INTRODUCTION

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), more commonly known as the Earth Summit, was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 3 to 14 June 1992. The Agenda 21, a program of action for the 21st Century, was adopted at the Conference, which was attended by more than 100 heads of state and government. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and principles for the sustainable management of forests were also adopted. In addition, conventions on biological diversity and climate change were signed by many of the governments present.

But UNCED was only a beginning. Without effective follow-up arrangements, the political accords reached at the Earth Summit towards a more sustainable and equitable future may never be adequately implemented. This report is a preliminary effort to summarize a select number of initiatives that are indicative of UNCED follow-up being carried out all over the world, with an emphasis on the work of nongovernmental organizations.

An attempt was made to collect and synthesize information on UNCED follow-up activities as it became available to the Earth Council at our headquarters in Costa Rica. It is hoped that the result is a representative sample of the diverse kinds of activities that are being carried out all over the world. Most of the material was collected from EcoNet electronic conferences, but some comes from Earth Council correspondence and other sources. Special thanks must be extended to the Centre for Our Common Future for the information taken from The Network.

Our intention in preparing this document is to disseminate information taken from modern means of communication through more traditional methods in order to assist NGOs that lack access to keep abreast of some of the latest developments in UNCED follow-up. The report contains four parts. The first part describes initiatives that are being undertaken by major groups. The second those that regard specific issues related to environment and development. Part three describes some initiatives based on countries or regions. The last part describes some initiatives regarding publications, networks, monitoring and meetings at the global level. An index of governmental, intergovernmental and nongovernmental actors is included at the end for easy reference.