United States

The state of Kentucky and the Kentucky Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA co-sponsored a follow-up on the Earth Summit in May 1993 in Louisville, Kentucky called "From Rio to the Capitols: State Strategies on Sustainable Economic Development". The organizers brought Governors of the 50 states, agricultural agencies, representatives of environmental protection and development agencies, citizens and industry to discuss how states can implement the agreements reached at UNCED.

Seven regional grassroots meetings were held around Iowa in the spring of 1993 to follow-up on the Earth Summit and to consider environment and development issues in local communities. The Iowa Division of the United Nations Association (UNA) produced an Agenda 21 for Iowa. Called "Education and Opportunity", it lays out the specific concerns of citizens from around Iowa about the environment and the problems of sustainable development: consumption, energy, water quality, chemical use, natural resources, waste disposal, and population.

On the first anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, President Clinton unveiled a Presidential Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) composed of 25 business, environmental, and government leaders to help him "identify and implement policies that will meet the needs of the present without compromising the future." The 25-member panel, about evenly divided between government, business, and environmental/public interest sources, was charged with six objectives: Develop specific policy recommendations for a national strategy for sustainable development; Contribute to the US plan that spells out how the nation will respond to the Agenda 21; Sponsor demonstration projects that test the viability of the Council's recommendations; Establish links with other organizations engaged in similar work; Consider the continuation of an annual presidential environmental award; and Educate the public about sustainable development.

The 20th annual conference on the National Council for International Health focussed on "Health and the Environment: Meeting the Challenge for Human Development". It took place in Arlington, Virginia from 20-23 June 1993. Its purpose was to emphasize the existing links between health, population, environment and economic growth that contribute to health and human development.

Sustainable Seattle, a voluntary network and civic forum for sustainability, released its first set of Indicators of Sustainability. After nearly two years of consensus-building involving approximately 200 volunteers and civic leaders, project organizers released their first public report in stages during 1993. Volunteers and interns gathered data, developed media strategies, and designed programs to help citizens act on this "civic report card" measuring progress towards sustainability.

Three seminars on the theme "Did the Earth Summit Matter? Making Sense of Sustainable Development" were held in Boston in May 1993. The event was sponsored by Cultural Survival, United Nations Association of Greater Boston, Coolidge Center for Environmental Leadership and Union of Concerned Scientists.

The U.S. Citizens Network on UNCED changed its name to the Citizens Network for Sustainable Development. Initially formed as an umbrella organization for activists participating in preparations for the Earth Summit, the organization is now a focal point for the many efforts to monitor and enforce the implementation of treaties signed and agreements reached by governments at Rio in the United States. The Network, together with the Stanley Foundation and the Iowa Division of the United Nations Association (UNA-USA), sponsored an international conference called "Two Years after UNCED -- Exploring Partnerships for Sustainable Development". The conference was held 20 to 24 July 1994 in Davenport, Iowa. Over 200 NGO representatives and individuals from nine countries participated in the event that addressed social, cultural, environmental, and economic concerns.