Earth Summit

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For other uses, see Earth Summit (disambiguation).
The Earth Summit was a UN event

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, and Earth Summit (Portuguese: ECO92 [ˈɛku no̞ˈvẽtɐ j ˈdojʃ]), was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 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. It was held from 20 to 22 June.

Earth Charter[edit]

The idea of an Earth Charter originated out of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development, but the moves towards drafting the Earth Charter began in earnest in 1994 when Mikhail Gorbachev, as president of Green Cross International, and Maurice Strong, chairman of the Earth Council, joined forces to draft the earth charter as a civil society initiative, with funding from the government of the Netherlands. In late 1996 the Earth Charter Commission, co-chaired by Gorbachev and Strong was formed to oversee the drafting process, and a draft was presented at the Rio+5 Forum in 1997, where world leaders met to review their progress on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.[1]

The final text of the Earth Charter was agreed at a meeting of the Earth Charter Commission at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in March 2000, and the Charter was formally launched on 29th June 2000 at The Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands

Since its launch, over 4500 organisations have endorsed the Charter, including international bodies such as UNESCO and the World Conservation Union, the 2001 U.S. Conference on Mayors, various government bodies, faith-based groups and youth organisations.

THE ARK OF HOPE The original copy of the Earth Charter has been placed in a specially constructed Ark of Hope, a 49 inch (124.5cm) by 32 inch (81.3cm) by 32" (81.3cm) wooden chest that is built to resemble the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, but contains occult symbolism. The Ark of Hope was launched by Steven C. Rockefeller at an event called For Love of Earth, a celebration of the Earth Charter that took place on 9 September 2001 at Shelburne Farms, Vermont. The Ark is taken on tour each year across parts of the world to promote the Earth Charter, visiting hundreds of schools and universities.[2]


172 governments participated, with 116 sending their heads of state or government.[3] Some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum" (also called 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 smoke
  • 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:

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

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Truth Behind the Earth Summit: "What is the Earth Charter Declaration?".
  2. ^ The Truth Behind the Earth Summit: "What is the Earth Charter Declaration?".
  3. ^ Taib, Fauziah (1997). Malaysia and UNCED. London: Kluwer Law International. p. 1. ISBN 90 411 0683 9. 
  4. ^ United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development". Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  5. ^ United Nations Agenda 21[dead link]
  6. ^ United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Agenda 21: Table of Contents. Earth Summit, 1992". Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "CBD Home". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 

External links[edit]