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NEWS: United Nations releases Rio+20 report

A United Nations media release today states, “The environmental changes that have swept the planet over the last twenty years are spotlighted in a new compilation of statistical data by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), released today in a report entitled ‘Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20’. The report is produced as part of UNEP’s ‘Global Environmental Outlook-5’ series… The full GEO-5 report will be launched next May, one month ahead of the Rio+20 Conference taking place in Brazil.”

UNEP says in their release, “The world will meet, or even exceed, the Millennium Development Goals target on access to drinking water; indicating that by 2015 nearly 90 per cent of the population in developing regions will have access to improved sources of drinking water, up from 77 per cent in 1990. …7 per cent of its coastal waters and 1.4 percent of its oceans are protected. There is a growing concern that the oceans are becoming more acidic. …The number of tanker oil spills recorded has declined in 20 years.”

The Council of Canadians continues to develop its analysis of Rio +20, the green economy and water and intends to intervene at the June 4-6, 2012 summit in Rio. There is already significant concern that the green economy agenda on water is backed by big business and that it includes water privatization, dams and putting a price tag on nature.

The Council is currently working on a paper on ‘the green economy and water’, with a scheduled release date of February 2012.

The Council also intends to participate in the ‘Towards People’s Summit of Rio+20’ in Porto Alegre, Brazil this coming January 24-29. As noted in their outreach, “The Brazilian Civil Society Facilitating Committee for Rio +20 is calling civil society organizations and social and popular movements from all around the world to a process that will culminate in June 2012 into the autonomous and plural event, provisionally called People’s Summit of the Rio +20 for Social and Environmental Justice, parallel to the official Conference.”

For additional background and emerging analysis, please see these campaign blogs:

NEWS: Rio+20 ‘green economy templates’ point to dams, water privatization
NEWS: Big business backs water agenda at Rio+20
UPDATE: The Stockholm Water Week statement on Rio+20
UPDATE: Rio+20 and water