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UPDATE: The Stockholm Water Week statement on Rio+20

More than 2,600 policymakers met in Stockholm from August 21 to 27 for the Stockholm Water Week conference. Alternet recently reported that, “For many delegates, World Water Week will be about networking amid preparations for the high-level Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.”

Today, ‘The Stockholm Statement to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20 Summit)’ was released.

It states, in part, that:

1- “Water is the bloodstream of the green economy. …By 2030, in a business as usual scenario, humanity’s demand for water could outstrip supply by as much as 40 per cent. This would place water, energy and food security at risk, increase public health costs, constrain economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions and cause lasting environmental damage. …The (Rio+20 Summit) provides an opportunity for global leadership to harness economic activity at all levels to create new and sustainable development and eradicate poverty.”

2- “It is imperative to ensure that adequate water and sanitation services are available to the world’s population in accordance with the resolution of the UN General Assembly declaring these as a human right. Accordingly, over and above achieving the Millennium Development Goals, we call for a universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030.”

3- “We call on local, municipal, and national governments and all major groups participating at the Rio+20 Summit to commit to achieving the following intervening targets by 2020: 20% increase in water use efficiency in energy production; 20% increase in the quantity of water reused; 20% decrease in water pollution” (among other demands).

4- “We strongly urge that the following outcomes feature prominently within the Rio+20 Summit’s thematic focus areas: All governments commit to sufficient investments in safe drinking water and sanitation services and hygiene education for its people; Economic and social incentives are created to promote water use efficiency and protect freshwater ecosystems; Enact national legislation that guarantees access to water and sanitation for all and protect freshwater ecosystems” (and more).

The full statement is at http://www.worldwaterweek.org/documents/WWW_PDF/2011/2011-Stockholm-Statement.pdf.

For Council of Canadians background on Rio+20, please see ‘UPDATE: Rio+20 and water’ at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10060, ‘Rio+20 and the green economy’ at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6300, and ‘Pushing back against the false green economy…fighting for the soul of Rio’ at http://www.blueplanetproject.net/blog/?p=42.

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.