The ‘Stockholm Statement’ calls on leadership at all levels of government that will participate at the Rio+20 Summit (4-6 June 2012) to commit to achieving “universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030” and to adopt intervening targets to increase efficiency in the management of water, energy and food.
The targets include to be achieved by the year 2020:
- 20% increase in total food supply-chain efficiency
- 20% increase in water efficiency in agriculture
- 20% increase in water use efficiency in energy production
- 20% increase in the quantity of water reused
- 20% decrease in water pollution
The ‘Stockholm Statement’ has been supported by UN-Water, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and endorsed by a number of international organisations, including: Conservation International, International Water Management Institute, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Stakeholder Forum, Stockholm International Water Institute, Wateraid and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), among others.
Commentary from World Water Week participants follows:
Mr. Adeel Zafar, Chair of UN-Water: “The Rio+20 Summit is a great opportunity to review how water, energy and food are perceived and managed by the human society. UN-Water, through its members and partners, has identified ways in which the global water, energy and food security challenges can be addressed - leading to a climate resilient and robust green economy. A key target we would like to see taken up is the provisioning of safe water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services to everyone on the planet by 2030, prioritising solutions for the ‘bottom billion’ who currently lack access to these basic services.”
Mr. Anders Berntell, Executive Director, SIWI: “If we do not take dramatic, immediate strides to create more resource-efficient societies, then water shortages will constrain economic growth and inhibit food and energy production in many regions. There are tremendous opportunities to save water and stimulate development by cutting water losses in energy production, by generating energy from water reuse and by reducing the losses and waste of food from the field on its way to the consumer. Achieving the goals and targets put forth by the participants at the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm will help ensure that conclusions of the Rio+20 has a real impact on human well-being across the world.”
Dr. Li Lifeng, Director, Freshwater, WWF: “We are already exceeding the limits of the planet in many ways, but it is the availability of fresh water that will have the biggest impact on the food security and energy security of billions. We all too often overlook the increasing water intensity of energy production, and the potential impacts on food production. As we eat our way up the food chain, the water intensity of many foods is also increasing in the face of depleting groundwater reserves and climate change impacts. Solving the water, energy and food equation for the world has to be a global priority.”
Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of water, greening the economy through agriculture has the largest scope for achieving food security and improving the livelihood of the rural people. Sustainable agriculture creates green jobs and increases resource efficiency. We all agree on the challenges ahead and the need to respond. We have no more excuses to delay the actions required.”