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Environmental conferences are meetings that bring together representatives from several countries with the aim of debating impacts on the environment and alternatives to preserve it.Environmental conferences are meetings whose main focus is the debate about the problems that plague the environment, especially those arising from human action. These conferences bring together representatives from different countries in order to seek alternatives aimed at preserving the environment and minimizing negative environmental impacts, stimulating sustainable development.

Historical context

Environmental problems intensified shortly after the Industrial Revolution period. With the advent of modernization, resulting from the technological improvement provided by industrialization, the mode of production, consumption patterns and work relations changed. The higher productivity achieved at that time, coupled with the increase in consumption, led to greater exploitation of natural resources, causing negative impacts on the environment.

From the second half of the 18th century, ecological studies were boosted. From 1960 (post-Second World War period), environmental problems began to be vigorously debated, because, in that period, the world was experiencing several natural catastrophes. This scenario has awakened in society and the scientific community the need to discuss environmental conservation and to develop proposals that link socioeconomic development to sustainability.

Major international conferences on the environment

As environmental problems came to the fore, the scientific community, heads of state and society began to worry about replacing the model of economic development that aims at profit and the maximum exploitation of natural resources with alternatives that linked development to environmental preservation. Through the environmental conferences, these problems were discussed and proposals were raised.

Stockholm Conference

The Stockholm Conference, also known as the United Nations Conference on the Environment, was the world’s first environmental conference. Held in 2012, in Sweden, by the United Nations, it managed to bring together 113 countries and 250 international organizations.

Objectives: debate about the problems caused to the environment and propose alternatives to curb them through the engagement of States.

Results: from this conference, environmental management policies were created that involved the participation of countries. This conference resulted in the preparation of the Stockholm Declaration, a document consisting of seven questions and twenty-six principles that designate countries’ responsibilities in relation to environmental conservation.

The points addressed in this declaration are: preservation of fauna and flora, reduction of the use of toxic products, support for underdeveloped countries so that they achieve development and can contribute to the fulfillment of goals related to the preservation of nature. Another result was the Action Plan for the Environment, which corresponds to nine recommendations that direct countries to seek alternatives to the problems caused to the environment. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), created to address environmental issues, also resulted from the Stockholm Conference.


ECO-92, also known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or Rio 92, was held in 1992, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by the United Nations. It brought together 172 countries and around 1400 non-governmental organizations.

Objectives: to take up the points addressed in the Stockholm Declaration and recognize that problems that used to have a local scale now have a global scale; discuss about the current economic development model in our society, which exploits natural resources to the fullest, negatively impacting the environment.

Results: one of the main results of ECO-92 became known as Agenda 21. This document, approved in the Rio Declaration, aimed to promote actions aimed at sustainable development. Some of the proposals presented in Agenda 21 are: combating poverty, cooperation between countries to promote sustainable development, changes in consumption patterns, conservation of biological diversity, among others.

Other important outcomes of this conference were the Declaration of Principles on Forests of All Kinds, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. In general, ECO-92 sought to achieve sustainable development through proposals intended to change society’s consumption patterns. In this conference, it was also established that, in a period of ten years, a new conference would be held to evaluate the results.data obtained in relation to the goals established in Eco-92.