The Rio+20 Conference is discussion and decision-making at the highest possible level to steer the focus of global efforts and funding resources. The Heads of State and Governments from around the world, along with thousands of representatives from the private sector, NGOs and other groups have convened in Rio de Janeiro to plan and strategize for sustainable development – a pressing issue given the increasing population pressures across the face of our planet.
Are Rivers Part of the Discussion at the Rio+20?
The answer is both yes and no. Rivers are already on the agenda at the Rio+20 Conference, only not talked about!
Rivers are at the heart of several of the critical issues being discussed in Rio de Janeiro right now. Sustainable development, water supply, disaster risk reduction, energy (as in hydropower), and food security. Each of these issues is intertwined with rivers and draws directly on the viability and health of these waterways the world over. Yet there is no coordinated effort by governments at the global level to specifically address rivers in overall sustenance planning. A critical focus area is missing from discussions and decision-making at this defining convention.
Mr. Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez, the Philippines’ Commissioner for Climate Change, hopes to change that as he leads the discussion for “Defying Disasters: A Tri-Continental South-South Dialogue” at the Conference.
Mr. Sonny Alvarez speaking at South-South Program in preparation for Rio+20 at Brazil
River Summit in Philippines Inspires Global Action on Protecting Rivers
One of the outcomes of the 1st International River Summit, held in Iloilo City, Philippines (May 30 – June 1, 2012) was the “Global River Initiatives.” Drafted under the leadership of the Mayor of Iloilo City, Jed Mabilog, the proposition hopes to continue the knowledge exchange on river management at the global level, as well as lay the groundwork for future international summits.
If all goes well, we may expect a Global River Alliance, formed of local governments and backed by the United Nations!
More on Rivers and Rio+20 (published by International Rivers)