GLOWS to Participate in UN Rio+20 Global Sustainability Conference in Brazil

(Miami, FL) — Representatives of FIU’s Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) Program will be participating in the UN’s Rio+20 Conference, the United Nation’s Conference on Sustainable Development to be held June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

GLOWS Director Maria Donoso, and Program Executive Officers Elizabeth Anderson and Ryan Stoa, who is a Fellow in Water Law and Policy at the FIU College of Law, will be attending the conference.

The Conference, which will bring together 180 ministers, 50,000 activists  and participants from  NGO’s and business representatives, marks the 20th anniversary of 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).  At UNCED, countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint for sustainable economic growth that advances social equity while also ensuring environmental protection.

Finding a “green path” for development that lifts people out of poverty will be one of the themes of the conference, which also seeks to improve international coordination for sustainable development.

Stoa will be speaking at a Rio+20 Side Event — the World Meeting of Environmental Lawyers –  organized by the French-based International Centre of Comparative Environmental Law.

“International water resource governance is an uncoordinated and inconsistent practice,” explained Stoa, who will give a talk on the importance of harmonizing the various international legal instruments related to water entitled, “Freshwater Resources – Towards a Consistent Transboundary Freshwater Framework.”

“The 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses still hasn’t entered into force,” Stoa said. “We need to integrate and promote the various legal instruments – principally, the Watercourses Convention and the Law of Transboundary Aquifers – to have the necessary foundation for development of a more robust and synergistic regime.”

Rio +20 will stress seven key areas: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

Underlying these concerns is the guiding principle for long-term global development — sustainable development — which is defined as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

GLOWS (Global Water for Sustainability), a consortium led by Florida International University (FIU), was created in 2005 to implement USAID-funded programs to increase social, economic, and environmental benefits to people through the provision of water supply and sanitation services, healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustainable water resources management.

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