In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) took place in Stockholm. This environmental conference, which led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNPE), is sometimes considered to have been the first Earth Summit.
Since then, heads of governments from around the world have met every 10 years for a major conference. Major orientations are defined in order to set up a new growth model: sustainable development.
Earth Summit Actions
Subsequent Earth Summits included the 1982 Nairobi Summit, the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Summit, and the 2002 Johannesburg Summit. The next Summit will be held in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012.
In 1982, the Nairobi Summit did not achieve to much due to the circumstances at the time. The Cold War was then the priority for diplomacy.
However, in 1992, the Rio de Janeiro Summit was very productive. This conference was concluded by the creation of the Action Programme for the 21st Century (Agenda 21), the United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change, the Convention onBiological Diversityand the Convention to Combat Desertification.
The 2002 Johannesburg Summit was an occasion to assess the programmes launched in Rio de Janeiro and to adopt a plan of action for the widely varied fields of sustainable development (water, energy, health, biodiversity...).
Rio de Janeiro 1992 Earth Summit logo. © UNCED