World Summit on Sustainable Development

26-31 August 2002
1. Background

The World Summit on Sustainable Development was a process of taking stock on what has been achieved since the Rio Summit of 1992 on sustainable development. Chapter 18 of Rio Agenda 21 contains the objectives that were to be realized by the water and sanitation sector. The issues that were under discussion were the following:

a. addressing the backlog in water and sanitation;
b. ensuring that fresh water is available to all forever.

The Global backlog on sanitation presently stands at 2,4 billion people without sanitation and, 1,1 billion people who do not have access to clean portable water. There was a proposal that all countries that have a backlog of both water and sanitation should halve it by 2015.

2. Purpose of trip

a. To expose members of Portfolio Committee to International experience regarding water and sanitation.
b. For members to participate in the International debate on water and sanitation.

3. Delegation

a Ms BP Sonjica; ANC - leader of delegation;
b Mr D Maimane; ANC
c Mrs RA A Ndzanga; ANC
d Ms TE Leshivha; ANC
e Mr CJ Hlaneki; ANC
f Mr MM Masala; ANC
g Mr MJ Phala; ANC
h Mr JD Arendse; ANC
I Ms ML Ngwenya; ANC
j Mr S Phohlela; ANC
k Rev A Goosen; ANC
l Mr G Mcintosh; DP
m Mr S Simmons; NNP
n Prof Ngubane; IFP
o Mr M Sibiya; IFP
p M Mercuur; Secretary to Chairperson.

4. Preparatory work done before WSSD

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry jointly held a number of workshops. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry also held briefings with members to enlighten them on a number of issues.

5. Activities attended
a. NASREC - Women's workshop;
b. Plenary on Sanitation and Water/WASH campaign;
c. Launch of the Waterdome;
d. PGA workshop on air and water pollution, held in Summerplace;
e. Visited Ubuntu village.

6. Report

The developed world was supportive of the target for water supply. Although there was initially no agreement on the sanitation target when deliberations started, in the end the Summit succeeded in committing all countries to the targets agreed to. Some of the governments, as well as the EU, have already committed funds to the realization of these targets, ensuring that clean drinking water and sanitation are provided to enhance human health and protect the environment, and that a positive impact is made in reducing poverty.

The South African government's commitment to the provision of these services is commended. An even stronger commitment reflected in the allocation of adequate funds in all spheres of government for water and sanitation is necessary. South Africa is thus an international leader, and a pace-setter, in providing water and sanitation to all its people as a basis for sustainable development.

The PGA group dealt with clean air and water pollution and a declaration was submitted to the WSSD secretariat.

7. Final Declaration

Reaffirming our commitment to the Rio principles, the full implementation of Agenda 21, and reinforcing our commitment to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and in the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and international agreements since 1992, including the goals and outcomes of the WSSD,

Recognising that the integration of environment and development concerns will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future,

Recognizing that the effects of air and water pollution transcend national boundaries,

Underscoring the critical role of legislators as those who establish local environmental policies and regulations, and assist in implementing national and sub-national environmental policies,
We parliamentarians, representing all regions of the world, hereby:

Encourage the establishment of judicial and administrative procedures for legal redress and remedy of actions affecting the environment, with a specific focus on air and water pollution,

Invite legislators worldwide to consider and discuss issues relating to the harmonization of legislation on the reduction of air and water pollution,

Underscore the importance of country-specific environmental legal frameworks that recognize local social, economic, political and cultural realities, and that will facilitate sustainable and effective implementation of legislation,

Promote the exchange of information between parliament, civil society and government, with the aim of increasing awareness on issues facing the environment,

Support cooperation between government and business in order to accelerate the transition to non-nuclear and renewable energy technologies,

Encourage collaboration among legislators and business leaders with a view to improving environmental quality through socially responsible investing,

Affirm the necessity of setting targets within implementing legislation and utilising technology to certain percentage sources of energy are renewable,

a timeframe, ensure that a

Encourage the mobilization of sufficient committed funds, both new and in addition to those already in place, to ensure the support of global environmental management as well as the promotion of use of renewable sources of energy,

Encourage the review and enactment of effective legislation to reduce air and water pollution,

Encourage cross border collaboration and parliamentary exchanges, such as PGA's initiatives on water management, to ensure an equitable sharing of water resources and the elimination of water pollution,
- Appeal to all Parliaments to introduce legislation and develop
international networks, involving government, international and local

organizations, for an effective implementation of the WSSD goals and outcomes

-Express our appreciation to Parliamentarians for Global Action, the Government of Denmark, the National Assembly and the Government of South Africa and the United Nations System, for their warm hospitality and their indispensable contributions, which have led to the success of the Parliamentary Workshop on Clean Air and Clean Water.

8. Proposals

a. We will have to prepare ourselves for policy changes that will advance the implementation of the WSSD programme.

b. The Department will also need to increase its implementation capacity, and consolidate a strategy to promote the WASH campaign, which is a holistic approach to addressing sanitation problems

c. It is important that community involvement in the implementation of the programme should be encouraged, with emphasis on women leadership.