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Important milestones in sustainable development


Johannesburg summit World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, 26th August to 4th September, 2002.

Drinking water stand-pipe
Many people do not have access to clean drinking water.

Picture: WHO/P.Virot.




Click here for a link to the Johannesburg summit web site.


Johannesburg World Summit


'Rio + 10'

Ten years after the first Earth Summit in Rio, a conference in Johannesburg met to review progress towards sustainable development.

This conference looked at social issues such as poverty and poor sanitation that affect an estimated 1.1 billion people world wide. It also considered global warming and climate change.

Major agreements were:

  • to half the amount of people without access to safe drinking water and good sanitation;

  • set up a fund to reduce poverty;

  • increase the fairness of world trade;

  • recognise that access to adequate healthcare is a human right;

  • reduce the loss of species by 2015.

The Johannesburg conference looked at how to improve the living conditions for billions of people on the Earth.

Proper sanitation and clean drinking water would reduce diseases such as cholera that annually kills millions, especially young children. Governments agreed to work towards making affordable energy available to more people and increase the proportion from renewable sources.

The Kyoto agreement received a boost when the Russian government agreed to sign up to the Climate Change Protocol. However, the United States continued to opt out of the treaty.


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