The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the Rio Summit, the Rio Conference, and the Earth Summit (Portuguese: ECO92), was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, 1992.
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. Since the creation, many others in the field of sustainability show a similar development to the issues discussed in these conferences, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
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 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
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".
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.
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.
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:
- Convention on Biological Diversity
- Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
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.
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.
- Earth Summits - with a list of the Earth Summits since the first one in 1972
- Earth Summit 2002 "Rio+10" held in Johannesburg
- United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development also known as "Rio 2012" or "Rio+20", hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, as a 20-year follow-up to the historic 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
- Ecology summit
- Global Map
- Precautionary principle
- Regional Forum on Environment and Health in Southeast and East Asian countries
- The Environmental Institute
- United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972
- Tommy Koh - link to the Chairman of the Main Committee of the UN Conference on Environment and Development
- Severn Suzuki
- "World Conferences Introduction". www.un.org. Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- 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).
- United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Rio Declaration on Environment and Development". Habitat.igc.org. Archived from the original on 2 April 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- 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.
- United Nations Agenda 21 Archived 10 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Agenda 21: Table of Bold textContents. Earth Summit, 1992". Habitat.igc.org. Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "CBD Home". Cbd.int. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Documents from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (also known as UNCED or the Earth Summit) Archived 19 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992
- Video: Severn Suzuki, 12 years old, speaks for Environmental Children Organization UNCED 1992
- Address at Rio Earth Summit, Tenzin Gyatso Dalai Lama
- Agenda 21 at the Center for a World in Balance
- A critical New Internationalist keynote about the 1992 Rio Earth Summit
- Rio Summit, articles at the India Environment Portal
- Rio+20 on India Environment Portal
- Water Quality Assessments pdf