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United Nations Environmental Summits

  • By: David L. Carr, Emma S. Norman & Anna Carla Lopez
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The United Nations (UN) has laid the foundation for heightened global environmental awareness since the 1970s. A central approach to address these wide-ranging issues, and bring them to the forefront of the international agenda, is through high-level environmental conferences of national leaders. These summits have provided space for critical dialogue among world leaders, government representatives, and civil society. They have become the arena in which environmental objectives are set and plans of action written and adopted. Three major summits have convened since the 1970s.

The first of the global summits was held from June 5 to 15, 1972, in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the progenitor of the Rio Summit and the Johannesburg Summit and marked a historical turning point in terms of political and public recognition ...

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