Michel Temer, President of Brazil, has penned an op-ed article, supplied to, and reproduced by a number of international media outlets, on the occasion of World Water Day, March 22.
Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, is this week hosting the eighth World Water Forum, which gathers over 12 Heads of State, upwards of 100 Ministers, Parliamentarians and Mayors and thousands of water and sustainable development experts and global citizens (totaling more than 20,000 attendees, under the over-arching theme of “Sharing Water”, at the world’s biggest water-related event to find solutions for global water security challenges.
OOSKAnews reports highlights of Brazilian Premier Temer’s article below.
Temer describes access to drinking water and basic sanitation as right and a condition for human life, writing that “guaranteeing access to water is one of the main challenges of our time”.
“Brazil has 12 per cent of the planet’s fresh water – but, despite this fact, we are not immune to water-related problems. Major cities in Brazil have been enduring water shortages. An unacceptable sanitation deficit persists, and the suffering caused by drought to the people of Brazil’s North-east region is a well-known fact”.
“The choice of Brazil to host one of the most important global events on water resources is no surprise. We have long been committed to this matter on the international stage. We hosted the Rio 92 and the Rio+20 conferences, in which the close link between water sustainability and development were recognized. More recently, we were among the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement, which deals with one of the main threats to the right of access to water: climate change”.
“This traditional (activism) on the world stage is anchored in solid measures on the domestic side. Brazil knows that water and sanitation are synonymous with environmental preservation, and we made water security a pillar of our environmental policies. To preserve our waterways, we implemented the River Planting program, which uses digital tools to protect our springs and permanent preservation areas”, Temer writes.
“We have also made significant progress towards protecting our forests. We have increased our forest conservation areas. We reversed the deforestation curve in the Amazon that we found to be on the rise, and we are about to create two vast marine biodiversity conservation areas. By protecting our ecosystems we protect our water sources. Having water is essential, but it is not enough. The water must get to those who need it”.
“Getting water to those who need it is what the transposition of the Sao Francisco River is all about. The long-awaited project, now in its final stages, will benefit a population of 12 million in Brazil’s North-east. With the portion that supplies water to the states of Pernambuco and Paraiba completed, the final phase involves enabling water to reach the state of Ceara. By completing this enormous public works project, we did not neglect our sustainability goals. We have launched a new project (Novo Chico), aimed at revitalizing the Sao Francisco River”.
“Our attention, once again, is focused on sanitation and the great deal that must still be done. We are putting the final touches on a bill of law aimed at modernizing our regulatory framework in sanitation and encouraging new investment in the area. What inspires us is the need to make this basic service universal”.
President Temer concludes: “This is the Brazil that is hosting the World Water Forum: a country in search of common solutions to global problems; a country that will continue to do its part in preserving our most precious resource”.