The Roads from Rio: Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiation

The Roads from Rio

By Pamela Chasek, Lynn Wagner on March 6, 2012

Twenty years ago, at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, popularly known as the Rio Earth Summit, the world's leaders constructed a new "sustainable development" paradigm that promised to enhance environmentally sound economic and social development.

Twenty years later, the proliferation of multilateral environmental negotiations points to numerous achievements, but this period is worth examining for its accomplishments as well as its shortcomings.

A new book, written by members of IISD's Earth Negotiations Bulletin team, analyzes this period. The authors of The Roads from Rio: Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiation (Paperback, $39.95, published by Resources for the Future Press/Routledge) have participated in most of the post-1992 negotiating processes and use their first-hand knowledge as writers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin to illustrate the changes that have taken place over the past twenty years.

The chapters of the book examine the proliferation of meetings, the changes in actors and their roles (including governments, non-governmental organizations, secretariats), the interlinkages of issues, the impact of scientific advice and the challenges of implementation across negotiating processes. Negotiating processes examined include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the United Nations Forum on Forests, the chemicals conventions (Stockholm, Basel and Rotterdam), the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the Convention on Migratory Species and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Report details

Climate Change Mitigation
Governance and Multilateral Agreements
Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Focus area
Act Together
Resources for the Future Press/Routledge
Resources for the Future Press/Routledge, 2012