Rio+20 Secretariat Newsletter Focuses on Water

RIO+2030 December 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) published an issue of its newsletter, "Rio+20: Making It Happen,” focused on water issues. The newsletter indicates water is one of the seven “critical issues of Rio+20.” It also highlights logistics and an updated timeline for the Conference and its preparatory process.

The first article addresses the increasing pressure on the world's water resources, due to population growth, urban growth and increased water use. In addition, freshwater resources for irrigation will be further strained by stress on food supply and scarcity, the article notes.

Another article highlights a new study from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), which finds increased access to drinking water for the global population. However, it says that this improvement will not continue until 2015, and that rural populations will be left out. According to the article, sustainable water management has been identified as a critical issue for Rio+20.

The final feature in this issue notes that a policy brief on water security has been published ahead of the 2012 Planet Under Pressure Conference, distributed by the International Council for Science (ICSU). The brief outlines recommendations on sustainable water management in the context of the UNCSD, and stresses the economic role of water.

On dates and logistics for the UNCSD and its preparatory process, the newsletter notes that: registration for the Conference is now open; the deadline for accreditation is 20 February; requests to hold side events at the Conference must be submitted by 30 March; the initial consultations on the zero draft of the Outcome Document will take place from 25-27 January; and the first round of “informal-informal” negotiations on the Document will take place from 19-23 March, immediately preceding the Third Intersessional Meeting (Intersessional III). [Publication: Rio+20: Making it Happen, Vol. 2, Issue 24] [Publication: Water Issues Brief] [Publication: Drinking Water: Equity, Safety and Sustainability] [Publication: Water Security for a Planet Under Pressure]