Earth Summit

The growing focus upon environmental issues was firmly consolidated on the political level at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
  • The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, Rio Summit, Rio Conference, and Earth Summit.
  • It was attended by 170 states, thousands of NGOs and many multinational corporations.
  • It succeeded in raising public awareness of the need to integrate environment and development.
  • There was a consensus on combining economic growth with ecological responsibility, also known as ‘sustainable development’.
  • The Rio summit produced conventions regarding climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of development practiced called Agenda 21.
  • This summit led to the development of the following documents:
o Rio Declaration on Environment and Development- It contained 27 principles that were supposed to guide countries in future sustainable development.
o Agenda 21- It is an action plan with respect to sustainable development, but it is non-binding.
o Forest Principles- It is formally called ‘Non-Legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests’. It makes recommendations for conservation and sustainable development forestry and is non-binding.

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