United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
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The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit (Portuguese: Eco '92) was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.
172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government. Some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum", who had Consultative Status.
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 are 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 smog the growing scarcity of water
An important achievement was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Another agreement was to "not 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 money supply measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth.
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:
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Convention on Biological Diversity
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Both Convention on Biological Diversity and Framework Convention on Climate Change were set as legally binding agreements.
Critics, however, point out that many of the agreements made in Rio have not been realized regarding such fundamental issues as fighting poverty and cleaning up the environment.
The Green Cross International was founded to build upon the work of the Summit.