Action for Water

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > West Africa > Benin

Africa/Madagascar > West Africa > Burkina Faso
Africa/Madagascar > West Africa > Mali
Africa/Madagascar > West Africa > Niger
Europe/Middle-East > West Central Europe > France

Action for Water logo
© WWF France


WWF France, within the framework of its freshwater programme has developed a programme called Action for Water. This programme involves private and public partners, working on various projects, either in France or at international level, and supported by the WWF network, such as for example the Niger Basin or Madagascar.

Action for Water aims at improving water ressources and feshwater natural ecosystems in the countries of the North and of the South bringing together the citizen and the territorial organisations of the North to be active not only in their own environment but also to help the populations and territorial organisations of the countries of the South to launch their own projects, in their own areas.


Conservation problems which are being addressed with the programme are problems of water quantity and quality and disappearance and destruction of freshwater natural habitats (wetlands and forests in France and in Southern countries (in priority in the Niger Basin), and problem of sustainable access to drinking water, sanitation and food self-sufficiency in Southern countries.

Goal of WWF’s intervention: develop world citizenship and improve sustainable access to drinking water in the South.

Justification: the Niger Basin, Mediterranean zone (Maghreb), Madagascar and the Mekong Basin are ecoregions chosen by WWF France in its international strategy.

WWF’s partners will be: WWF West African Regional Programme Office, WWF Madagascar, Eau Vive, Cari, Terre et Humanisme.


The WWF programme Action for Water aims at improving the situation of the water ressources and aquatic environment in the countries of the North and of the South.

The underlying idea is to urge the citizens and the territorial communities in the North to act in their own area and to be supportive of the populations of the South to implement field projects in the South, bringing together its citizens and the regional communities.

In the North, Action for Water encourages the citizens to commit themselves on certain topics:

- Modify their behaviour (for example, to take a shower instead of a bath).
- Use non harmful domestic products (household products with an ecolabel).
- Organise their habitats to help saving water (recuperation of rain water).
- Help nature to help itself, for example by improving the water absorbency of the surface soils.
- Be wise in the use of water: e.g. plant crops not too water voracious, grown in a sustainable manner and without using synthetic pesticide.
- Participate in public consultation and decision-making processes within the framework of the masterplan on water.
- Make donations to the Action for Water projects in the South.

Commitment of the local organisations:

- Raise the awareness of the public at large on the importance of water resources and aquatic environment.
- Develop collective actions with the people of the territory, implementing initiatives aiming at using water with care, trying to reduce pollution and preserving aquatic areas.
- Reduce the harmful effects of certain policies on the countries of the South, via collective restoration efforts.
- In this approach of decentralized cooperation, gear the water projects towards a more sustainable water management, integrating the preservation of both the water ressources and the aquatic areas such as wetlands and rain forests.
- Fund the Action for Water projects in the countries of the South.

Commitment of the public institutions:

- Keep in mind the criterium of integration when launching their development projects in the field of preservation of the water resources and of the aquatic environment.
- Increase their funding in this type of activities.

Commitments of business and industry:

- Raise awareness of the consumers on the problem of water resources and aquatic environment and what is at stake.
- Promote water saving ecological products (water saver, organic products).
- Call for donations to fund Action for Water initiatives in the South.

In the South:

Implementation of field projects:

In the first phase of the programme (4 years), 6 projects will be funded in the Niger Basin (1), then the activities will be extended to the Maghreb countries (2), Madagascar (3) and finally to the Mekong Basin (4). These projects will be carried out by local structures and under the coordination of the WWF West Africa Regional Programme Office. The local population and local authorities will be both involved, thus ensuring continuity to the projects.

Goals of projects:

- Improve access to water.
- Improve food self-sufficiency for the population.
- Link together protection and management of water resources and natural environment.

The preservation of water resources and aquatic environment shall have to be taken into account in the various development aids and water management schemes.

WWF would like to bring a change to the national and regional policies so that the measures adopted for easy access to water, a more secure food supply, a better health, would focus more on the importance of water resources and aquatic environment to reach a sustainable development for all the countries concerned.


Conceive and launch an awareness campaign to communities and individuals in France.

Promote, in Southern French speaking countries, a sustainable access to water (pilot projects and training).

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