymakers as a solution to waterlogging in the delta of Bangladesh, and that the voices of women and youth were being taken into account.
Blog / 5 October 2018
From the first moment I arrive in Surabaya, I enter the rollercoaster called ECOTON. I'm visiting them to get to know the work of this long-time Both ENDS partner, and have only three days for this. But ECOTON does a lot, and all of it at the same time. Tirelessly, they work on the protection of the Brantas River.
News / 19 August 2021
After many years of advocating for strong environmental policies at international platforms such as the UN, Kenyan Violet Matiru asked herself: "How does all this lobbying trickle down to our communities? How does this help our mothers who are still struggling with fetching water and cooking on wood stoves?" This is when she and her colleagues founded MCDI Kenya (Millennium Community Development Initiatives) and started to work with local communities. We talked to her about the historical and current power imbalance in water governance and her efforts to improve water governance in the Athi River basin, that runs all the way from upstream of Nairobi, through the city, into the Indian Ocean.
News / 26 September 2018
Good news from Brazil! The National Water Agency (ANA) has stopped issuing new permits for the construction of hydroelectric dams in the Brazilian Paraguay river basin, which is part of the Pantanal wetlands in South-America. The suspension will last at least until May 2020, after the publication of a comprehensive socio-economic and environmental impact assessment that the ANA started in 2016.
Publication / 19 April 2016
Video / 8 November 2019
The Athi River Community Network is made up of communities who live along the Athi River watershed. Members of the Athi River Community Network promised to join forces with the Friends of Ondiri Wetland to ensure that this critical wetland is restored and conserved for the sake of current and future generations.