Water is an essential element for life and a crucial component of the human environment. It is also an indispensable natural resource needed for the production of our food and the maintenance of our planet’s basic functions. For these reasons, water has increasingly become a central political element in peoples’ struggles for food sovereignty. The current edition of the Nyéléni newsletter exposes the growing global threat of privatization and commodification of water – especially those of the oceans and of inland waters, which are the source of life for thousands of millions of fisher folks the world over.
Fisher communities from different regions and countries, organized in global movements – the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) and the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) – are resisting “ocean/water grabbing”, which follows similar logic to land grabbing.
Under the ideology of “bringing development” to the “poor” regions of the world, states, international financial institutions, coalitions of transnational corporations, philanthropic foundations and transnational environmental NGOs are increasingly denying access to natural resources of fisher communities and threatening their traditional fishing practices. The so-called model of “blue growth” they promote has little to do with the protection and fulfilment of the human rights of these communities and more to do with the maximization of the profits of private companies at the expense of peoples’ access to oceans and inland waters.