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WCC Blue Community implements water changes in the Ecumenical Centre

WCC Blue Community implements water changes in the Ecumenical Centre

WCC Deputy General Secretary, Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri. © Peter Williams/WCC

Feb 16, 2017

By Pamela Valdes*

The World Council of Churches (WCC) celebrated implementation of its responsible water commitments in an event on 15 February in the Ecumenical Centre.

The WCC became a Blue Community In October 2016. The special occasion was marked by the visit of Dr Maude Barlow from the Blue Planet Project, Canada, who awarded a “blue community certificate” to the WCC and raised awareness of the problems created by indiscriminate use of disposable plastic bottles and their negative impact on our planet’s ecosystem.

Several tap-water-based dispensers were then installed in different areas of the Ecumenical Centre in an effort to provide safe, clean and plastic-free water to WCC staff and visitors.

To honour this new Blue Community commitment, the newly installed system was presented at a Wednesday launch event in the centre, and WCC staff members were presented with specially designed personalized glass water bottles with the WCC logo and a message about the Blue Community.

WCC Deputy General Secretary, Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, led the celebration of dispensers. “They are not merely a facility,” she stated. “They also provide us with statistics on how many bottles of water we have saved ourselves from buying and how much of CO2 we have reduced by simply using these water dispensers.”  In addition, she reminded the WCC community of the three criteria for being a Blue community, which are: Recognizing water as a human right, saying “no” to the sale and use of bottled water in places where tap water is safe to drink and promoting publicly financed, owned and operated drinking water and waste water treatment services.

A short video illustrated the WCC’s commitment to being an environment-friendly organization.

Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) coordinator, Dinesh Suna, stated: “I am delighted to see my colleagues using these Blue Community glass water bottles.  These would go a long way in promoting a culture of ‘reuse, reduce and recycle’ and will contribute toward making the WCC an eco-friendly organization here in Geneva.  I sincerely hope that our member churches in Europe and North America will actively promote tap-water-based solutions to their drinking water needs, for their personal use as well as for professional engagements.”

Video: WCC joins the Blue Community

*Pamela Valdes, Language Service coordinator, WCC Communications.