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Maude Barlow

Activist & Former UN Senior Advisor on Water

Barlow is a political activist, author, policy critic and outspoken crusader for Canada. She is a director with the International Forum on Globalization, a network of individuals and groups from around the world advocating for democratic control of the global economy, and serves as the national volunteer chairperson for The Council of Canadians, a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization supported by 100,000 members.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Boiling Point
We are complacent. We bask in the idea that Canada holds 20% of the world’s fresh water — water crises face other countries, but not ours. We could not be more wrong. In this presentation Maude lays bare the issues facing Canada’s water reserves, including long-outdated water laws, unmapped and unprotected groundwater reserves, agricultural pollution, industrial-waste dumping, boil-water advisories, and the effects of deforestation and climate change. This will be the defining issue of the coming decade, and most of us have no idea that it is on our very own doorstep.

Blue Future
Maude draws on her extensive experience and insight to lay out a set of key principles that show the way forward to what she calls a “water-secure and water-just world.” Not only does she reveal the powerful players even now impeding the recognition of the human right to water, she argues that water must not become a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market. Focusing on solutions, she includes stories of struggle and resistance from marginalized communities, as well as government policies that work for both people and the planet.

  • Maude has that combination of passion, relevant information and human caring that totally involve her audience.

    - Econexus

Summary Profile

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the United Nations. She also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude Barlow was one of the “1000 Women for Peace” nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. In the same year, she received the prestigious Lannon Cultural Freedom Fellowship as well as the Right Livelihood Award. Known as the “Alternative Nobel” and given by the Swedish Parliament, the Right Livelihood Award cited her “exemplary and long-standing worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental right to water.” She also won the Citation of Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Canadian Environmental Awards, Canada’s highest environmental honour.

Recently Maude was named the first Advisor on Water to the United Nations where she advises Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, the new President of the General Assembly. Maude is also the star of several documentaries about water. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.