Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 2, Issue 24, 30 December 2011


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Demographic trends are placing more pressure on water-stressed regions than ever before. With the global population expected to increase by up to 50 per-cent in the next fifty years, sustainable management of water resources will present a significant development challenge. In Volume 2, Issue 24, the Rio+20: Making it Happen newsletter focuses on water, one of the seven priority issues that the Conference will address. Also in this issue, news from the 66th session of the UN General Assembly as it wraps up the work of its main session, important deadlines for Rio+20, and the updated negotiating schedule for the UNCSD.

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Rio+20: Making it Happen, Volume 2, Issue 24, 30 December 2011

  1. 1. Newsletter of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development30 December 2011, Volume 2, Issue 24 Rio+20 registration now open. Not accredited? Apply for one-time accreditation until 20 February. Rio+20: Water for the World In our efforts to raise awareness With the world welcoming its 7 billionth around the themes of Rio+20, we citizen in 2011, it is clear that population devote this special issue to Water, pressure will put an increasing amount of one of the seven critical issues stress on the world’s water resources in the of Rio+20. years to come. It is estimated that by 2030, cities around the world will collectively take on an extra 800 million people and that In this Issue roughly 60% of the global population will live in an urban environment. In addition, - Sustainable Water Management water use has been growing at more than Page 1 twice the rate of population increase in the last century alone. While recent studies report significant progress in providing access to improved drinking - Major Groups Corner water over the past two decades, water will remain a major global political, environmental and - News from the GA economic issue in coming years, and will be considered a critical issue at Rio+20. - Important Rio+20 Deadlines - Schedule of Negotiations Already, it is estimated that a more than one in six people worldwide lack adequate access to - Upcoming Events safe and clean drinking water. On top of that, over 2.5 billion people, including almost one Page 2 billion children, live without basic sanitation. In addition, a burgeoning global population will put increased pressure on the world’s food supply and security. This will put a major strain on global freshwater resources, of which 70% is already currently used for irrigation purposes. In preparation for Rio+20, the UNCSD Secretariat has released a Water Issues Brief that provides an overview of existing commitments, current initiatives and future goals relating to global water security. For more information, or to read the Issue Briefs, visit the Rio+20 website. Access to Safe Drinking Water Improved, But Poorest Still Lagging The new study by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN World Health Organization (WHO), Drinking Water Equity, Safety and Sustainability, Follow Rio+20 shows that between 1990 and 2008 the proportion Visit us on Facebook and Twitter of the world’s population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 77 per cent to 87 per cent. However, the report stresses, even though significant progress has been made, at the current rate 672 million people will still not be using Contact us improved drinking water sources by 2015. “The good news is that almost 1.8 billion more people now have access to drinking water compared to the start of the 1990s,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s associate director and water and sanitation chief. “The bad news is that Quote“ the poorest and most marginalized are being left behind.” I am not content to live in a world Globally, more than eight in 10 people without improved drinking water sources live in ruralwhere 2.6 billion people lack access to areas. Investment in water and sanitation is not being optimized, with almost two-thirds of totala decent toilet and 900 million people official development assistance for drinking water and sanitation going to the development of ”do not have clean water to drink. large urban systems, the report points out. Sustainable water management has been identified as a critical issue for Rio+20. Globally, one - H.E. Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, out of six people lack adequate access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6 billion people former President of Ghana and the lack sufficient access to sanitation. With the global population expected to increase by up tofirst high-level Chair of the Sanitation 50 per cent within the next fifty years, increased demand for water will present a significant and Water for All partnership 1 challenge for sustainable development going forward. Read more online here.
  2. 2. Major Groups Corner: Rio+20 Outcome Document Science Addresses Water Security A recent policy brief published ahead of the 2012 Planet • 9 January 2012, New York Under Pressure Conference entitled Water Security for a 21st meeting of the Bureau of the Planet Under Pressure outlines recommendations by the Preparatory Process for Rio+20. Scientific and Technological Community on sustainable • 25 - 27 January 2012, New Yorkwater management in the context of Rio+20. Initial discussions on the zero draft ofThe brief identifies water security as a critical issue for implementing sustainable development, the outcome document.stressing that it deserves to be at the top of the global political agenda for Rio+20 and beyond. • 19 - 23 March 2012, New YorkWhile Rio+20 provides a significant opportunity to address issues of water security, social First round of “informal-informal”and political will must be strengthened to follow through on commitments made at the negotiations.Conference. • 26 - 27 March 2012, New YorkWhile scientists can provide knowledge and technical solutions to water problems, the Third Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD.brief reminds that it is up to governments and policy-makers to lead the way in delivering The “zero draft”, or first negotiatingaction. The report also highlights the crucial role that water plays in all aspects of the global draft, will become the primary basis foreconomic system and the consequences of unsustainable water use. Member State negotiations, ultimatelyThe brief suggests that any successful strategy or intergovernmental agreement at Rio+20 leading to a formal outcome to bemust address issues of maintaining a functioning hydrological cycle, implementing reliable adopted by world leaders at Rio+20 .engineering schemes, developing awareness of threats and mitigation plans for watermanagement and balancing human and environmental water needs.The upcoming Planet Under Pressure Conference will be held in London, United Kingdom Upcoming Eventsfrom 26 to 29 March 2012. Read more online here. Forum international francophone:GA Second Committee: Jeunesse et emplois vertsFocus on Rio+20 16-19 January 2012The General Assembly Economic Niamey, Nigerand Financial Committee (Second [more information]Committee) wrapped up its workfor the 66th session on 9 December, 5th World Future Energy Summitapproving a cluster of 16 draft 16-19 January 2012resolutions and 2 draft decisions in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emiratesthe area of sustainable development, [more information]with relevant actions. The resolutionswere later adopted in the GA plenary Capacity Building Workshop foron 22 December just before the main Major Groups and Other Stakeholderspart of the 66th session formally 24 January 2012closed. New York, United StatesKey among them, resolution A/RES/66/197 on the Implementation of Agenda 21 announced Global Civil Society Workshopmodalities for the Rio+20 Conference. The GA approved a provisional agenda and a proposed 24 January 2012organization of work for Rio+20, contained in the annex sections of the resolution. Additionally, New York, United Statesreference was made to Conference participants, side events, parallel meetings and official [more information]documentation.The GA also reiterated is deep concern for the financial state of Rio+20, and urged donors to USRIO+2.0 - Bridging Connectionprovide adequate resources for participants from developing countries and Major Groups. Technologies and Sust. Development 2-4 February 2012Upcoming Deadlines for Rio+20... Palo Alto, United StatesSD-Learning is a capacity building event consisting [more information]of multiple courses on crucial aspects of sustainabledevelopment. The courses aim at providing 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summitparticipants with practical knowledge and hands-on 5-6 February 2012 *Postponed*training from experts around the world. Bangkok, ThailandThe full schedule of courses will be released in April [more information]2012. Participants are advised to register in advancein order to secure their participation. Colloque sur les forêts Submit your request 5-7 February 2012 Call for proposals now open until 28 February Lyon, France by 30 March 2012 [more information] More details online here. 2