World Environment: Getting Organised

Environmental degradation is worsening worldwide. In spite of new international agreements and institutions in the last decade, the international community is failing to come to grips with increasingly urgent challenges such as climate change, large-scale loss of biological diversity and persistent pollutants. As these problems intensify, interactions among them have emerged as a further threat.

The World Today Published 1 April 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 3 minute READ

Joy Hyvarinen

The World Summit for Sustainable Development will take place in Johannesburg, in 2002 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rio Conference on Environment and Development. World leaders will confront a grim picture of continuing environmental deterioration since the Rio Conference.

Preparations are expected to include discussions about international institutions. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), the UN body established to follow up the Rio Conference, is likely to come under close scrutiny.

There has been much recent political attention to reform of global environmental institutions. Initiatives have included the proposal by France, during its Presidency of the European Union (EU) to explore the possibility of a new global environmental organisation. Much discussion has focused on whether such an organisation would be a good idea, but other parts of the global environmental governance structure are also coming under scrutiny.

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