Thessaloniki becomes a blue community
Thessaloniki is the first city in Greece to become a member of the Blue Communities network after signing the relevant agreement to protect water as a human right and public good.
The Blue Communities Network was established in Canada in 2009 with the collaboration of the National Council, the Federation of Public Employees and the Blue Planet Project, and advocates the protection and fair distribution of water resources.
The ceremony took place in Thessaloniki town hall with the presence of officials including the Mayor Yannis Boutaris and EYATH (the city's public drinking water utility) president Yiannis Krestenitis and Maude Barlow , the Blue Community Ambassador and chairman of “the Council of Canadians”.
The Mayor recognized the water as a public good and promoted the use of tap water to bottled for reasons of environmental protection. The initiative will firstly promote the use of tap water in the City Hall and then in other municipal buildings as well as in catering professionals.
A 'blue community' is a municipality that adopts a framework that recognizes water as a human right, opposes the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, and promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services. A blue community can also be a university, faith-based grouping, union, First Nation, or another kind of association.
More than 18 Canadian cities are members of the Network, which then spread to major cities around the world. Globally, blue communities now include:
• Thessaloniki, Greece
• Paris, France
• Berlin, Germany
• Bern, Switzerland
• Cambuquira, Brazil
• St. Gallen, Switzerland
• University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
• University of Bern, Switzerland
• World Council of Churches
• Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirchgemeinde Spiez, Switzerland
• Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Bern-Johannes Church, Switzerland
• AEOPAS, Spain (blue community ambassador)
"Our Blue Communities Initiative started from my country, Canada, and spread around the world. I am excited that Thessaloniki has joined the Blue Communities network along with other cities in the world, including Paris, and Berlin is due to join soon. I hope all of Greece will become 'blue', because water is precious."
@ The council of Canadians