Development, implementation, and
effectiveness of the CBD process
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992, was a unique event in the annals of international affairs and international environmental law. The “Earth Summit” brought more heads of states and governments together than any previous meeting. 1 Thirty years after the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962), the “morning star of environmentalism,” 2 20 years after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) 3 and five years after the Brundtland Report, 4 the Earth Summit was billed as a landmark in the process which forced politicians, policy makers, and civil society to reflect on the linkages between the twin crises of development and the environment.
The 20 years separating the Stockholm and Rio Conferences witnessed the emergence of a new generation of environmental problems, including climate change, ozone depletion, and the destruction of biological diversity. The purpose of the Rio Conference was to elaborate strategies and measures to halt and reverse environmental degradation in the context of strengthened national and international efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally sound development in all countries. The UNCED process, therefore, acted as a catalyst and focus for injecting and formulating concepts of sustainable development around the world. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 5 was one of the two most