June 21, 2012

cupuladospovos-logo-img-2-150x150We, movements for the defense of water and Mother Earth gathered at the Blue Pavilion inside the Cúpula dos Povos, collectively share a vision that water is a commons, not a commodity. The Earth’s pristine waters give life to an astonishing diversity of ecosystems and human societies. This common vision affirms the necessity of an equitable and balanced relationship with Mother Earth that respects the laws of nature, maintains the integrity of the water cycle, and ensures the achievement of social and environmental justice for all of Earth’s inhabitants.

We uphold UN Resolution 64/292 on the right to water and sanitation, which is a significant achievement for our movements, based on many campaigns for adoption of this right in national constitutions.

In solidarity with the thousands of activists and social movements, we collectively reject the corporate control of our societies, and their so-called “green economy” proposals, which seek to put a price on nature and water, commodifying them under the pretext of sustainability, development, poverty alleviation and efficiency; thereby monetizing and commodifying all that is sacred and necessary to life on Earth.

The “green economy” is an expression of the capitalist model of development, which pays little attention to hydrologic inter-connections and creates profound economic, social and environmental inequities and crises, thus solidifying the corporate capture and subordination of our societies and nature to the financial markets. This development model, which considers water (and nature) as economic inputs, is ineffective in providing access to water and sanitation for all and cannot support a sustainable economy, which in turn undermines a peaceful co-existence between humans, living species and the Earth’s ecosystems.

We reject institutionalized colonialism and racism and the denial of Indigenous Peoples’ and traditional communities’ rights to self-determination and food sovereignty.

We demand our governments to eliminate the false solutions of the “green economy”, and not place water under the logic of market and profit. Water, whether for drinking or agriculture, must remain part of the commons and be democratically managed by communities and/or public institutions and not by corporations.

We demand our governments to defend the public interest, guarantee access to sanitation and clean and safe water for all, in quantities that can sustain life and dignity. We call upon all governments to officially recognize the right to water and sanitation for all people in their national laws, in accordance with the UN resolution 64/292. The right to water must especially be guaranteed as a priority for women and children, for the poor, and people living in dehumanizing conditions.

We call for the preservation of the integrity of the water cycle in the framework of the recognition of the rights of ecosystems and species to exist, thrive and reproduce. We call for the recognition of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth in order to guarantee that the biosphere and its inhabitants are protected for sustainability and ecological balance.

We call for a global community solidarity and empowerment through the creation of truly democratic global water institutions such as public-public partnerships and public-community partnerships or the creation of World Water Authority which must act in the interest of humanity and nature.

We call for the creation of an international penal court for the trial of environmental crimes committed by corporations, governments and institutions.

We commit to continue building networks and new social alliances, broadening and deepening our connections with social movements fighting for food sovereignty, decent work and workers’ rights, democracy, and social and environmental justice. In particular, we commit to actively participate in the climate justice campaigns as water is one of the key elements of life that is gravely affected by climate change.

Given the collective experience, determination and the broad solidarity that we have with other movements present here at the Cúpula, overcoming the “green economy” and building new models of development in harmony with nature are indeed possible.


5 de Septiembre S.A. (Sociedad de Trabajadores Sanitarios, con Matricula de Operador de Servicios de Agua Potable y Saneamiento), Argentina

Asia Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty

Assemae, Brazil

Agua Sustentable, Bolivia

Catedra del Agua dela Universidad Nacional de Rosario

Comision Nacional en Defensa del Agua y la Vida (CNDAV), Uruguay

CeVI – Centro di Volontariato Internazionale – Italy

Colombia Corporación ecológica y Cultural Penca de Sábila, Colombia

Comité Departamental en defensa del Agua y la Vida de Antioquia, Colombia.

Campaña Octubre Azul, Bolivia


Corporación ECOFONDO, Colombia

Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium

Council of Canadians, Canada

Earth Law Center, USA


European Research Institute on Water Policy (IERPE), Italy

EYES Network

Federação Nacional dos Urbanitários (FNU/CUT), Brazil

Federacion de Funcionarios de Ose (FFOSE), Uruguay

Food and Water Watch, US and Europe

Forum Brasileiro de Surf e Sustentabilidade, Brazil

Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua

France Libertes, France

Frente Nacional pelo Saneamento Ambiental

Freshwater Action Network, Mexico

Fundacion Solon, Bolivia

Focus on the Global South, Thailand, India, Philippines

Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, International

IBON international

Indigenous Environmental Network

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA

Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Philippines

Mensageiros da Agua

Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Nigeria

One World Awake, USA

Pacto Publico del Agua (Anibal Facendini and Nelton Friedrich), Italy

Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (National Union of Peasants in the Philippines)

People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty

Polaris Institute, Canada

Plataforma de Acuerdos Publico Comunitarios de las Americas

Public Services International

Red Vida, Americas

Re: Common, Italy

Solidarity Workshop, Bangladesh

Transnational Institute, Netherlands

More Information:

Indigenous Peoples International Declaration on Self-Determination and Sustainable Development

cupuladospovos-logoIndigenous Peoples from all regions of the world met at the “Indigenous Peoples International Conference on Sustainable Development and Self Determination,” from June 17th – 19th 2012 at the Museu da República in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We thank the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil for welcoming us their homelands and express our solidarity for their struggles imposed development such as the Belo Monte Dam which threaten their homelands and ways of life. We also thank indigenous peoples from all regions of the world for their preparatory activities and engagement in this process.

We affirm with one voice that it is time to assume the historical responsibilities to reverse centuries of predation, pollution, colonialism, the violation of rights and genocide. It is time to assume the responsibilities towards our future generations. It is time to choose life. Read more.

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