Rio Summit or Rio Earth Sumit

UNCED or Earth Summit 1992, Rio De Janeiro Brazil

  • Earth Summit 1992 is also known as The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
  • Earth Summit 1992 succeeded in raising public awareness of the need to integrate environment and development.
  • 190 countries pledged their commitment to achieve by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and local levels.
  • As a follow-up, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) was held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was also held in Rio and is also commonly called Rio+20 or Rio Earth Summit 2012.

The issues touched included:

  • checking 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,
  • new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities,
  • the health problems caused by polluted air and smoke, and
  • the growing usage and limited supply of water. 
The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:
  1. Rio Declaration: principles intended to guide countries in future sustainable development.
  2. Agenda 21: non-binding action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.
  3. Forest Principles: Non-legally binding document on Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests. 
Landmark Agreements
  • 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.
  • Important legally binding agreements (Rio Convention) were opened for signature:
  • Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Agenda 21

  • Agenda 21 is a non-binding action plan of the United Nations (UN) related to sustainable development.
  • It was an outcome of the Earth Summit 1992.
  • The number 21 refers to an agenda for the 21st century.
  • Its aim is achieving global sustainable development.
  • Since 2015, Sustainable Development Goals are included in the Agenda 2030.

Rio Declarations

1. Rio+10 (2002) or Earth Summit 2002
  • Rio+10 (2002) or Earth Summit 2002 or World Summit on Sustainable Development.
  • Took place in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.
  • Rio+10 affirmed UN commitment to Agenda 21, alongside the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Johannesburg Declaration: committing the nations of the world to sustainable development.
  • It was a 10 Year follow up of RIO summit
  • It mentions the full implementations of the Agenda 21, overarching goal for institutions at the national levels.
 2. Rio+20 (2012)
  • Rio+20 (2012) or United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
  • Rio+20 was a 20-year follow-up to the Earth Summit 1992 and 10-year follow-up to the Earth Summit 2002.
  • It is also known as Rio 2012 or Earth Summit 2012.
  • Hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
  • It reaffirmed the commitment to Agenda 21.
  • It was the third international conference on sustainable development
Earth Summit 1992 (Rio de Janeiro) = UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
Earth Summit 2002 (Johannesburg) = World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
Earth Summit 2012 (Rio de Janeiro) = UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

  • The Convention stemmed from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21 in 1994.
  • UNCCD is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs (NAP).
  • National action programs (NAP) incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation.
  • It is the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address desertification.
  • It was adopted in Paris, France in 1994 and entered into force in 1996.
  • It has 196 parties, making it truly global in reach.
  • 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”.
  • The UN Convention to Combat Desertification has established a Committee on Science and Technology (CST).
  • CST is composed of government representatives competent in the fields of expertise relevant to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.
  • UNCCD collaborates closely with Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).


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