Sunday 20 October 2013

Butterfly Effect sends a strong message during a side event in New York

The Butterfly Effect had great opportunities to advocate for our point of view on a dedicated Water SDG: Maggie White (ISW) and Lesha Witmer(BPWI) attended events surrounding the UN General Assembly in New York. Lesha addressed an event as follow up for the Dushanbe Conference, organised by Tajikistan, last August. Maggie speeched during the event on water risks and a water SDG, co-convened by the governments of Switzerland, Columbia, the Netherlands, UNSGAB, and the World Water Council.

Some countries were also very clear on their support for a dedicated Water Goal during the official session of the UNGA, e.g. Switzerland and The Netherlands

Maggie's speech:
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me the floor, my name is Maggie White, I am a member of the steering committee of a global network encompassing more than 190 CSOs and NGOs called the Butterfly Effect.

Our members work on water and sanitation related issues in different regions and from different perspectives but have joined forces to jointly stress the importance of the water agenda for sustainable development.

We highly welcome the input from Switzerland, Netherlands and Colombia and the other countries represented here that push for water and sanitation in their main priorities in the post 2015 agenda.

We expect the GA of the UN to decide on 1 process to reach 1 set of goals in 1 governance structure for the sustainable development of our world, converging the development and the sustainable development agenda.  In doing this chances of success will be increased by creating a sense of purpose and one forward looking vision. Ownership of the goals will be shared and this will reinforce a progressive global partnership through cooperation of all stakeholders.

This will not only increase effectiveness and create a believable license to operate, that people can understand, but on top of that, it will enhance focused and coherent facilitation and funding to achieve these goals.

With that in mind, we call for an explicit goal aiming for a water safe world – in quantity, quality, accessibility and affordability.

This goal should be based on normative principles of equitable and reasonable use, participation, pollution prevention and causing no significant harm and also on the Human right to safe water and sanitation in order to prevent inequality and discrimination. It should therefore be characterized by the availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of affordable water for health, livelihoods, ecosystems and production. And be coupled with a manageable level of water related risks to people, environments and economies.

We believe that we must aim for the shared benefit of a water safe world through SMARTER targets on :
-          universal, sustainable gender-responsive access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene be it at home, schools, work
-           integrated management of water resources and water stewardship, maintaining the ecosystem,
-          the application of the 3R principals

 However to this end, we need to:
-  establish water governance systems that apply the principles of transparency, accountability, access to information, participation and cooperation
-  always incorporate capacity development 
-  ensure prioritization of water resource management in national plans
-  ensure better financing of the WASH sector also in emergency contexts,

 Sustainable development is impossible without active involvement of all stakeholders, be it in the decision making, design and implementation. Civil society can therefore complement the role of governments in setting policies at national or international levels and be instrumental in implementing these policies on the ground. It is crucial to incorporate the active role of the major groups, in particular the pivotal role of women and youth, in achieving this goal.

In conclusion, it is clear that water and sanitation are key determinants in all aspects of social, economic and environmental development and must therefore be a central focus of any post-2015 framework. And while recognizing that water is cross cutting for all the other goals we want to achieve, we are calling upon the governments present here to work towards and push for an explicit goal on water it being widely recognized that sustainable water management is the basis for the achievement of all sustainable development.

Water is the key to a shared prosperity!

(And to keep reminding you, and further the discussions, we would like to share with you a short summary of our input and post cards that illustrate the pivotal role of water in a joined sustainable agenda.)

Theater of the absurd

Stockholm World Water Week this year provided the "stage" for the "Theater of the Absurd".

This play was created by UNESCO-IHP and UN-Water in the framework of the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. It is a theatrical representation of the world's surreal, and as yet, unsolved dilemmas surrounding water security, water governance and water cooperation.
This 4-act play on trusting each other, sharing commons, and ultimately deciding if we are capable of perpetuating our development without endangering the planet was video taped.

Maggie White and Lesha Witmer played the Butterflies, appearing in act 3. They conveyed the messages of the Butterfly Effect in a different setting.

“The Theatre of the Absurd” is now online at the Water Channel: video
There is also a short trailer (just like in the movies!) for a behind-the-scenes look - now available at the UNESCO YouTube Channel

Wednesday 3 July 2013

from local to global : The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect : the international NGO’ Coalition

‘From local to global’
 Launched within the framework of the 6th World Water Forum, the Butterfly Effect is a coalition of international and local CSOs, which advocates for effective local solutions that have a sustainable impact on improving access to water and sanitation and water resource management. The Butterfly Effect is made up of over 90 civil society organizations, NGOs, networks and women’s’ organizations representing 4 different regions in the world (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe).

Mobilize – Advocate – Propose – Share

Our objectives are to :
§         Mobilize and facilitate meaningful NGO and CSO participation and contribution in World Water Fora and on the “Water” international agenda in general by pooling knowledge and resources and exert greater influence over the sector’s actors and decision-makers;
§         Promote inclusive processes in the World Water Fora in order to ensure a prominent role for civil society organisations, both throughout the preparatory processes and during the Forum;

§         Share innovative expertise: The Butterfly Effect proposes solutions based on human rights principles, communities’ experience that relate to policies, projects, information campaigns and empowering stakeholders. Crucially, these solutions are local, sustainable, adaptable, innovative, equitable, accountable and people-orientated.

Overcome the water crisis at all levels

We have identified several key water governance and management issues that need addressing to overcome the water crisis and contribute to water security in the broader sense :

§         The human right and access to safe water and sanitation: Implement this human right quickly, by all appropriate means and at all levels. Develop human rights based national roadmaps (national action plans) for the implementation of the human rights to safe water and sanitation by 2015 and beyond.

§         Governance: Integrate specifically the equity, participation and accountability dimensions of a human rights-based approach in water governance.

§         Finance: Implement sustainable reliable finance mechanisms that are earmarked for water and sanitation services for the poor (namely where fiscal and grant financing takes precedence over loan financing)

§         Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health linkages: Base sound policies on a “nexus” understanding of the critical linkages between sanitation, water, environment, health and nutrition.

§         Capacity Development: Create a demand / needs-based capacity development program that enables and empowers civil society, community organizations and stakeholders to fulfil their roles in water governance and management.

§         Peace and (transboundary) cooperation: Ratify and domesticate the UN Watercourses Convention, (and were appropriate the UNECE water convention) thus promoting basic rules for cooperation and sustainable and equitable use of international watercourses shared between States.

§         Water and natural resources management and climate change: Empower local communities and relevant institutions at the lowest relevant level to plan and manage water and related natural resources through scaling-up and enhancing valuable community-based mitigation and adaptation strategies and programs

§         Water -  and Food security: Recognize the value of local (indigenous and traditional) knowledge and ensure local voices are taken into account in policies and their implementation at all levels.

§         Water and emergencies: Support the appropriation and application of the Hyōgo framework for action by all States facing chronic crisis.

Our members :
ACF – AJAAMEP - AIDDP – ANDAR - ANEW - AOSED- ASSOCIATION DES VOLONTAIRES DU DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE EN RDC- ARCA – BPW I - Both Ends- BORDA-CCFD- CCHR - CCOAD- CDC – LSTHM- CIUDAD- Coalition Eau- Coalition Nationale- Conservation International - Coopération Atlantique Guinée 44 – Corambiente – CRSD - 4D -  Eau Vive – EAST – Ecogerencia - Ecumenical Water Network - End Water Poverty - FAN Global- FAN Mexico- FAN South America (FANAS)- FAN South Asia (FANSA) - FANCA – FANAS - Fit For School- Grameen Development Society- GONWAS -Green Cross International- GRET- Groupe Pivot Eau-Hygiène et Assainissement- HSF- Helvetas- Humanitaire Plus- IIED-AL- IRTECO- Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)- ISW- Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement- Jal Bhagirathi Foundation – KEWASNET - LEDARS - LVIA- Mediu et Sanitas- MENTOR Initiative- MFCS -Muslim Family Counselling services- MSB (Swedish civil contingency agency) – NASACAYUB -NCA- Netwater-Nile Basin Discourse – NRMI - OXYO WATER- Progressio- Projection- Protos- RADI - Réseau Africain pour le Développement Intégré – ROCS - SARAR - SCF-UK / Save the children- Secours Catholique – Caritas- SWE-SWEM- SIMAVI- Secours Islamique- Service Humanitaire de Développement - Stay Green Foundation- SWAPHEP- Tearfund – UICN – UNISUR - Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET)- Volta Basin Development Foundation / Ghana Dams Dialogue- WaterAid Burkina Faso- WaterAid Nepal- WaterLex- WECF- WET (project) - Wetlands international- WfWP- WU-WASH UNITED- WWF – International- WWF – France- WWF-Suisse.

Contact :
Maggie White, International Secretariat for Water (ISW)
Coordinator of the Butterfly Effect
Cell. : +33677250055