Maude Barlow was joined today by water justice organizations around the world who are denouncing attempts by the World Water Forum to co-opt critical voices by setting up a Citizen’s Process to ostensibly encourage civil participation. The organizers of the 2018 World Water Forum that is to be held in Brazil, are hosting a preparatory event in Brazilia today for civil society groups in advance of the official event.

Blue Planet Project Founder Maude Barlow turned down their invitation to participate in the meetings . In her letter to forum organizers she argues, “as water justice advocates we will not lend our voices to the corporate policy forum by participating in the event or in any of the preparatory processes.”

The World Water Forum is a corporate-led event aimed at bringing governments and UN agencies together with some of the world’s largest corporations to discuss water policy issues. It takes place once every three years and has been vehemently opposed by water justice organizations who have held street protests and alternative peoples’ forums to denounce the World Water Forum’s agenda to promote the privatization and commodification of water.

The letter states: “Water policies should not be discussed or drafted behind closed doors at expensive corporate trade shows. Multinational corporations whose actions are responsible for the destruction of watersheds or for the denial of access to the most vulnerable populations must not be rewarded with a seat at the decision-making table.”

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