As the Secretary General of that conference, Maurice Strong recognized that the Rio Summit was just the beginning.
Broad, grassroots efforts would be required to realize its goals.
Maurice Strong joined with other environmental and development leaders to launch the first Earth Council in preparation for the historic U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, known today as the Rio Earth Summit. As the Secretary General of that conference, he recognized that the Rio Summit was just the beginning. Broad, grassroots efforts would be required to realize its goals. The Earth Council was founded to mobilize and support a network of citizen groups, NGOs, and other organizations committed to achieving the goals of the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development. Its mission – to support and empower people in building a more secure, equitable, and sustainable future. The Earth Council undertook a number of important initiatives, including:
- From 1992 to 1998, the Earth Council set up more than 80 National Councils for Sustainable Development in developing countries. The purpose of these National Councils has been to focus on grassroots action to build the principles of sustainability into national development plans. Goals include monitoring government compliance with commitments made to international agreements and facilitating partnerships for creative solutions to Agenda 21 issues.
- The Earth Council also established a secretariat to support and coordinate development of the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter is a declaration of values, principles, and aspirations for a sustainable future shared by many individuals, groups and countries, The Earth Charter was officially adopted in 2000 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and has been adopted by many countries institutions, and organizations. It has been signed by millions of people around the world. The Earth Charter articulates four guiding principles:
- Respect for the earth and each other
- Ecological integrity
- Social and economic justice
- Democracy, nonviolence, and peace