Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,
Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the
Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to
build upon it,
With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership
the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of
societies and people,
Working towards international agreements which respect the interests
and protect the integrity of the global environmental and
Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our
Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable
are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and
principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their
resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental
policies, and the
responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or
not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond
limits of national
The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet
developmental and environmental
needs of present and future generations.
In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection
constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be
in isolation from it.
All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of
eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable
order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and
better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.
The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly
least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be
priority. International actions in the field of environment and
should also address the interests and needs of all countries.
States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve,
and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view
different contributions to global environmental degradation, States
common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries
acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international
sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place
global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they
To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all
people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of
consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.
States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for
sustainable development by
improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and
technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation,
transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.
Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all
citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each
have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that
is held by
public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and
in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in
processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and
participation by making information widely available. Effective access
to judicial and
administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be
States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental
standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the
development context to which they apply. Standards applied by some
may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to
countries, in particular developing countries.
States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international
economic system that would
lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries,
better address the problems of environmental degradation. Trade policy
for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary
unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on
Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the
jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided. Environmental
addressing transboundary or global environmental problems should, as
possible, be based on an international consensus.
States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation
the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall
cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop
international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse
environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or
control to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the
and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that
environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health.
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall
widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there
of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty
be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent
National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of
environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into
approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of
with due regard to the public interest and without distorting
Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be
undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a
significant adverse impact
on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent
States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters
other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on
environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the
community to help States so afflicted.
States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant
to potentially affected States on activities that may have a
adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with
those States at an
early stage and in good faith.
Women have a vital role in environmental management and development.
full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable
The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be
mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve
and ensure a better future for all.
Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities
vital role in environmental management and development because of their
knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly
identity, culture and interests and enable their effective
participation in the
achievement of sustainable development.
The environment and natural resources of people under oppression,
and occupation shall be protected.
Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States
international law providing protection for the environment in times of
conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.
Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and
States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by
appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of
partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this
Declaration and in the
further development of international law in the field of sustainable
Source: Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human
Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14 and corrigendum),