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Flyer - Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20

Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20
3 Oct 2011 - 4 Oct 2011
Zaragoza, Spain

The Zaragoza Conference aims to contribute to the Rio+20 process, building on the results of the Official Side Event at the 2nd UNCSD Preparatory Committee (Prepcom2) on ?How the Green Economy depends on? organized by UN Water and UNSGAB. The Conference attempts also to respond to some of the concerns of developing countries highlighted for the upcoming UNCSD (A/CONF.216/7). A call has been made for developing a UN Green Economy Road Map and for a toolbox or best practices guide of actions for transforming into a green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Toward this aim, the Secretariat Synthesis Report on Best Practices and Lessons Learnt on Objectives and Themes of the Conference (A/CONF.216/PC, Jan 2011) points out that international preparations for UNCSD should strengthen support for sustainable development by providing a platform for exchanging best practices and lessons learnt.

As a contribution to the Rio + 20 process, the Conference aims to show case how water is a key factor in the green economy as shown in specific practical examples in the different regions of the world. The aim is to focus on actions, reflect on lessons learnt from practical implementation experiences, and highlight the importance of the overall specific context. This will support the process of moving to action in preparation to Rio+20.

The expected outcomes of the Conference include a compendium of Best Practices in water and the green economy, an on-line database of best practices on water in the green economy, a UN-Water publication on Success Stories in Water and the Green Economy and a Conference report highlighting lessons learnt.

The cases will show how water supports poverty reduction through investments and appropriate financing models for sanitation, drinking water services, and water resources management; how investing and adopting fiscal policies for protecting the environment ensures the provision of ecosystem services that are necessary for economic development and for a more resilient economy; how to improve through finance, reforms and technology transfer; what are the job opportunities that exist in more efficient consumption patterns from households and production practices of economic sectors.

The conference is also expected to discuss on the appropriateness and transferability of different examples in different contexts but also issues of scaling up and transitioning in the examples presented.

Participants in the conference include stakeholders, representatives of UN-Water members and partners, representatives and experts of the UN Global Sustainability Panel, members of UNSGAB, representatives of UNDESA, representatives of the Success stories and initiatives in water and green economy. A group of journalist of LDC will be invited to attend the event to increase the awareness about best practices in water and green economy and promote the green economy approach in water issues in those countries. The conference is expected to gather between 60 to a 100 invited participants from around the world.

The topics of the Conference are:
  • Water investments and Green Jobs (Water in the Green Economy: What Reforms to gain jobs). Session Conveners: ILO and stakeholder organizations.
  • Green Growth and the Protection and Improvement of Biodiversity Investments. Session Convener: UNEP.
  • Economic instruments in water management (Incentives in water management to promote green growth). Session Convener: OECD.
  • Cost Recovery and Financing of water and sanitation services and major infrastructures (the role of cost recovery and alternatives for sustainable financing of water services for the poor). Session Convener: World Bank.
  • Water Technologies and their economic impacts (the contribution of water technology to job creation and development of enterprises). Session Convener: UNW-DPC.

The importance of the specific context will be highlighted in the examples shows in specific regional sessions, including:
  • Water in Green Economy initiatives in West Asia (ESCWA).
  • Water in Green Economy initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean: Financial reforms and water pricing (ECLAC).


A complementary programme will provide an opportunity to present and discuss water planning as an important instrument in the green growth strategy. It will be an opportunity to discuss experiences in Laos, Peru, the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Korea. The Session Convener of this part of the programme is the Ebro River Basin Authority.

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