Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

FAN Global at the 6th World Water forum

With over 60 members attending the event and participating in over 20 sessions, FAN Global voices rung out throughout 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, contributing to the debates and decisions that affect them and the people they work to serve.

The forum, which took place over 12th-17th March 2012, brought together government representatives, civil society and the private sector. This year's event was billed the 'forum for solutions' and participants were asked to contribute practical solutions to the challenges faced in the water sector. 

Quick links

Navigate to the section of interest using these links:

Preparing for the process

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FAN Global worked hard to ensure meaningful participation for its members over two years running up to the conference, lobbying the forum to improve the political, thematic and regional process as well as ensuring funding for civil society participation. FAN members worked with others in the Butterfly Effect coalition to develop messages to the forum around key issues which were presented in a press conference on Monday.

Download a summary of the press coverage generated (PDF 54Kb)

The orientation meeting

An orientation day was held with the Butterfly Effect on Monday to help prepare members for their participation.

Civil society messages and the ministerial declaration

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Members also worked together to synthesise these messages into three two-minute presentations as civil society commitments in the official closing ceremony, see the photo celebrating their finalisation by the commitments team above. Also, the Butterfly Effect members work together to develop a joint response to the controversial ministerial declaration

Although members' flights and accommodation were funded by the forum, their participation was threatened by chaotic and last minute support with many members not receiving visa invitation letters or details of their flights until the last week. Costs of taking taxis and high prices for meals meant that members really appreciated the small per diem provided by FAN Global.

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Exhibition space

FAN Global shared a common exhibition space with other Butterfly Effect coalition members.

The large space was well positioned and attracted many passersby but most importantly, it provided an valuable space for members to meet, share their experiences and network with fellow colleagues from the FAN network and the Butterfly Effect coalition.

FAN Global Side Event

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Over 90 people attended the FAN Global Side Event, Why the human rights based approach is key to ensuring equitable sustainable development. A panel discussion followed some great presentations from Teresa Zepeda Torres, FAN Mexico, Catherine Mwango, ANEW, Venkatesh Aralikatty, FAN South Asia. The session was opened and closed by Catarina De Albuquerque, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Danielle presented Catarina with a copy of our new publication The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation in law and policy - a sourcebook. The publication, which we produced jointly with WASH United and WaterLex, details laws and policies guaranteeing the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation at national, regional and international levels.

Read more about the side event

Find out more about the launch of The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation in law and policy - a sourcebook

Butterfly Effect sessions 

Many FAN members presented in the two official Butterfly Effect sessions, Solutions from civil society: Inspiring change through a human rights based approach and Occupy the 6th World Water Forum: Building inclusive human rights-based governance of Water resources and water and sanitation services from the bottom-up! Watch a video of Fabiola Garduño’s presentation on the achievements of FAN in Mexico in the first session:  



Other member sessions

Read our 6th World Water Forum FAN activities page for details of all our sessions or download the FAN Global 6th World Water Forum leaflet including quick glance calendar of events:

English (PDF 340Kb) French (PDF 300Kb) Spanish (PDF 300Kb)

Download a collection of solutions submitted by FANSA members to the 6th World Water Forum the compendium  (PDF 500Kb)

Village of solutions

The Village of Solutions seeked to raise participants’ awareness through exhibits and special events in an interactive and educational way. The 'village' included a school, library, town hall, factory and bank and solutions related to these areas were displayed in each of the creatively designed spaces. Of the 1,500 solutions that were submitted to the forum, only 70 were selected. Those 70 included six FAN members.

Find out more

Member reflections from the forum

Read a selection of reflections from members who attended the 6th World Water Forum - on the highs, the lows, the learning and what they'll take home.

FAN Global Board


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All but one of the FAN Global Board have now been nominated and on Friday, Aralikatty Venkatesh, FANSA, organised an impromptu welcome to two of the Board members who were present, Doreen Wandera (nominated by ANEW) and Archana Patkar (nominated by FANSA).

Board members Haydeé Rodríguez and Ron Sawyer, both nominated by the Latin American networks, were also present at the forum. There were in a session coordinated by FANMex at the time but had a chance to meet members throughout the week. 

Watch an interview of Doreen

FAN members meeting 

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On Saturday, FAN members gathered to review their experiences of the week, looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats presented by the forum. They also broke out into groups to listen to watch other’s stories of participating in other advocacy events. The Regional Coordinators of FANSA, ANEW, FANCA, FANAS and FANMex spoke of their vision for a future FAN Global followed by questions from the floor. Ceridwen Johnson, FAN Global’s Communications and Network Manager, who leaves the network on 2 April to join the Sanitation and Water for All campaign after six years with the network, took the opportunity to wish the network a heartfelt good bye.  

The week in pictures

See the week in pictures and send us yours!

Find out more

Download a list of FAN members who attended the forum 

For a Latin American perspective, follow updates from the forum on FAN Central America's website

Butterfly Effect blog

Read more about the preparatory process

6th World Water forum briefing September 2011