The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was a milestone in the process of moving the world toward sustainable development. At the Earth Summit, Heads of State and government from 182 nations agreed to Agenda 21, an extensive plan of action for sustainable development. Agenda 21 recognizes that its successful implementation will depend upon national policies and processes with the broad participation of civil society.

In the two and a half years since Rio, more than 40 national governments have established entities with representation from a wide range of national stakeholders including government, academia, NGOs, business, media, and grassroots organizations to develop sustainable development strategies and approaches. Other countries have created intragovernmental bodies to provide a focal point for sustainable development initiatives at the national level.

It is a priority for the Earth Council to support these national entities and encourage multi-stakeholder participation in them. Toward this aim, we are pleased to offer this second edition of the Directory of National Councils for Sustainable Development or Similar Initiatives, an ongoing project which was launched jointly with the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The information contained in this Directory was provided by both governmental and civil society representatives, and describes the efforts of these two broad sectors to track progress since Rio.

The Directory is intended to be a tool whereby people involved in sustainable development processes around the world can contact each other and share their views, experiences and approaches. This networking builds cooperation and strengthens efforts towards the implementation of Agenda 21.

  Alicia Bárcena     	        Jonathan Lash
 Executive Director         	   Task Leader
  Earth Council          National Councils Programme