Civil society at the heart of the “Butterfly effect”

15 March 2012

Civil society commitment, a key to success? (photo: Audrey de Bonneville)

Many concrete solutions for access to water and sanitation were presented under the “Butterfly effect” header. From Africa to Asia, solutions have a common denominator: commitment from local communities.

“Civil society solutions: a conscious approach to Human Rights”. From South America to South East Asia, solutions are presented through this prism. No matter the themes discussed (governance, food security, climate change, transboundary cooperation, etc.), humans are at the heart of solutions.

“Equipping” people, providing them with tools, involving them in decision-making processes; finding solutions together, disseminating and exchanging knowledge at the local level; improving awareness, education and training. All of these are key notions in the solutions put forward.

The mountainous Oaxaca region of Mexico has already seen these ideas in action. Thanks to the cooperation of more than 2000 students and professors from 17 schools, the region now boasts sustainable water supply and sanitation facilities that are, most importantly, adapted to the region’s needs. 

A call for political commitment
“Agree to share your influence with us, the citizens”, said Laurent Chabert d’Hier, Eau Vive Director, to local and political authorities. The objective: improve cooperation and dialogue between all stakeholders and political authorities.
The national-level implementation of strategic action plans on the right to water and sanitation is highly anticipated. By creating forums for dialogue and exchange, as do associations like the guatemalan “Alienza por el Agua” (Water Alliance), coordination between authorities and civil society can be achieved.
The 6th World Water Forum was innovative in that, specific "NGO" sessions were given a place within the World Water Forum's programme. “The Butterfly Effect ” is an NGO composed of more than 80 non-governmental organisations, networks and women’s associations.

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