22 June 2012 - Two roundtables convened to consider the theme "looking at the way forward in implementing the expected outcomes of the Conference." Among the suggestions offered by Heads of State and Government, and Ministers were: that the outcome document should be translated into a timely, result-oriented process; the SDGs should include a goal on water and sanitation, and the energy, food and water nexus; and the need to arrive at a definition of green economy, taking account of the rights of developing countries to define their national priorities. Specific goals, targets and initiatives were identified by some speakers, including the need to develop partnerships on clean water and waste management for the poorest communities in cities. Based on Earth Negotiations Bulletin reporting services from IISD.
18 June 2012 – Sustainable Development Dialogues sessions focused on ten recommendations emanating from a public online vote, and provided a platform for refining and proposing additional recommendations, with the objective of the sessions to produce three final recommendations to be delivered to the Heads of State and government.
The water dialogue was attended by about 2000 people. Panelists welcomed this exercise of on-line democracy. The moderator highlighted that it was clear that water has become a political priority as shown by the fact that the session was also attended by the King of Sweden and the former President of Brazil.
Several panelists supported the recommendation of implementing water and sanitation as a human right (recommendation 3). The panelists also gave priority to water security given the cross cutting nature of water as a means to achieve the health agenda, the environment agenda and the economic agenda (for productive uses). Discussions also focused on implementing IWRM reforms (recommendation 5) and integrating water policies into national development plans, encouraging transnational cooperation and solidarity on water.
18 June 2012 - A group of 45 chief executive officers, representing a diverse range of global companies and regions, announced on 18 June a major commitment to advance corporate water management practices, and called on governments attending the Rio+20 Earth Summit to make global water security a top priority. The CEOs – all of whom are endorsers of the Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate – outline a range of public policy actions they believe governments should undertake to make meaningful progress on water and to better leverage the resources and capabilities of the international business community.
119. We recognize that water is at the core of sustainable development as it is closely linked to a number of key global challenges. We therefore reiterate the importance of integrating water in sustainable development and underline the critical importance of water and sanitation within the three dimensions of sustainable development.
120. We reaffirm the commitments made in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and Millennium Declaration regarding halving by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation and the development of integrated water resource management and water efficiency plans, ensuring sustainable water use. We commit to the progressive realization of access to safe and affordable drinking water and basic sanitation for all, as necessary for poverty eradication, women's empowerment, and to protect human health, and to significantly improve the implementation of integrated water resource management at all levels as appropriate. In this regard, we reiterate our commitments to support these efforts in particular in developing countries through the mobilization of resources from all sources, capacity building and technology transfer.
121. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, to be progressively realized for our populations with full respect for national sovereignty. We also highlight our commitment to the 2005-2015 International Decade for Action "Water for Life."
122. We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within the respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems.
123. We underline the need to adopt measures to address floods, droughts, and water scarcity, addressing the balance between water supply and demand including where appropriate non-conventional water resources, and to mobilize financial resources and investment in infrastructure for water and sanitation services, in accordance with national priorities.
124. We stress the need to adopt measures to significantly reduce water pollution and increase water quality, significantly improve wastewater treatment, and water efficiency and reduce water losses. In order to achieve this end we stress the need for international assistance and cooperation.
UN-Water, as the inter-agency mechanism that promotes coherence in, and coordination of, UN system water-related actions, has organized the following meetings and conferences in preparation for Rio+20:
Water toolbox: A contribution to Rio+20 [ - 639.7 KB]
This water toolbox – or best practice guide of actions, instruments and policies – provides proposals based on the analysis of existing practice, reflecting specifically on scaling up of lessons learnt and the relevance for developing and transition countries.
The water toolbox proposes six tools which can be used to promote change and support the transition towards a green economy: (1) economic instruments; (2) sustainable financing; (3) investments in natural capital; (4) technology; (5) green jobs; and (6) water planning.
Deliverables by UN-Water for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development [ - 636 KB]
This summary document presents UN-Water's contribution to the Rio+20 process. It builds on the UN-Water Statement for Rio+20 and takes into account feedback received at different levels.
Water Day at Rio+20
19 June 2012 - UN-Water organized a Water Day at Rio+20 with the following objectives:
Release of 'UN-Water Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to the Development, Management and Use of Water Resources 2012'
19 June 2012 - Based on a global survey assessing the progress and outcomes of the application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources, this UN-Water report includes lessons learned and recommendations, as well as focus areas for action. The report also provides guidance for establishing a regular international monitoring and reporting framework to promote sustainable development and management of water resources. The Report was presented on 19 June during Water Day, a day on water issues organized by UN-Water at Rio
>> Key messages and recommendations from the report [ - 938 KB]
>> Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management 2012
>> Press release
>> Press conference on the launch of the Report
The Future We Want Campaign
"The Future We Want" Campaign aimed to engage people around the world in an exercise to envision how societies in all parts of the world can build a future that promotes prosperity, equity and improves people's quality of life within the Earth's life support systems. The result of the campaign was a "Solutions and Visions" exhibit launched on 21 June 2012 at Rio+20. Since December 2011, people from around the world submitted their visions as videos, drawings, and photographs covering global, suburban, rural and urban topics. The project aimed to inspire a "global conversation" about sustainability and to visualize every day people's solutions that show what sustainability, an abstract concept for many, might look like in 2030. After Rio+20, the Future We Want exhibition team is preparing to roll out a comprehensive process for realizing sustainable development that involves five stages of engagement including; community engagement, synthesis of ideas, visualization of solutions, implementation and measurement.
All participants at Rio+20 were encouraged to make voluntary commitments to deliver concrete results for sustainable development. Commitments were invited from various stakeholders, businesses, other Major Group organizations, associations, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, UN entities, partnerships involving more than one stakeholder, and Member States. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development Secretariat has reported receiving 715 voluntary commitments, including commitments that will mobilize more than US$500 billion in action towards sustainable development; these include 52 government commitments, 82 UN/IGO commitments and 581 Major Group and civil society commitments. Commitments made for water included accelerating progress on MDG7 target on sanitation, fostering implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Latin America or improving global water quality among others.
The Rio+20 Secretariat is compiling commitments in an online compendium on the Rio+20 website and welcomes registration of voluntary commitments throughout 2012.
Partnerships at Rio+20
The opportunity of forming coalitions/partnerships was enthusiastically embraced by many in Rio and these are expected to support follow up after Rio. From 20 to 22 June, a Partnerships Forum was organized. The Forum consisted of highly dynamic and interactive sessions to highlight the significant contributions of partnerships to the implementation of sustainable development. 29 partnerships on water were registered.
>> Information note: Questions and Answers on Water in Rio+20
Don't miss this information note which provides you information on questions and issues raised in the Rio+20 negotiation process on water and much more.
>> Rio 20 Issue Brief : Water
This brief is aimed at providing a basic reference relating to international time‐bound commitments in the area of water, with a view to facilitating discussion around water resources, management and quality in the course of the preparation for Rio+20.
>> Water Brief for Rio+20
>> Natural Capital Declaration
The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), is a commitment by CEOs from the finance sector. The NCD was born out of the insight that financial institutions could benefit from greater guidance to embed specific aspects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their risk management, due diligence, loans, investments, and insurance activities. On 16 June 2012, at Rio+20, CEOs at the helm of 37 banks, investment funds, and insurance companies announced their commitment to work towards integrating natural capital considerations into their products and services.
>> Water and a Green Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean
UNECLAC and UNW-DPAC
>> Water planning in the transition to a green economy
Ebro River Basin Authorithy and UNW-DPAC
>> The contribution of water technology to job creation and development of enterprises
>> Olimar Maisonet Guzmán
UNCSD Major Group for Children and Youth
"It is necessary for Member States to put in place safeguards to protect citizens' water access during the development of private-public partnerships, especially given the importance of private actors in the implementation of the Rio+20 Green Economy Framework."
>> Sanjay Wijesekera
Chief of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Programme Division, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on UN Seven Issues, Seven Experts series
"There is a lot people can do. The human rights approach is people-centered, regardless on where people are. People within countries that are donors of development aid have to remind their government, especially in these difficult times, of their obligation in helping people to achieve their rights to water and sanitation, education and health, and many things that too many people across the world do not have access to."
>> Sha Zukang
Secretary-General of the UN Sustainable Development Conference
"So far, we have noted a broad and enthusiastic support for sustainable development goals (SDGs). These would complement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and they would be universal and measurable. In this regard, I am pleased to see that Member States are committed to a high level of ambition for Rio, anchored on action. Just to name a few issues, these could include universal access to modern energy, clean water, and eradication of hunger."
>> Alice M. Bouman-Dentener
President Women for Water Partnership
"Water = Life. We all know that. We should stop questioning and debating the obvious. Given the fact that so many millions on our globe still lack access to this life bringing resource, we should use our time and energy to solve that problem by putting the vast number of already agreed principles into practice. Let us please move from vision to action."
>> Felix Dodds
Executive Director, Stakeholderforum
"Rio is already a success it has redefined the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agenda to a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda which would not have happened without Rio."