The inter-linkages between the human right to water, and the nexus between the right to adequate food and other social economic rights were presented by WaterLex at GFFA, Berlin. It’s importance for the agricultural sector was stressed, including the practicalities of implementation and monitoring the human right to water, and the obligation that states have to provide food security and prioritization of water use for domestic and personal use.
WaterLex Director for Africa, Rose Osinde Alabaster presented at the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), on an expert panel, organised by Bread for the World. This event is held each January during International Green Week (IGW) in Berlin. The three-day forum offers representatives from the worlds of politics, business, science and civil society an opportunity to share ideas and agree on a different key topic of agricultural policy each year. The GFFA is organized by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH.
Conclusions from the WaterLex presentation included:
- Several human rights are relevant in this context, and they all need to be accounted for by States to meet their obligations related to the use of water. These include the right to water, the right to adequate food and the enjoyment of the highest possible standards of health
- A framework based on human rights norms and standards defines priorities at national and local levels as it provides a legitimate reference
- An understanding of the relevant States obligations related to the human rights concerned provides a suitable road map
- The solution lies in developing adequate legal-policy and regulatory frameworks, plus national strategies for the realization of the human rights to water, food and health.
Road Map for the next five years in the context of SDG’s.
States need to:
- Adapt current laws, policies, strategies and monitoring practices to ensure that the most marginalized and vulnerable groups have an adequate standard of living
- Guarantee that enough water is available for personal and domestic use
- Prioritize based on human rights principles such as non-discrimination, participation and transparency
- Develop mechanisms and criteria that allow them to decide which claims for water have priority over access to, and availability of, water before conflicts escalate
- Establish fair and equitable dispute resolution mechanisms and criteria
- Establish action plans prepared for disasters that restrict access to water due to water scarcity induced by changing natural circumstances and climate changes