Representatives of the EWN and the ASA, ©Albin Hillert/WCC

Representatives of the EWN and the ASA, ©Albin Hillert/WCC


The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) hosted the Brazilian Semiarid Articulation (ASA) on 25 April for a dialogue on human rights and water justice in Brazil.

Representatives of the EWN and the ASA discussed human rights within the framework of the right to water, and they also focused on alternatives for sustainable living offered by ASA.

Together, EWN and ASA members considered ways to build strategic support, potentially by using best practices from the EWN’s array of global initiatives related to water justice and learning from ASA’s grassroots engagement in adapting to semi-arid conditions.

Brazil accounts for 12 percent  of the earth’s surface fresh water, yet 24 million people in the country live in the semi-arid region, ASA delegates said.

The ASA, a network of more 3,000 civil society organizations, comprises non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and small farmers’ unions from the semi-arid region of Brazil.

In Brazil’s current difficult economic and political context, constitutional rights - including the rights to water, food security, minority rights and labour rights - are threatened, particularly for those living in the semiarid region and for Indigenous People.

The delegation from ASA is visiting Europe in an effort to develop international solidarity, raise public awareness and advocate for policy changes that protect human rights.

Dinesh Suna, coordinator of WCC- EWN, who moderated the session, said, “In light of the forthcoming World Water Forum (WWF) in Brazil in 2018, strategic partnership with ASA Brazil will be  vital for EWN’s effective participation there.”

The EWN has a special connection with Brazil: at the WCC 9th Assembly in 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a statement on “Water for Life” was adopted, and the WCC formally committed to fostering cooperation of churches and ecumenical partners on water concerns. From this commitment, the EWN initiative was born.

In 2015, WCC Latin American president Rev. Gloria Nohemy Ulloa Alvarado and WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit visited Latin America as part of WCC’s ongoing pilgrimage of justice and peace.


Learn more about the Ecumenical Water Network

Brazilian Semiarid Articulation