Sustainable Development Successes and Failures Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

Summer 2002 Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development

In late August, 2002, government, business and civil society leaders from around the world will gather in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Participants will review progress on commitments made 10 years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development--the Earth Summit--in Rio de Janeiro, and chart a direction for the future. For many months, meetings have been held around the world in preparation for WSSD and the consultations have resulted in a growing volume of intergovernmental reports, academic analysis and hardening advocacy positions.

Ten + Ten puts all of this recent history into context: what has the world accomplished since 1992, where have we all fallen short and what might tomorrow look like? The International Institute for Sustainable Development has identified the WSSD "top 10" times two: the 10 under-celebrated successes in the last 10 years and the 10 glaring failures. And the failures are indeed serious, reflecting in many cases the lack of political will to honour commitments made in Rio. Nevertheless the successes offer some real hope that, slowly, the world is starting to shift direction. The successes signal the dedicated work of scientists, bureaucrats, business people and citizens around the world to respect and safeguard humanity and the ecosystems with which we are intertwined.

Go to Success and Failures.

For complete, current coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, watch IISD's Internet portal to the official process and NGO responses, at Daily coverage of the Summit will be provided through our Earth Negotiations Bulletin.


Ten + Ten was funded by Environment Canada and the Earth Summit 2002 Canadian Secretariat and published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Ten + Ten is part of IISD's SD Briefcase.

Editorial Team
Heather Creech; Arthur J. Hanson; Peter Hughes; László Pintér; Marlene Roy; David Runnalls; Stuart Slayen

External Reviewers for 10 Successes and 10 Failures
Nicola Borregaard; Claude Fussler; Ashok Khosla; Jim MacNeill; Richard Sandbrook; James Gustave Speth