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The Earth Summit

In 1972, 113 delegates and 2 Head of States gathered in Stockholm, Sweden
for the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

The conference secured a permanent place for the environment on the

worlds agenda.

Led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Program. Since then there have been many conventions, conferences and agreements
on the Environment.

20 years after the Stockholm Conference, representatives from 178 nations,

NGOs, and other interested parties gathered in Rio de Janeiro on June 3-14, 1992 for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. A.ka. The Earth Summit

30,000 people on attendance, including media and interested parties Attended by 172 governments with 108 sending their Head of State or

2,400 Representatives of NGOs 10,000 journalists from all over the world. Unprecedented for a United Nation Conference both in terms of size of
attendance and the scope of concerns

What happened in Rio (Didnt just stay in Rio)

130 nations signed convention on Climate Change and Convention on

Delegates also reached an agreement on Agenda 21, An action plan for

developing the planet sustainably through the twenty-first century.

Delegates also reached an agreement on a broad statement of principles for

protecting the forests through the Forest Principles

All nations accepted without change the Rio Declaration Created new international networks to carry out and oversee implementation
of the agreements.

Became the preliminary to succeeding conventions, agreements, and

protocols on Climate Change, Environmental Protection, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development.

Moreover, important legally binding agreements were opened for signature:

Convention on Biological Diversity Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The Rio Declaration

Protection of the Environment. Replaced the Earth Charter, which affirmed the rights of all citizens to a clean
environment and the rights of developing nations to pursue sustainable developments.

Highly criticized as Broad, Non-Binding, and a mere document having no teeth. The Stockholm Declaration (1972), The Rio Declaration (1992), Johannesburg
Declaration (Rio+10 Earth Summit 2002), The Future We Want (Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012) which were issued by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, enjoined states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction do not cause environmental damage to other states or areas.


Defines the rights of the people to be involved in the development of their

Defines the responsibilities of human beings to safeguard the common


The declaration builds upon the basic ideas concerning the attitudes of
individuals and nations towards the environment and development

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human

Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon it, With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system, Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home,

Proclaims the:
The 27 Principles of the Rio Declaration

A compact set of 27 principles: The Role of Man (Principle 1); The importance of the environment for current and future
generations and its equal footing with development (Principles 3 and 4);

The primacy of poverty eradication (Principle 5); the special consideration given to developing countries
(Principle 6);

the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities

(CBDR, Principle 7).

It also enshrined the two critical economic principles of

polluter pays (Principle 16) and precautionary approach (Principle 15).

It introduced principles relating to participation and the

importance of specific groups for sustainable development (Principles 7, 10, 20, 21, 22).

Lastly, it requested Member states to put in place adequate

legislative instruments to address environmental issues. (11)

Principle 1. The role of man

Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development.
They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature

Principle 2. State Sovereignty

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and
the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Principle 3. The Right to development

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet
developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations.

Principle 4. Environmental Protection in the Development Process

In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental
protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process chain and cannot be considered in isolation from it.

Principle 5. Eradication of Poverty

All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating
poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

Principle 6. Priority for the Least Developed

The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the
least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given special priority. International actions in the field of environment and development should also address the interests and needs of all countries.

Principle 7. State Cooperation to Protect Ecosystem

States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve,
protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to Global environmental depredation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.

Principle 8. Reduction of Unsustainable patterns of Production and Consumption

To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people,
States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

Principle 9. Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for
sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.

Principle 10. Public Participation

Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all

concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

Principle 11. National Environmental Legislation

States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental
standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to other countries, in particular developing countries.

Principle 12. Supportive and Open International Economic System

States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic
system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation. Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided. Environmental measures addressing trans boundary or global environmental problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

Principle 13. Compensation for Victims of Pollution and other Environmental Damage
States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation
for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to areas beyond their jurisdiction.

Principle 14. State Cooperation to Prevent Environmental Dumping

States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation
and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health.

Principle 15. Precautionary Principle

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be
widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

Principle 16. Internalization of Environmental Costs

National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of
environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.

Principle 17. Environmental Impact Assessments

Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be
undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.

Principle 18. Notification of Natural Disaster

States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or other
emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international community to help States so afflicted.

Principle 19. Prior and Timely Notification

States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to
potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse trans boundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in good faith.

Principle 20. Women have a Vital Role

Women have a vital role in environmental management and
development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.

Principle 21. Youth Mobilization

The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be
mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and ensure a better future for all.

Principle 22. Indigenous People have a Vital Role

Indigenous people and their communities and other local
communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development.

Principle 23. People under Oppression

The environment and natural resources of people under oppression,
domination and occupation shall be protected.

Principle 24. Warfare

Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall
therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.

Principle 25. Peace, Development and Environmental Protection

Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and

Principle 26. Resolution of Environmental Disputes

States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by
appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Principle 27. Cooperation between State and People

States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership
in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable development

The Rio Declaration states that the only way to have long term economic
progress is to link it with environmental protection. This will only happen if nations establish a new and equitable global partnership involving governments, their people and key sectors of societies. They must build international agreements that protect the integrity of the global environmental and the developmental system.

THE END.. Researchers and Reporters: