The impact that the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro had on the planet is undeniable. It was there that basic principles were announced and an action programme was formulated to forge the path towards sustainable development.
Today, more than ever, Agenda 21 and the Agreements of Rio ’92 take on a special importance, as was confirmed in the recently concluded World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, in which the Implementation Plan clearly defined its goals and a period of time was set for its completion.
Specifically, with regard to natural resources, the development of plans are clearly laid out regarding the integrated and efficient management of water resources by the year 2005, the restoration of sustainable levels of fisheries by 2015 and a significant decrease in the loss of biodiversity by 2010 among other goals set in Johannesburg.
Our region presented the Latin American and the Caribbean Sustainable Development Initiative at the last Summit on Sustainable Development, in which the importance of initiating regional actions that lead towards sustainable development and that take “the specifications of the region, shared visions and cultural biodiversity” into consideration, are recognized.
The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/ROLAC) is very much alive and works as a valuable tool for action for the Latin American and the Caribbean Sustainable Development Initiative (ILAC); and, through its Natural Resources Unit, it dedicates its efforts to effectively implementing the ILAC by supporting governments and other institutions in the region who are strengthening their capacity and promoting team work in order to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources that improve the quality of life for the whole population.