Press release

IISD Releases Sustainable Development's Top Ten of the Decade

August 25, 2002

Report highlights sustainable development successes and failures since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

WINNIPEG — The Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero held over a decade ago brought global attention to the environmental, social and economic crises facing the world. A new publication released by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Ten + Ten, assesses the progress we have made since then, examining the 10 under-celebrated successes in the last 10 years and the 10 glaring failures.

The publication, available online, asks the questions: what has the world accomplished since 1992, where have we all fallen short and what do we need to do next? While acknowledging the lack of political will to honour many commitments made in Rio, there is hope for the future.

"We wanted to illustrate successes as well as failures to offer some real hope that, slowly, the world is starting to shift direction. The successes signal the hard work of scientists, bureaucrats, business people and citizens around the world to respect and safeguard humanity and the ecosystems," says Heather Creech, Director of Knowledge Communications at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, who led the editorial committee for the publication.

The ten failures include the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the human tragedy of AIDS, the continued extinction of rare species of animals and the continued armed conflicts raging around the globe. Successes include landmark agreements reached on chemical and biological risks, the thousands of practical grassroots projects and the emergence of corporate social responsibility.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.