The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the Rio Summit, the Rio Conference, and the Earth Summit (Portuguese: ECO92), was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June in 1992.
Earth Summit was created as a response for Member States to cooperate together internationally on development issues after the Cold War. Due to issues relating to sustainability being too big for individual member states to handle, Earth Summit was held as a platform for other Member States to collaborate. Since the creation, many others in the field of sustainability show a similar development to the issues discussed in these conferences, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was also held in Rio, and is also commonly called Rio+20 or Rio Earth Summit 2012. It was held from 13 to 22 June.
The issues addressed included:
An important achievement of the summit was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Another agreement was to "not to 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 measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural ecoregions and so-called uneconomic growth.
Although President George H.W. Bush signed the Earth Summit’s Convention on Climate, his EPA Administrator William K. Reilly acknowledges that U.S. goals at the conference were difficult to negotiate and the agency’s international results were mixed, including the U.S. failure to sign the proposed Convention on Biological Diversity.
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:
Moreover, important legally binding agreements (Rio Convention) were opened for signature:
In order to ensure compliance to the agreements at Rio (particularly the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21), delegates to the Earth Summit established the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). In 2013, the CSD was replaced by the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that meets every year as part of the ECOSOC meetings, and every fourth year as part of the General Assembly meetings.
Green Cross International was founded to build upon the work of the Summit.
The first edition of Water Quality Assessments, published by WHO/Chapman & Hall, was launched at the Rio Global Forum.