Earth Summit (1992)

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Summit, Earth Summit (or, in Portuguese, Eco '92) was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, 1992.

Overview

172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government. [ [http://www.un.org/geninfo/bp/enviro.html Earth_Summit ] ] Some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum", who had so-called Consultative Status.

The issues addressed included:
* systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals
* alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change
* new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog
* the growing scarcity of water

An important achievement was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Another was agreement to "not carry out any activities on the lands of indigenous peoples that would cause environmental degradation or that would be culturally inappropriate".

The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the Earth Summit, and made a start towards redefinition of money supply measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth.

Twelve cities were also honoured by the Local Government Honours Award for innovative local environmental programs. These included Sudbury, Ontario in Canada for its ambitious program to rehabilitate environmental damage from the local mining industry, Austin, Texas in the United States for its green building strategy, and Kitakyushu in Japan for incorporating an international education and training component into its municipal pollution control program.

The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:
* "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development" [http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/rio-dec.htm]
* "Agenda 21" [http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/english/agenda21toc.htm] , [http://habitat.igc.org/agenda21/]
* "Convention on Biological Diversity" [http://www.cbd.int]
* "Forest Principles"
* "Framework Convention on Climate Change"

Both "Convention on Biological Diversity" and "Framework Convention on Climate Change" were set as legally binding agreements.

Critics, however, point out that many of the agreements made in Rio have not been realized regarding such fundamental issues as fighting poverty and cleaning up the environment.

Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD)

CSD has served as the UN high-level forum for sustainable development issues since 1992, when it was established by the UN General Assembly to ensure effective follow-up to the Rio Summit. CSD meets annually at UN Headquarters; its focus themes for 2006/2007 are energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change.

See also

*International Institute for Sustainable Development
*The Environmental Institute

References

External links

* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6642758020554799808 video: George Hunt reviews UNCED 1992]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g8cmWZOX8Q video: Severn Suzuki, 13 years old, speaks for Environmental Children Organization UNCED 1992]


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