Empowering Local Communities with Social Accountability Tools
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM CESTStockholm, Sweden
Can improving transparency help curb water pollution? Join experts at World Water Week as they uncover the connection between strong freedom of information laws and access to clean water.
Industrial facilities release 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, toxic sludge and other pollutants into the world’s waters each year. Globally, 80% of this wastewater flows untreated into the water sources that people depend on for their health and economic well-being. Yet those who suffer most from this pollution in Asia—poor and marginalized communities—don’t know if their water is safe to use for drinking, bathing, farming and fishing.
At this World Water Week Showcase event, The Access Initiative will launch a new report that identifies key barriers preventing local communities in three Asian countries from accessing water pollution information—a right that underpins their ability to participate in decision-making and hold governments to account. In doing so, our research uncovers a challenge that many developing countries face: strong "right to know" laws on the books fall short of achieving full transparency in practice.
Join water governance experts for a discussion on this environmental injustice and the steps that governments, civil society and people around the world can take to resolve it.
Carole Excell, Acting Director, Environmental Democracy Practice, World Resources Institute
Elizabeth Moses, Research Analyst II, Environmental Democracy Practice, World Resources Institute
Delphine Clavreul, Policy Analyst, Water Governance Programme, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Lotte Feuerstein, Regional and Programme Coordinator – Tools and Methodologies, East Africa, Water Integrity Network
Nick Hepworth, Director, Water Witness International