The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit (Portuguese: Eco '92) was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.
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. was held June 20-22nd.
172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government. Some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum" (a.k.a. Forum Global), who had 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 agreement was 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 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 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.
The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:
* Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
* Agenda 21
* Forest Principles
Moreover, two important legally binding agreements were opened for signature:
* Convention on Biological Diversity
* Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
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.
Green Cross International was founded to build upon the work of the Summit.
1992: THE RIO EARTH SUMMIT
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) took place in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Government officials from 178 countries and between 20,000 and 30,000 individuals from governments, NGOs and the media participated in this event to discuss solutions for global problems such as poverty, war or the growing gap between industrialised and developing countries. In the centre was also the question of how to relieve the global environmental system through the introduction to the paradigm of sustainable development. It emphasises that economic and social progress depends critically on the preservation of the natural resource base with effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
Parallel to the formal UN conference, an informal counter-conference, the "Global Forum" also occurred in Rio, organised by hundreds of NGOs. This event surely was the more colourful and inspirational, more popular and interesting event - at least in the perception of the world media. The Global Forum produced dozens of resolutions and conventions, obviously much closer...