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The World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa

August 26-September 4, 2002

Because poverty and environmental degradation have increased since the 1992 Summit in Rio, the United Nations General Assembly authorized the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to address many of the world’s most pressing problems. Dr. Bunyan Bryant attended the Summit as a Ford Foundation delegate. The Johannesburg Summit focused on implementation, yet it failed to produce any dramatic outcomes: there were no agreements that will lead to new treaties. Some important targets established were concepts such as reducing by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015; using and producing chemicals in ways that protect people and the environment from adverse effects by 2020; restoring and maintaining depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield on an urgent basis (where possible) by 2015; and achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity by 2010. Although a number of partnerships emerged with goals of working on sustainable projects, the issues of corporate accountability and governance eluded the Summit.


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