Adopted at the WSF in Tunis on March 29, 2013 Forum Against Useless and Imposed Mega Projects (*)
We, citizens, associations and movements that struggle against Useless and Imposed Mega Projects
- these projects represent ecological, socio-economic and human disasters, the destruction of wildlife areas and agricultural lands and of cultural and artistic heritage: they do harm and cause degradation, environmental pollution and have serious negative consequences for inhabitants,
- these projects exclude the effective participation of the population in the decision-making process and deny them access to the means of communication,
- faced with the serious social conflicts that these projects cause, governments and administrations operate in obscurity and treat proposals by citizens with contempt,
- the official justification for the realization of these new infrastructure projects is always based on false cost/benefit analyses and job creation,
- the priority placed on infrastructure mega projects is to the detriment of local needs,
- these projects increase competition between territories and always lean toward “bigger, faster, more expensive, more centralized”,
- the liberal economic system that dominates the world is experiencing a profound crisis: Useless and Imposed Mega Projects are instruments that guarantee exorbitant profits for large industrial and financial groups, civilians and military persons, who are no longer able to obtain the elevated rate of profit in the saturated global market,
- the realization of these useless projects is increasingly at the expense of public coffers: they produce enormous debts and don’t generate economic benefits, concentrating wealth and impoverishing society,
- mega projects permit the capitalist predator to increase its dominance on the planet generating irreversible damage to the environment and the populace,
- the same mechanisms that have increased the debt of the poorest nations since the end of direct colonialism are now being used on western countries.
- the logic of promoting geographic and functional concentration which doesn’t permit equitable local development, and uses mechanisms that threaten the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises and locally-based economic systems,
- the use of over-sized infrastructure for the production of non-renewable energy sources, the construction of large dams with technology that implies significant environmental damage to land, water, air and marine beds and the disappearance of entire areas, threatening the survival of future generations,
- the financing methods in these types of projects which generate enormous profits that are guaranteed by public funds together with a juridical-financial structure that is scandalous and favours companies that, through lobbying, influence political decision-making to obtain exceptional measures to get around all legal obstacles,
- the support for these projects on the part of various levels of local, national and supranational political structures, as well as global financial institutions, which are in opposition to the rights, needs and will of the people,
- the militarization and criminalization of opposition.
Affirm that solutions are possible:
- by maintaining and optimizing existing infrastructure which almost always represents an acceptable alternative, from an environmental and cost perspective, to the construction of new infrastructure which must respond to public interest and not profit,
- given the profound transformation of the socio-economic model that is in deep crisis, by giving preference to the proximity and re-localization of the economy, protection of agricultural land, energy-use moderation and the transition toward de-centralized, renewable energy sources: our priorities,
- by attributing the final part of the decision-making process to the populace directly affected, a fundamental factor for real democracy and local autonomy which can be obtained even through adequate legislative proposals, as opposed to an imposed development model,
- through new relationships of solidarity between the people of the south and the north that definitively break with the logic of domination and colonialism.
We affirm our solidarity with the struggle against Useless and Imposed Mega Projects and our common desire to re-appropriate our world.
(*) This declaration was prepared by associations and movements that oppose the realization of mega infrastructure projects (to transport people or cargo, energy, tourism, urban or military initiatives) united today at the Tunis WSF to join forces and raise their voices, being that the problems are the same across the globe.