The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Conference or the Earth Summit (Portuguese: ECO92, Cúpula da Terra), was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Earth Summit was a UN event.

Earth Summit was created as a response for member states to cooperate together internationally on development issues after the Cold War. Due to issues relating to sustainability being too big for individual member states to handle, Earth Summit was held as a platform for other member states to collaborate.

A key achievement of the 1992 conference was the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established in part as an international environmental treaty to combat "dangerous human interference with the climate system" and to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. It was signed by 154 states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). By 2022, the UNFCCC had 198 parties. Its supreme decision-making body, the Conference of the Parties (COP) meets annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

Since the creation of the UNFCC many related environmental conferences, climate-related forums, and ongoing scientific research initiatives in the fields of sustainability, climate, and environmental security have continued to develop these intersecting issues. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)[1] and educational institutions have been prominent participants.

The Earth Summit played an influential role in diffusing several key principles of environmental treaties, such as the precautionary principle, common but differentiated responsibilities, and the polluter pays principle.[2]

Issues addressed edit

The issues addressed include:

  • 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 delegates 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 smoke
  • the growing usage and limited supply of water
  • importance of protecting the world's oceans.[3]

Development edit

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

The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the Earth Summit and made a start towards a redefinition of measures that did not inherently encourage the destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth. World Oceans Day was initially proposed at this conference and has been recognized since then.[4]

Although President George H. W. Bush signed the Earth Summit's Convention on Climate, his EPA Administrator William K. Reilly acknowledges that U.S. goals at the conference were difficult to negotiate and the agency's international results were mixed, including the U.S. failure to sign the proposed Convention on Biological Diversity.[5]

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

The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:

Moreover, important legally binding agreements (Rio Convention) were opened for signature:

At Rio it was agreed that an International Negotiating Committee for a third convention the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification would be set up. This convention was negotiated within two years of Rio and then open for signature. It became effective in 1996 after receiving 50 ratifications.

In order to ensure compliance to the agreements at Rio (particularly the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21), delegates to the Earth Summit established the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). In 2013, the CSD was replaced by the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that meets every year as part of the ECOSOC meetings, and every fourth year as part of the General Assembly meetings.[citation needed]

Critics 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. Malaysia was successful at blocking the US-proposed convention on forests and its prime-minister Mahathir Mohamad accused later the global North of exercising eco-imperialism at this summit.[11][12] According to Vandana Shiva, Earth Summit create a "moral base for green imperialism".[13]

Green Cross International was founded to build upon the work of the Summit.

The first edition of Water Quality Assessments, published by WHO/Chapman & Hall, was launched at the Rio Global Forum.

Youth edit

At this stage, youth were not officially recognised within climate governance.[14] Although youth were not given specific recognition, there was a significant youth turnout at UNCED.[15] Youth were involved in negotiating Chapter 25 of Agenda 21 on Children & Youth in Sustainable Development.[16]

"25.2 It is imperative that youth from all parts of the world participate actively in all relevant levels of decision-making processes because it affects their lives today and has implications for their futures. In addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, they bring unique perspectives that need to be taken into account."[17]

Two years prior to UNCED youth organized internationally to prepare for the Earth Summit.[18] Youth concerns were consolidated at a World Youth Environmental Meeting, Juventud (Youth) 92, held in Costa Rica, before the Earth Summit.[19][20]

"The involvement of today's youth in environment and development critical to the long term success of Agenda 21" (UNCED 1992).[21]

Parallel to UNCED, youth organized the Youth '92 conference with participation from around the world.[22][23] Organising took place before, but also afterwards.[24] Many youth participants were dissatisfied with the rate of change.[25]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "World Conferences Introduction". Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  2. ^ Morin, Jean-Frédéric; Allan, Jen; Jinnah, Sikina (2023). "The survival of the weakest: the echo of the Rio Summit principles in environmental treaties". Environmental Politics: 1–22. doi:10.1080/09644016.2023.2236505. ISSN 0964-4016. S2CID 260670633.
  3. ^ "Indus Delta: Bilawal says 2.4m acres of land is eroded by seawater". Business Recorder. 9 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  4. ^ "This day, that year: What happened on June 7 in history". News9 Live. 7 June 2022.
  5. ^ EPA Alumni Association: EPA Administrator William K. Reilly discusses his efforts at the Rio conference, including successes and failures. Reflections on US Environmental Policy: An Interview with William K. Reilly Video Archived 6 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Transcript Archived 6 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine (see pages 6,7).
  6. ^ United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development". Archived from the original on 2 April 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Social Science Contemporary India II: Textbook in Geography for class X (PDF). New Delhi: NCERT. 2019. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-7450-644-3. OCLC 1152150287.
  8. ^ United Nations Agenda 21 Archived 10 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Agenda 21: Table of Contents. Earth Summit, 1992". Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  10. ^ "CBD Home". Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  11. ^ KEEBLE, BRIAN (1993). "Reflections on the Earth Summit". Medicine and War. 9 (1): 18–23. doi:10.1080/07488009308409072. ISSN 0748-8009. JSTOR 45354685.
  12. ^ Mohamed, Datuk Seri Mahathir Bin (April 1999). "The Green Flag of Eco-Imperialism". New Perspectives Quarterly. 16 (2): 8–9. doi:10.1111/0893-7850.00214.
  13. ^ Shiva, Vandana (1997). The Greening of Global Reach. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780203444931.
  14. ^ Thew, Harriet (23 February 2018). "Youth participation and agency in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. 18 (3): 369–389. Bibcode:2018IEAPL..18..369T. doi:10.1007/s10784-018-9392-2. S2CID 158843174.
  17. ^ "Agenda 21: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS". United Nations.
  18. ^ "Towards a National Sustainable Development Strategy". January 1993.
  19. ^ "Block-3 Programmes and Services: YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN in Development". eGyanKosh.
  20. ^ Angel, William David (1995). The International Law of Youth Rights: Source Documents and Commentary. Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 645. ISBN 0-7923-3321-7.
  21. ^ Dickson-Hoyle, Sarah; Kovacevic, Michelle; Cherbonnier, Marina; Nicholas, Kimberly A. (13 November 2018). Iles, Alastair (ed.). "Towards meaningful youth participation in science-policy processes: a case study of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative". Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 6: 67. Bibcode:2018EleSA...6...67D. doi:10.1525/elementa.327.
  22. ^ ""Youth Conference on Environment and Development (Youth 92)" held in Costa Rica from 22-29 March 1992". EU Archives.
  23. ^ "A Guide to Agenda 21" (PDF). International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 1993.
  24. ^ "The Global Forum for Environmental Education" (PDF). Global Network of Teachers and Students, Volume 4, Number 3.
  25. ^ "'My generation has been damned'". Third World Resurgence.

External links edit