Vitae Civilis - the institute for development, environment and peace
FAN member Vitae Civilis – the Institute for Development, Environment and Peace – is an NGO in Brazil working towards a sustainable society.
The name Vitae Civilis, which is Latin for civil society, refers to the institute’s commitment to strengthening citizenship and civil society organizations.
It works to support five basic pillars in its work: social justice; environmental conservation and integrity; diversity; democracy; and economic viability, with a mission to create a ‘civil society actively engaged in the governance of social and environmental sustainability in the global, national and local spheres.’
Since its creation in 1989, the organization has promoted inter-sectoral dialogue on policies and practices that are relevant to achieve social and environmental sustainability.
Vitae Civilis carries out research using participatory methodologies; it is currently preparing studies and public discussions on alternative measures to tackle the detrimental effects of climate change. As part of this work, it will devise climate change policies for all countries following the guidelines of the Kyoto Protocol.
The organisation engages in partnerships to define actions and specifi c initiatives for sustainable development through interaction, capacity building and the strengthening of networks and civil society organizations.
Vitae Civilis is a founding member of FAN. Vitae Civilis representantives were present at the World Water Forum in Kyoto 2003 and Istanbul 2009. They have supported FAN by promoting its activities, as well as coordinating NGOs at the World Water Forum.
Cristina Orpheo, Manager, said: "It was amazing to participate in the World Water Forum and see all the water actors discussing the issues that are crucial today."
Picture caption and credit: Cristina with FANAS Regional Coordinator German Rocha and FANAS member Vera Catalão at the World Water Forum in Istanbul Vitae Civilis Director Rubens Born Joana Bezerra Joana Bezerra
PROJECT IN FOCUS: WATER CONNECTIONS
Vitae Civilis believes in universal and affordable access to water and sanitation as a human right. Working towards this vision, Vitae Civilis engages people and institutions in responsible use of water and wastewater treatment through various approaches, including watershed conservation, recovery of damaged ecosystems and active participation in decision-making forums (particularly watershed committees).
Since 1994, Vitae Civilis has been working on integrated water management, environmental sanitation and cleaning rivers in cities and metropolitan regions with the project, Water Connections: establishing currents of citizenship in defence of headwater areas. Its goal is to establish dialogue and links between stakeholders, and increase civil society’s influence on the government institutions’ involved in water and sanitation decision making. Through the program, Land of Waters, Diversity of Lives, Vitae Civilis aims to facilitate the integrated management of environmental services and resources in different urban and rural territories.