SAO PAULO, June 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The World Environment Forum sponsored by the LIDE – Grupo de Lideres Empresariais [Group of Business Leaders] in Foz do Iguacu on June 21 and 22, was an invitation to society to rethink its habits in pursuit of environmental preservation. The theme – "2013: International Year of Cooperation on Water" brought together 405 businessmen, activists and government officials.
Roberto Klabin of LIDE Sustentabilidade [LIDE Sustainability], and Pedro Passos of SOS Mata Atlantica, delivered a manifesto for Iguacu Park to Izabella Teixeira, Minister of the Environment, and Beto Richa, Governor of Parana. Minister Teixeira took a position against the reopening of the Estrada do Colono highway, which cuts across the Park. "I do not need to reopen the highway to promote the sustainable development of Parana," she said.
Subsequently, Luiz Cheida, Secretary of Environment and Water Resources for the state of Parana, Vicente Andreu, President of the National Water Agency, Governor Richa and Minister Teixeira signed the National Water Management Pact, an initiative to strengthen water management in Brazil.
On the panel entitled, "The global water crisis," the President of the National Water Council, Benedito Braga, stressed the need to ensure water security, providing access to water of good quality. "Providing water security for the public is an obligation of the State. We've got the technical solutions, but the issue is political and financial."
In his lecture on "Water management in Brazil and the world," Robert Kennedy Jr., a specialist in environmental law, said that privatization is the worst problem before us now. According to Kennedy, everyone should have a right to water, even those who cannot afford to pay for it.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, oceanographer and President of the Ocean Futures Society, called attention to the fact that there is only one water system in the world. "It is a critical moment. We must find solutions to protect the planet's living beings," he declared, on the panel, "Environmental Services of the Oceans." As Cousteau sees it, Brazil has an opportunity to assume leadership and persuade other nations to protect the environment.
Marina Silva, former Minister of the Environment, defended the recent mass demonstrations and stated that "a new political subject is emerging as a result of technology." In her view, people do not wish to remain in the position of powerlessness they have been placed in.
The Foz do Iguacu Charter [Carta de Foz do Iguacu] sums up the conclusions reached at the Forum, underscoring the need for changes in patterns of consumption to take ecosystems and water resources into account. It proposes the implementation of public policies to guarantee the protection and distribution of water and sanitation in the short term. A platform was also created for immediate actions, such as the non-creation of the Iguaçu Park highway, approval of the PSA draft law before 2014, and the establishment of tax incentives to promote sanitation.
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SOURCE: Forum Mundial de Meio Ambiente