World Water Forum
Held once every three years, the World Water Forum is the largest privately-organized gathering of water officials in the world. It is not a UN-organized event, but developed and managed by the World Water Council, a consortium of mostly private companies active in the water and sanitation sector. The most recent forum was held in Marseille, France in March 2012. Previous Fora were held in Morocco (1997), the Netherlands (2000), Japan (2003), Mexico (2006), and Istanbul (2009).
The World Water Fora are usually dominated by industry executives and government bureaucrats - the World Water Mafia - keen on advocating for more dirty, risky dams and water privatization. International Rivers has attended almost every water forum to convey the message that large dams are not green, and will not solve the water, energy, and climate challenges facing people and the planet. Water and river movements have always organized alternative water events in parallel with the official events - and International Rivers has always supported those events.
International Rivers sent our Policy Program Coordinator to the most recent World Water Forum, and the Alternative Water Forum, in Marseille in March 2012. He was part of an international contingent of experts and activists from Vietnam, Turkey, China, Togo, Colombia, France, Italy, Uganda, Brazil, and many more who rejected the Forum's greenwashing of dams through the promotion of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, and conveyed the message "Large Dams are Not Green".
In Istanbul in 2009, International Rivers, Friends of the Earth International and Oxfam Australia also launched the Free Rivers Award. This award was presented to Turkish group, Hasankeyf'i Yaşatma Girişimi, for their efforts to protect the Tigris River and support communities that depend on it from the construction of the Ilisu Dam.
Civil Society Declaration at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille
Blog: Debate: Why Large Dam Storage is Not the Right Option for Climate Resilience
Blog: "Civil Society Rejects Greenwashing of Dams at World Water Forum"
Dam Greenwashing Flows at 6th World Water Forum (World Rivers Review)
The Guardian: "World Water Forum declaration falls short of human rights, claim experts."
The Guardian: "World Water Forum will pander to corporate self-interest, say critics"
“Big Dams: A Flood of Risk,” brochure prepared for World Water Forum 5. Click here to read the brochure in Turkish.
Who's Behind the World Water Forums?
Opinion Piece: "On the Wrong Side of the Global Water Divide"