Bern is first “Blue community” in Europe.

(18 September 2013) The city of Bern in Switzerland has announced that it will be a “blue community” from now.

A “blue community” is one that adopts a water commons framework by taking the three actions:

  1. Recognizing water as a human right.
  2. Promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste water services.
  3. Banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events.

A water commons framework treats water as belonging to no one, and the responsibility of all. Because water is central to human activity, it must be governed by principles that allow for reasonable use, equal distribution and responsible treatment in order to preserve water for nature and future generations.

Social justice, environmental, and labour organizations in Europe are applauding the city of Bern for taking a bold new step to protect water as a commons.  Launched by the Blue Planet Project based in Canada, the Blue Communities certification requires municipal governments to pass legislation recognizing water as a human right and pledging to promote and protect public water and sanitation services. We hope that you can encourage your municipality to become a “blue community” as well.

While a growing number of Canadian municipalities have become Blue Communities, Bern is the first city in Europe to receive a Blue Communities certificate.

To learn more about the Blue Communities Project, please visit: