UN Conference on Environment and Development Earth Summit 1992

UN Conference on Environment and Development Earth Summit 1992


The UNCED, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which is also commonly known as Earth Summit of 1992. This Earth Summit was held in Rio-D Jannero, Brazil from the date 3 June- 14 June 1992. This Earth Summit is the largest environmental conference in the world history and mainly this was the probably the

largest non-religious meeting ever held. Various environmental activist, politicians, NGO workers has taken part in this Earth Summit of 1992.

Historical Background

The Earth Summit of 1992 was not the first meeting for the environment, the first ever United Nation Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972, 20 years before the Rio-D Jannero meeting to address the environment issues. In the Stockholm conference 113 nation’s representative and over 400 NGOs attended the conference. This conference stated that every person deserves a clean and healthy environment. The Stockholm conference has produced a plan of 109 recommendations for improving the environment which includes limitations in the use of Ozone- Depleting Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This meeting of Stockholm is called by the industrialized nation of Western Europe to discuss about the concern for the Air Pollution. The lesser developed countries have less input in the conference. United Nation convened the World Commission is also known as Brundtland commission in 1983. The commission raised the ongoing problem of deterioration of the environment and depletion of natural resources and the conditions that are affecting on the social and economic activities.  The result of the Brundtland Commission is noted the publication of its report that is “Our Common Future” in 1987. The outcome of this commission or the meeting is the evolution of a new term that is “Sustainable Development”, according to the report ‘Our Common Future’ the sustainable promote economic growth while protecting the environment for the future generations. The term Sustainable Development is linked with environmental problems to social and economic system.

The Earth Summit

The Earth Summit of 1992 conducted for 12 days from June 3 to 14, there were more than 35,000 people in the summit which includes politicians, environmental activist, business representatives along with 25,000 troops, 9,000 journalist and uncounted vendors, Taki drivers who converged the Rio-D Jannero, Brazil summit of 1992 that is Earth Summit which is also known as United Nation Conference on Environment and Development, even this summit brought together including diplomats, activists to everyone. The preparation for the Earth Summit started in 1990 the leaders of Maurice Strong, Canadian Environmentalist has taken the charge for the Rio-D Jannero summit. The first preparation meet for the Earth Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya in August 1990. The second and the third meetings were held in Geneva, Switzerland in March, August 1991. The final and the fourth preparation meeting was held in New York city in march 1992. There were representatives 172 nations including 108 head of state, there are 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations and approximately 10,000 journalists present in the summit. The massive interest is shown by the mass and the public that gathered in the summit, which also shows the massive global shift towards the environment. The depletion of natural resources evidently showed the scientific evidence that how profound the nations, environment, and to the entire planet are affected by these problems.

Impacts and issue of the Earth Summit

The Earth Summit of 1992 has implemented several plans for the world as blueprint for the environmental issues which includes The World Sustainable Development and the Kyoto Protocol. The Earth Summit of 1992 produced the statement of Forest Principles and Agenda 21, the summit also sums up with the evolution of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’. The Earth Summit also sum up with the idea that the environment and development are set of principles that defines the right and responsibilities of nation where there is a need an environment protection and sustainable development. This summit also sumps up with the idea that the countries has right to exploit/use the natural resources within their borders if the actions does not affect the environment in other nations. The summit also states the nation’s government to implement the plans for sustainable development that is to save/preserve natural resources for the future generations. To protect the environment trough sustainable development the NGOs, national government local government worked together with the plan made that is ‘Agenda 21’. Agenda 21 has four aspects that is social dimensions, economic dimensions, conservation and management of resources for development, strengthen the role of major groups, and means of implementation.  The contribution for the Environment Degradation, by the developing nations and the developed nations is recognized by Agenda 21. The nations who are poor have less restriction on the environment regulations and so that they can focus on the economic development, apart from having strong environmental rules and regulations the developed nations are have productions and consumption that pollute the environment.

Agenda 21 addresses the environmental issues trough the detailed versions of the social and economic proposals. Combating poverty, conserving and managing natural resource, prevention of deforestation, promoting sustainable agriculture, addressing the production and consumption pattern and the most important protecting the ocean and the environment, Agenda 21 addressed the environment issues through all these above lines. The Rio Earth Summit also produced may treaties for the protection of the environment such as Convention on Biological Diversity and The United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first ever treaty was made for the preservation of the Biological Diversity. Conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of the components of biodiversity, and a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that arise from using biological resources, these are the three primary goals on the convention the Biological Diversity.


In the conclusion the only think that we conclude is that the Earth Summit has done for the environment protection and the increase in the environmental issues that time and the Earth Summit is the biggest meeting ever held on the environment and the first meeting in which also the largest non-religious meeting ever held. By which we ca say that how people were aware about the environment at that time and various treaties were signed many solutions were taken out of the summit which has been implemented from it and it also worked but in today’s time we can’t see these thinks to preserve the environment. But we have to do certain things to preserve the environment and the Earth Summit does it so.

Author: Nishika Bharadwaj,
Symbiosis Law School Nagpur

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