The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development marks 20 years since the historic Earth Summit1
that was instrumental in laying the foundations and charting the course for contemporary sustainable development.
This report looks at the issues that pertain to the management, development and use of fresh water resources. Its starting point is in the Earth Summit’s Agenda 21 recommendation for an integrated approach to the management of water resources. This report demonstrates that while there is still a long way to go, progress towards the goal of sustainable water resources management is undoubtedly being made. For example, the report shows that 64% of countries have developed integrated water resources management plans and 34% report an advanced stage of implementation. However, progress appears to have slowed, or even regressed, in low and medium Human Development Index (HDI) countries since the last survey carried out in 2008. Much remains to be done to finance and implement plans in many HDI countries.
The Rio+20 conference has chosen Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication as an overarching theme for realizing transformational change.