Historic Famous Conferences: Earth Summit 3rd – 14th June, 1992

In June 1992, from 3rd to 14th, the largest United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was called the Rio Conference, the Earth Summit, the Rio summit, or the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.In this summit,117 heads of states and also representatives of the 178 nations were in attendance. Most of the nations agreed by the signing of treaties and other documents to commit to the pursuit of economic development but also protecting the mother earth and its nonrenewable resources.

The issues addressed included:

The production of harmful components such as gasoline or the release of toxic factory wastes into the environment.

Using alternative sources of energy to replace the use of nonrenewable sources.

The use of a public transportation system to reduce the number of harmful gases emitted into the environment.

The growing usage of the limited water supply.

Some of the main documents that were agreed upon by member states at the Earth Summit are:

The Convention on Biological Diversity. This is the treaty that committed different states to take inventories of their plants and wild lives and protecting the endangered species concurrently.

The Global Warming Convention. This is the treaty that bound nations to reduce their carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases which are thought to be responsible for global warming.

The Declaration on Environment and Development, or the Rio Declaration laid down 27 broad but nonbinding principles for environmentally sound development. Among them is Agenda 21 which outlined global strategies for cleaning up the environment and also encouraging sound environmental development.

In an attempt at preserving the fast diminishing tropical rainforests, a nonbinding recommendation suggested that nations monitor and assess the impact of development on their forest reserve and take steps to manage the damage done on them. This summit formed a precedent for many of these international meetings.

However, the summit was faced with disputes between the developed countries and the developing ones with the later been reluctant to hamper their economic development with the environmental restrictions recommended not unless they receive increased financial support from the wealthy nations to facilitate a sound environmental growth.

The TakeAway,

This meeting was a response for member states to work together worldwide on development issues after the Cold War. Issues of Sustainability were deemed to be too broad for individual member states to handle, therefore the Earth Summit was a platform for all member states to collaborate. Many more meetings would follow to ammend some of the treaties and declarations in the future.


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