OVERVIEW OF THE EARTH SUMMIT’S
Extracts and synopsis prepared by the Bahá'í Information Office from the plain language version of Agenda 21 published by the Centre for Our Common Future, written by Michael Keating.
The full version is available from
The full text of Agenda 21 is available as
Agenda 21: The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio From:- UN Publications, Sales Section, Room DC2-0853, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA. Also available is The Global Partnership for Environment and Development: A Guide to Agenda 21.
Please note: The phrase "developing countries" is used throughout the Rio documents.
AGENDA 21 is one of 5 documents agreed during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Signed by 179 Heads of Government, it is a blueprint for sustainable development in the 21st century, aimed at providing a high quality environment and healthy economy for all the peoples of the world
Commentators point to two major features of this agreement:
Agenda 21 is a guide for individuals, businesses and governments in making choices for less environmentally destructive developments, and ultimately a challenge to translate understanding into action in developing sustainable lifestyles. The alternative to this action is unacceptable levels of human suffering and environmental damage, as forecast in the 1987 Brundtland Report, "Our Common Future".
Agenda 21 sees sustainable development as a way to reverse both poverty and environmental degradation. A major theme is to eradicate poverty by giving poor people more access to the resources they need to live sustainably, including information and skills. It calls upon governments working in participation with international organisations, business, regional and local governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and citizens groups to develop national strategies for sustainable development in an on going process of consultation and global democratization from local to international levels from 1993/4 - 1997
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
Agenda 21 states that only a global partnership will ensure that all nations will have a safer and more prosperous future. The agreement includes the following ideas:
AGENDA 21 - COMMITMENTS
Agenda 21 consists of 40 chapters in four sections of overlapping and interrelated issues involved in sustainable development.
SECTION ONE: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS
SECTION TWO: CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES
SECTION THREE: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS
SECTION FOUR: MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION
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This web page originally constructed by Graham Sorenson; used and reworked with permission.