Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe - who has stated that the idea of water as a basic human right is “extreme” - is attending the corporate World Water Forum in Marseille, France. He made comments there yesterday as his corporation launched their report ‘Creating Shared Value Report 2011, which outlines their take on the need for “pragmatic, efficient and cost effective action” to address global water scarcity.

In a Nestlé media release, Brabeck-Letmathe stated that a “global public-private initiative” that he chairs, known as the 2030 Water Resources Group, could be helpful in “providing tools and information on best practice” as well as “guidance and new policy ideas on water resource scarcity.”

It appears that Brabeck-Letmathe is also headed for another water policy advisory group - this time in Canada.

As recently highlighted by our Edmonton-based organizer Scott Harris, “The Council of Canadians and organizations around the world will continue to monitor the establishment by the University of Alberta of a new Water Initiative, which the Council of Canadians revealed may include Brabeck-Letmathe and a who’s who of corporate heads and pro-water privatization advocates. The formation of the initiative comes at a critical time for water policy in Alberta, with the provincial government promising long-delayed public consultations in 2012 on plans to expand to the entire province an allocation system based on a water market, which Brabeck-Letmathe has boasted about meeting with the Alberta government to promote.”

Earlier this month, over 70 organizations from more than 25 countries expressed their opposition to the University of Alberta conferring an honourary to Brabeck-Letmathe. In mid-February, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote the university stating, “His company’s record on the very issue for which you are rewarding him with an honorary degree, water, is particularly egregious. …Rewarding such a record with your institution’s highest honour would be a global black mark on the university’s reputation. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to revoke the honorary degree that you plan to award to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe in order to preserve the honour and integrity of the University of Alberta.”

In a recent article about the new documentary titled ‘Bottled Life’ in the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Barlow stated, “When a company like Nestlé comes along and says, Pure Life is the answer, we’re selling you your own ground water while nothing comes out of your faucets anymore or if it does it’s undrinkable – that’s more than irresponsible, that’s practically a criminal act.” In the film, Barlow says, “Nestlé is a predator, a water hunter.” To read more about the film, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13184.

For more campaign blogs related to Nestlé and Brabeck-Letmathe, please click on http://canadians.org/blog/?s=brabeck.

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