1972: UN Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm

The Conference in Stockholm was the first time that attention was drawn to the need to preserve natural habitats to produce a sustained improvement in living conditions for all, and the need for international cooperation to achieve this. The emphasis was on solving environmental problems, but without ignoring social, economic and developmental policy factors.

That same year, the Club of Rome published its report on «The Limits to Growth», which attracted enormous attention in the climate of the Stockholm Conference and the oil crisis of the early 1970s.The Stockholm Declaration that was adopted at the conference was formulated jointly by industrialized and developing countries. It contains principles of environmental protection and development, as well as practical recommendations for their implementation. It may be regarded as one of the foundation stones of the international policy that would come to be known as «sustainable development».The Conference led in the same year to the establishment of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), based in Nairobi, Kenya. A global monitoring system, Earthwatch, was also set up and has since been integrated into the UNEP.

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