Agenda 21 International Initiative
Earth Summit • Agenda 21 was established at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. • Agenda 21 is a commitment to sustainable development, which was agreed by many of the world’s governments.
Agenda 21 • Countries that have agreed to Agenda 21 are encouraged to conserve and preserve their environments and natural resources at local and national level.
Agenda 21 tackles social and environmental problems, including: • air pollution • deforestation • biodiversity loss • health • overpopulation • poverty • energy consumption • waste production • transport.
Sustainable development • Sustainable development encourages the conservation and preservation of natural resources and of the environment. • If sustainable development is to be successful we all have to change our attitudes to our current lifestyles and the impact they have on the environment.
Conservation and preservation • Conservation is the sustainable use and management of natural resources, including wildlife, water, air and earth deposits. The conservation of trees involves making sure that they are not used faster than they can be replaced. • Conservationists say that development is necessary for a better future, but only if the changes are not wasteful.
Conservation and preservation • Preservation attempts to maintain in their present condition areas of the Earth that are so far untouched by humans. • Many landscapes are being taken over by farming, industry, housing, tourism and other human developments, and we are losing many landscapes that are truly natural.
Energy • Energy is needed for heating, electricity, manufacturing, construction and transportation. • Fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) are non-renewable. The average person in the UK uses 35 times as much energy as someone in India. • Renewable energy sources include solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power. Agenda 21 requires countries to increase the proportion of energy supplied by renewable schemes that do not produce greenhouse gases, which may cause global warming.
Transport • Transport is damaging our environment, producing pollutants that lead to acid rain, poor air quality and global warming. • Governments need to control the rate of traffic growth and improve the performance of vehicles. • People need to be encouraged to become less dependent on cars and increase their use of public transport.
Waste • The more waste we produce the more we have to dispose. Sustainable waste management encourages the generation of less waste, the re-use of consumables and the recycling of waste that is produced. • Waste includes paper, plastics, glass, metals, foods, chemicals, oils, bricks and wood. • The UK aims to reduce, re-use, recycle and recover waste.