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“Guaranteeing sustainable food and water security for all will require the full engagement of all sectors and actors. It will entail transferring appropriate water technologies, empowering small food producers and conserving essential ecosystem services. It will require policies that promote water rights for all, stronger regulatory capacity and gender equality. Investments in water infrastructure, rural development and water resource management will be essential.” Ban Ki-moon (2012)

Introduction The Rio+20 Summit will mark twenty years since Rio de Janeiro hosted its last Earth Summit. We expect it to be the largest event in the history of the United Nations. The UN estimates the attendance of approximately 150 Heads of State, and 50,000 visitors, including diplomats, journalists, businesspersons, politicians and environmental activists. Water will be a central component of the Rio discussions due to its role in the green economy. Furthermore, water management structures will be part of the discussions at the Summit. A strong unified front from the water community is required to assure that the agreements made at Rio produce positive and lasting results regarding water resources. Existing initiatives seek to tackle water challenges from different perspectives: environmental services, sanitation, infrastructure, and health. However, the fragmentations of these existent water commitments weaken the water sector’s ability to develop a unified voice that defines the role that water will play at Rio+20. The water community needs to guarantee that different water goals will not overlap and that the initiatives proposed in the documents can coexist with other water and energy goals. This is essential since the outcome document for Rio+20 will establish the priorities of sustainable development for upcoming decades. The 2012 Rio+20 Summit is developing to be very different from the 1992 Earth Summit. In 1992, countries came together and signed tangible documents such as the Rio Principles and the Agenda 21, which clearly stated goals for environmental protection. There will be no such outcome documents in this summit. The focus of this conference will shift to the Green Economy and the International Frameworks for Sustainable Development discussions. These are the places where opportunities for lasting impact and intervention are more visible. This guide seeks to introduce the Rio+20 process and facilitate water stakeholders’ participation in the process.

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Rio+20: A Water Guide for Young Water Experts  

Water will be a central component of the Rio discussions due to its role in the green economy. Furthermore, water management structures will...

Rio+20: A Water Guide for Young Water Experts  

Water will be a central component of the Rio discussions due to its role in the green economy. Furthermore, water management structures will...

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