The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Declaration, was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. The conference, also known as the Earth Summit, brought together representatives from 178 countries to address global environmental and developmental challenges.
The Rio Declaration consists of 27 principles that aim to guide nations in achieving sustainable development while preserving and protecting the environment. These principles provide a framework for integrating environmental concerns into development processes at local, national, regional, and global levels. Here are some key principles of the Rio Declaration:
- Principle 1: Human beings have the right to a healthy and productive environment.
- Principle 2: States have the sovereign right to exploit their own resources, but must ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause harm to the environment of other states or areas beyond national jurisdiction.
- Principle 3: The right to development must be fulfilled in a sustainable manner to meet the needs of present and future generations.
- Principle 4: In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process.
- Principle 7: States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem.
- Principle 10: Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level.
- Principle 15: In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by states according to their capabilities.
The Rio Declaration emphasizes the importance of international cooperation, public participation, and the integration of environmental considerations into decision-making processes. It has served as a foundational document for global environmental governance and has influenced subsequent international agreements and initiatives related to sustainable development, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The Rio Declaration highlights the interconnectedness of environmental protection, social development, and economic progress, emphasizing the need for an integrated and balanced approach to ensure a sustainable future for all.