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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) is producing daily reports and daily web coverage from selected side events at the Second Informal-Informal Meeting. To download our reports, please click the HTML/PDF icons below.
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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)

23 April - 4 May 2012 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
DAILY WEB COVERAGE

Rio+20
Coverage on Thursday, 26 April 2012
The Rio+20 banner outside the United Nations building.
Let us beat swords into plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection.
 
Initiative for a Global Goal on Water

Organized by the Permanent Missions of Hungary, Finland and Tajikistan to the UN, the Danish Ministry of the Environment, and the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning
 

Amb. Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN, stressed the importance of education in ensuring long-term water sustainability.

Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment, called the social, economic, and environmental dimensions, the 'DNA' of sustainable development.

Selim Jahan, UNDP, appealed for greater emphasis on human rights in all discussions.

 

This event, moderated by Kerstin Stendahl, Finnish Ministry of the Environment, addressed current stresses on water resources and how to improve global action to tackle the diverse challenges.

Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment, underscored the importance of setting water goals, and suggested a new global goal on water that will ensure universal access to drinking water and basic sanitation, and guarantee sustainable water use through integrated water resource management and increased resource efficiency.

Paula Caballero, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, warned against dismissing the proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs) as purely environmental, stressing that water represents one of its building blocks.

Ambassador Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN, listed the outcomes of good water stewardship, inter alia: access to safe drinking water and sanitation; improved water recycling practices; improvement of sanitation and waste water treatment infrastructure; integrated water use practices; participatory decision making processes; and well-regulated transboundary water management.

Selim Jahan, UN Development Programme, stressed the importance of content, context and continuity when developing water management goals and urged using the lessons learnt from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a framework.

Participants also discussed: the launch of other water initiatives; the linkages and trade-offs with energy and food security; water use reduction in other sectors; and the lack of water quality monitoring.

 
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L-R: Kerstin Stendahl, Ministry of the Environment, Finland; Selim Jahan, UNDP; Amb. Csaba Körösi Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN;  Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment.

 
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Healthy Oceans: Charting a new course

Organized by UN Department of Public Information, the Pew Environment Group and TARA Expeditions
 
Ray Menell, Fisherman, lamented the decrease in near-shore fish species.
Paul Greenberg, Author of “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” urged developing sustainable models of aquaculture.
Julian Barbiere, UNESCO-IOC, noted the large economic impacts that the loss of coral reefs and other ocean life will have.
 

Moderated by Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council, this event discussed the most pressing issues that are endangering oceans, and addressed methods to implement potential solutions.

Julian Barbiere, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), cited ocean acidification as an important issue to address when protecting the future of oceans and seas. Lamenting the paucity of scientific assessments of ocean acidification, he stressed the need to improve knowledge and science.

Carrie Brownstein, Whole Foods Market, highlighted Whole Foods Market’s move to retailing in a more sustainable manner, including: selling products from Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries; selling fish that is rated as sustainable by institutions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium through its Seafood Watch Programme; and the establishment of criteria and requirements for aquaculture farms within its supply chain.

Fabien Cousteau, Filmmaker and Oceanographic Explorer, stressed the urgency to reverse the decline of the ocean ecosystem. Noting that 70% of global food intake is directly or indirectly from oceans, he emphasized that through collaboration using both top-down and bottom-up approaches, progress can be made.

Paul Greenberg, Author of “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” lamenting the vulnerability of high seas to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, called for improved monitoring and governance of catches, for both near-shore and high seas fishing, to ensure that catches are legal.

Mark Kurlansky, Author of “Cod” and “The World without Fish,” said the quantity and quality of fish are getting worse. Noting that the entire marine ecosystem is under threat, he cautioned that if one species is lost, it places the rest of the ecosystem at risk.

Ray Menell, Fisherman, said that to ensure the success of marine protected areas, fishermen need to be involved in their establishment and be considered as part of the solution. He emphasized the importance of education to ensure the future of marine ecosystems.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: coastal erosion; coastal ecosystem resilience; ecotourism and ecofarming; engaging local communities in resilience and other projects; pesticides and other wastes; the role of wetlands in ocean conservation; fish waste in a retail environment; and the use of exotic species in aquaculture.

 
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L-R: Ray Menell, Fisherman; Carrie Brownstein, Whole Foods Market; Mark Kurlansky, Author of “Cod” and “The World without Fish”; Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council; Paul Greenberg, Author of “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food”; Fabien Cousteau, Filmmaker and Oceanographic Explorer; Julian Barbiere, UNESCO-IOC.
 
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Blue Carbon as a Tool to Mitigate Climate Change and Preserve Key Marine and Coastal Ecosystems

Organized by UNESCO-IOC, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI)
 
Emily Pidgeon, CI, said the globe’s coastal habitats sequester substantial amounts of carbon.
Amb. Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN, shared Costa Rica’s experiences in coastal protected areas.
Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN, called for policy mechanisms to protect coastal ecosystems.
 

This side event addressed the Blue Carbon Policy Framework, discussing a number of innovative tools to protect and emphasize the importance of protecting marine and coastal ecosystems.

Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN, moderating the side event, highlighted raising awareness on the mitigating value of blue carbon, and urged including blue carbon in the climate change negotiations.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN, called for actions to conserve coastal ecosystems, lamenting their rapid destruction due to the lack of understanding of the impacts of humans. She underlined the role of salt marshes, mangroves and tidal marshes in carbon sequestration, noting their carbon capacity exceeds that of many other terrestrial habitats.

Emily Pidgeon, CI, explained the importance of marine and coastal ecosystems as both sinks and sources of carbon. She presented the Blue Carbon Initiative, which aims to increase conservation, restoration and sustainable management of coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

Speaking on the science of blue carbon, Miguel Cifuentes, CATIE, Costa Rica, warned of the significant amounts of carbon emissions released through the destruction of coastal habitats, land use conversions and upstream disruptions, saying that coastal ecosystems maintain 75% of all tropical commercial fish species through their role as nurseries.

David Gordon, Duke University, spoke on the economics of blue carbon, warning that the benefits are not easy to monetize. He said that to ensure the future of blue carbon economies, they need to be incorporated into existing voluntary markets and included in future mitigation activities.

Julian Barbiere, UNESCO-IOC, outlined the policy aspects of blue carbon and highlighted activities that have taken place under the Blue Carbon Initiative, including: awareness raising; consultations with stakeholders and policy makers; and developing a Blue Carbon Policy Framework.

During the discussions, participants deliberated on, inter alia: the co-benefits of disaster risk reduction connected to coastal ecosystem protection; coastal ecosystems’ carbon value; and the difficulty of establishing carbon inventories for coastal ecosystems.

 
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L-R: Emily Pidgeon, CI; Amb. Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN; Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN; Julian Barbiere, UNESCO-IOC.
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More Information:

http://www.unesco.org/
Contacts:

Julian Barbiere <j.barbiere@unseco.org>
Emily Pidgeon <e.pidgeon@conservation.org>
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Related Links
UNCSD or Rio+20 resources
*Meeting website
*Zero draft document
*Compilation document

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
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*IISD RS coverage of the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD, or Rio+20, 15-16 December 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
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*IISD RS summary and analysis of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 17-19 May 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
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*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings
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