Agenda 21 is composed of 40 chapters that identify each challenge and propose simple realistic solutions towards sustainable placement which is: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Section One: Social and Economic Dimensions
Chapter 1 Preamble to Agenda 21: No nation can secure its future alone, but all countries can assure themselves of a safer, more prosperous future by dealing with environment and development issues together in global partnership.
Chapter 2 International Cooperation: In order to encourage investment, nations need to eradicate corruption and ensure effective, efficient, honest, equitable and accountable public administrations, along with individual rights and opportunities. They need to provide price stability, realistic foreign exchange rates and efficient tax systems, and to foster the development of private business. Chapter 3 Combating Poverty: Poverty is caused by hunger, illiteracy, inadequate medical care, unemployment and population pressures. The poor need access to basic education and health care, safe water and sanitation, and to resources, especially land.
Chapter 4 Changing Consumption Patterns: New concepts of wealth and prosperity which are more in harmony with the Earth’s carrying capacity need to be developed, particularly in the industrialized countries. Individuals need to accept that they have choices when making decisions about their own consumption patterns. Chapter 5 Population and Sustainability: The world’s population is expected to exceed 8 billion by the year 2020. Countries need to know their national population carrying capacity and deal with the combination of population growth, health of the ecosystem, technologies and access to resources.
Chapter 6 Protecting and Promoting Health: Every year in the developing world, nearly 15 million children under 15 die from infection and malnutrition. Human health depends on a healthy environment, clean water supply, sanitary waste espousal, adequate shelter and healthy food. The overall goal is health for all by the year 2000. Chapter 7 Sustainable Human settlements: By the year 2000, half the world’s population will be living in cities. Governments should reduce migration to the big cities by improving rural living and see that the homeless get access to land, credit and low-cost building materials.
Chapter 8 Making Decisions for Sustainable Development: There is a tendency to treat the environment as a “free good” and to pass the cost of environmental damage to other parts of society, other countries or future generations. Nations and corporate enterprises should integrate environmental protection and restoration costs in their decision-making. Section Two: Conservation and Management of Resources.
Chapter 9 protecting the Atmosphere: Our atmosphere is under increasing pressure from greenhouse gases that threaten to change the climates and chemicals that reduce the ozone layer. Greater energy efficiency out of existing power stations is needed as well as developing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, ocean and human power, while reducing reliance on non- renewable sources of energy such as fossil fuels.
Chapter 10 Managing Land Sustainability: Increasing demand for land and its natural resources is creating competition and conflicts. Sustainable use and management of land should include landscape ecological planning traditional and indigenous land practices and the active participation in decision-making by people affected by land planning.
Chapter 11 Combating Deforestation: There is a need for concerted international research and conservation efforts to control the harvesting of forests by promoting indigenous technologies and exaggerators and expanding the shrunken world-forest cover.
Chapter 12 Combating Desertification and Drought: Desertification and drought result in poverty and starvation, which brings about more soil degradation. One of the major tools to fight the spread of deserts is the planting of trees and other plants that retain water and maintain soil quality.
Chapter 13 Sustainable Mountain Development: About 10% of the Earth’s population live in mountain areas, while about 40% occupies watershed areas below. Measures are needed to protect mountain ecosystems from erosion, landslides and the rapid loss of habitat, animals and plant life.
Chapter 14 Agriculture and Rural Development: The world’s long-term ability to meet the growing demand for food and other agricultural products is uncertain. The priority must be to maintain and improve the capacity of agricultural lands with new technologies to support an expanding population.
Chapter 15 Conservation of Biodiversity: The use of biological resources to feed and clothe us, to provide us with housing and medicines accelerates the loss of bio-diversity. Urgent and decisive action is needed to conserve and maintain genes, species and ecosystems.
Chapter 16 Sustainable Biotechnology: The success of biotechnology programs depends n highly trained scientific professionals who use traditional knowledge and modern technology to change the genetic material in plants, animals and microbes and create new products such as vaccines, increase soil fertility and crop resistance, improve treatment of sewage, etc.
Chapter 17 Protection of the Oceans: Oceans are under increasing stress from pollution, over-fishing and general degradation. Nations must control and reduce the pollution of the marine environment and maintain its life support capacity.
Chapter 18 protecting and Managing Fresh Water: In the developing world, one person in here lacks safe drinking water and sanitation -p; basic requirements for health and dignity. A cleanup of the most obvious sources of pollution is needed in order to have safe water and sanitation for all by the year 2025.
Chapter 19 Safer Use of Toxic Chemicals: There are presently no less than 100,000 commercial man-made chemicals. Countries need to develop and share expertise for a sound management of toxic chemicals and prevent illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products.
Chapter 20 Managing Hazardous Waste: Developing countries have come under pressure o accept unpleasant imports of hazardous waste which pose a risk to people and the environment. Developed countries have an obligation to promote the transfer of sound technologies and reduce hazardous waste.
Chapter 21 Managing Solid Waste and Sewage: Growing quantities of garbage and sewage from our cities pose threats to our health and environment. An urban waste prevention approach needs to be implemented so that by 2010, all countries should have national plans for waste management.
Chapter 22 Managing Radioactive Waste: The use of radioactive substances is growing in clear power production of electricity, medicine, research and industry and so is the waste. It is important to ensure training and financial support to developing countries that have nuclear programs to ensure safe and responsible management. Section Three: Strengthening the Role Of Major Groups.
Chapter 23 Preamble to Strengthening the Role of Major Groups: Sustainable development is primarily the responsibility of every government, but the commitment and involvement of all social groups is critical to the effective implementation of the objectives, policies and mechanisms agreed to by all governments at the Earth’s Summit.
Chapter 24 Women in Sustainable Development: Governments are urged to give girls equal access to education, to make health-care systems responsive to women’s needs and to bring women into full participation in social, cultural and public life.
Chapter 25 Children and Youth: Children and youth make up nearly one-third of the world population. Governments are urged to combat abuse of the rights of youth, especially females in certain cultures, and to ensure that all children have access to education.
Chapter 26 Strengthening the role of Indigenous People: Indigenous people comprise about 4% of the world’s population and their numbers are decreasing. Governments and international organizations should protect their rights and patrimony, recognize their traditional knowledge and resource management practices and enroll them in full global partnership.
Chapter 27 Partnership with Nags: Non-governmental organizations (Nags) form a network in both developed and developing countries and play a vital role in the shaping and implementation of participatory democracy which is integral to the implementation of sustainable development.
Chapter 28 Local Authorities: Local authorities, such as municipal governments, should consult citizens and community, business and industrial groups on local orgasm, policies, laws and regulations to achieve Agenda 21 ‘s objectives.
Chapter 29 Workers and Trade Unions: Workers will be among those most affected by the changes needed to achieve sustainable development. Through elected representatives, workers must be involved in promoting socially responsible economic development.
Chapter 30 Business and Industry: Responsible behavior in the private sector is a prerequisite to achieving sustainable development. Entrepreneurship can play a major role in improving the efficiency of resource use, minimizing wastes and protecting human health and environmental quality.
Chapter 31 Scientists and Technology: Scientists and technologists (engineers, architects, industrial designers, urban planners, and other professionals) have special responsibilities to search for knowledge and to help protect the biosphere.
Chapter 32 Role of Farmers: Farmers are directly responsible for one third of the land surface of the Earth. They require economic and technical assistance that will encourage them to implement self-sufficient, low-input and low-energy agricultural practices. Women, who do much of the world’s farming, should have access to tenure and the use of land, to credits and technologies.
Chapter 33 Dancing Sustainable Development: Developing nations need free trade and access to markets in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. Special attention should be given to nations whose economies are in transition. Section Four: Means of Implementation
Chapter 34 Technology Transfer: Scientific knowledge can help prevent shortages of energy, water and non-renewable resources. Developing countries should access environmentally-sound technology and know-how through a collaborative international network of laboratories.
Chapter 35 Science for Sustainable Development: In the face of threats of irreversible environmental damage, improved knowledge of the Earth’s systems is crucial as well as the integration of the natural, social and engineering sciences.
Chapter 36 Education and Public Awareness: Education gives people the environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behavior needed for sustainable development.
Chapter 37 Creating Capacity for Sustainable Development: All countries share the need to strengthen national capabilities. Developing countries especially need to build their own capacity to implement Agenda 21 in cooperation with CHIN organizations, developed countries and with each other.