In 1992, in Rio-de-Janerio, the largest international gathering took place which brought 108 heads of State and Government to one place where they endorsed Agenda 21, the action plan for sustainable development. This summit was called the Earth Summit. The year 2002 Earth summit was held in South Africa in Johannesburg from 26th August to 4th September to pursue a new initiative to implement sustainable development and build a future of prosperity and security for their citizens. These summits encompass everything associated with human well beings.
Achievements so far:-
(i) At the International Conference on financing for development, governments reaffirmed their commitment towards sustainable development, and donor countries promised to give $ 30 billion by 2006.
(ii) The U.N. Convention on biological diversity, opened for signature at 1992 Earth Summit and since ratified by 183 nations, entered into force in Dec. 1993. The convention obligates countries to protect plant and animal species through habitat preservations and other means.
(iii) Basal convention on hazardous waste, which regulates the movement of toxic waste from one country to another is administered by UNEP (United Nation Environment Programme) and, till now, has been ratified by 121 countries. In 1995, the convention out-law the export of toxic waste from developed to developing countries which do not have enough technology for their disposal.
(iv) Ozone depletion: It is a highly successful treaty under the Earth Summit. The treaty completely banned the consumption of chloro-fluoro carbon and, as a result, over the years ozone hole has started filling.
(v) At the Earth Summit, it was decided to help the countries situated on small islands, as they are isolated and vulnerable to many development constraints, climate change, and natural disasters. Subsequently, in 1994, a U.N. Conference was held in Barbados, to address their special concern.
(vi) Decision to build up forest was taken at Rio Summit and to formulate the plan, an Inter-governmental panel on forest met for 2 years under the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development. They come out with over 100 action plans in March 1997. Starting with its first session in 2001, the U.N. Forum on Forest has focussed on the proposal to limit deforestation and generate more resources for the foresting sector.
(vii) In 1997 in Kyoto, the government agreed on a protocol by which industrialised countries would accept to reduce their emission of 6 greenhouse gases by an average of 5% below the 1990 level by 2008-2012.
(viii) The Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety, to reduce the risk of transboundary movement of living modified organisms and ensure safe use of modern technologies was adopted in Jan. 2000.