United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [UNCED]

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development(UNCED), also known as Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

The issues addressed included

  • Systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly the production of toxic components (like 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.
  • The new reliance on public transportation systems (like Delhi metro, BRTS )in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion.
  • The growing usage and the limited supply of water
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

The important achievement of the summit


  • Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  • Agenda21
  • Forest Principles

Legally binding agreements

  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

  • Also called as Rio Declaration (shortened name)
  • Short document produced at the 1992 UNCED.
  • It consisted of 27 principles intended to guide future sustainable development around the world.

Agenda 21

  • It is an action plan of UN-related to sustainable development.
  • It was an outcome of UNCED in Rio.
  • It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans directly affect the environment.
  • The number 21 refers to an agenda for the 21st century.

Local Agenda 21

  • As we have read above Agenda 21 wants to implement the actions at national, regional and local level.
  • Some national and state governments have legislated or advised that local authorities take steps to implement the plan locally, as recommended in Chapter 28 of the document.
  • Such a programme is often known as ‘Local Agenda 21’ or ‘LA21’.

Agenda 21 for “culture”

  • The first World Public Meeting on Culture in Brazil (2002) came up with the idea to draw up document guidelines for local cultural policies, a document comparable to what Agenda 21 meant in 1992 for the environment.
  • It is the first document that advocates establishing the groundwork of an undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development.


  • As the name itself suggests it was a special session which took place after 5 years of Earth summit to appraise five years of progress on the implementation of Agenda 21.
  • Progress recognized as ‘uneven’.
  • Identified key trends including increasing globalization, widening inequalities in income and a continued deterioration of the global environment.
The Johannesburg Summit

The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002) affirmed UN commitment to ‘full implementation’ of Agenda 21, alongside achievement of the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) another international agreement.


  • +20 means after 20 years of 1992 Earth Summit.
  • It is the short name for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (it also took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • World leaders, private sector, NGOs and other groups, came together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.
  • The official discussions focused on two main themes –
    o How to building a green economy to achieve sustainable development + reduce poverty
    o how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
  • > $513 billion was pledged, to build a sustainable future.
  • It signaled a major step forward in achieving the future we want.
Objectives of Rio+20
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