In 1992, the Earth Summit convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to address the world's social, economic and environmental crises by bringing sustainable development into the heart of policy-making at global, national and regional levels. Twenty years later, the Rio+20 summit seeks to address the same crises, which have now increased in scale and magnitude.
This primer published by IBON explains how sustainable development became the guiding principle for addressing developmental and environmental crises. It examines what sustainable development is, and what kind of society it should lead to.
It looks at why the progressive commitments of the Earth Summit have not produced their desired outcomes, and examines the Rio+20 agenda and its prospects of success where the Earth Summit failed.
The primer concludes by identifying the elements of a truly transformative agenda for a sustainable future for the planet and its peoples, and suggests how civil society organisations and people's movements can help turn such an agenda into reality.