29 May 2012 - Water and Oceans

"Civil society organisations and human rights experts the world over agree on the importance of human rights to ensure a future where every single individual enjoys access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Now, on the first day of the third round of ‘informal informals’, we are calling loud and clear with a united voice: “States must recommit to the human right to water and sanitation to achieve true sustainable development.” - Marta Lobo and Isabella Montgomery, Freshwater Action

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Georgie Macdonald and Amy Cutter, Stakeholder Forum

With just over three weeks to go until Rio+20, now really is – in the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon - ‘a crucial stage’. In a recent statement, the Secretary-General called for countries to use every moment to ensure an agreement is reached on substantive issues and finalise the document ahead of the conference, and underlined the need for an agreement to establish Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build on the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the anti-poverty and social development targets that have an achievement deadline of 2015.


Steven Downey, Global Water Partnership

No one knows what will end up in the Rio+20 Outcome Document. But those of us in the water world were pretty excited when we saw the Zero Draft. It said:

Karin Lexén, Stockholm International Water Institute


Key messages ahead of the third round of informal-informal negotiations on the Rio+20 Outcome Document from the Stockholm International Water Institute.


Lis Martin and Derek Kim, Progressio

Water is an essential part of sustainable development, a fundamental resource that underpins both life and livelihood. 2.8 billion people live in areas facing water scarcity. Whilst there is enough freshwater for the needs of everyone on earth, many people around the world are chronically short of water, an issue of poor management. This is of particular concern for small-scale farmers who rely on this water to feed a third of the world’s population. Yet the poorest and most marginalised are often at particular disadvantage when there is competition over water resources. The Rio+20 negotiations and final Outcome Document must recognise this reality and agree action.



Flavia Loures and Stuart Orr, WWF


Water is one of the seven listed priority areas at Rio+20 and plays an integral part in the goals and themes of the Conference. The reasons for that are numerous. In the late 20th Century, the Yellow River, the Murray-Darling and countless others have run dry. The Aral Sea has all but disappeared, and Lake Chad could be next. As we exceed the limits of aquatic ecosystems, freshwater biodiversity is declining and, with it, vital ecological functions and services. The resulting socioeconomic and environmental impacts have been profound.