Agenda 21 is a United Nations plan of action to coordinate national and local governments and other organizations of the United Nations System to promote centralized planning solutions to perceived environmental and social problems.
Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests was adopted by participants of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in June of 1992.
Later that year, a Commission on Sustainable Development was created to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels.
The Agenda 21 plan consists of four sections:
- Social and Economic Dimensions, dealing with poverty, consumption patterns, health, and sustainable settlement.
- Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, dealing with atmospheric protection, deforestation, fragile environments, biological diversity, and pollution.
- Strengthening the Role of Major Groups, dealing with the roles of children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business, and workers.
- Means of Implementation, dealing with science, technology transfer, education, international institutions, and financial mechanisms.