Water is one of the seven critical issues that will be discussed at the Rio+20 Conference. A number of organizations entities are sponsoring events leading up to and during the summit.
The Oceans Campaign launched by the UN
With 3 billion people relying on marine and coastal resources for their survival, the condition of our oceans is clearly a fundamental challenge for the Rio + 20 Conference. The issue is given further urgency by the development of the concept of the “blue economy”, a term adopted in 2011 by representatives of small Pacific and Caribbean island nations.
The UN inaugurated the Oceans Campaign on June 5 with the support of a number of organizations, including the Tara Expeditions Foundation, the High Seas Alliance, the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Conservation International. The goal of this campaign is to increase awareness that it is essential to take our oceans into consideration as we establish a model based on sustainable development.
The fight against marine pollution from plastic waste and the resulting damage to biodiversity is also supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is launching its major campaign, “Stop Plastic Pollution”.
Stop Plastic Pollution: http://stopplasticpollution.org/
June 19 has been designated “Water Day” at the Rio + 20 Conference. It will be an entire day dedicated to water, emphasizing the role of this essential resource. Arranged by the UN, this day is designed to highlight on the many water-related challenges.
Water Day will give the UN an opportunity to engage in discussions on the importance of water at Rio+20. On this occasion, the organization will also issue its progress report on the application of integrated approaches in the development, management, and utilization of water resources.
Water Day: http://www.unwater.org/rio2012/waterday.html
Water-related side events
The issues of access to water and sanitation for all will also be the focus of several side events arranged along with the summit, with the support of a number of organizations and NGOs, including Food & Water Watch and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), which are engaged respectively in issues related to water rights and the sustainable management of this basic resource. Cross-border water resources and related governance challenges will also be studied, with special assistance from WWF Indonesia.
In addition, several side events will focus on the need to protect our oceans, particularly international waters. This issue will be the theme of several conferences, including those organized before the summit by Greenpeace, the NGO UN Ocean Care and the Zoological Society of London. These meetings will address the gaps in the laws governing international waters and the need to establish natural marine preserves.