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Marking the ten-year anniversary of the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa has been viewed throughout its preparations with both great hope and pessimism. Some analysts, activists, and policymakers think the Summit is the last best chance for the world to balance the three pillars (economic, social, and environmental) of sustainable development. Others are looking past Johannesburg altogether, skeptical that it can accomplish much. As of this writing in June 2002, even a clear Summit agenda remains elusive for governments and civil society alike. ECSP asked a wide variety of experts each to highlight one or two specific issues or outcomes they thought essential for Johannesburg to address or achieve. Water, population-environment connections, development financing, and international environmental governance emerged in the contribution as key issues. We offer these 19 commentaries with full knowledge that Johannesburg and the questions and mechanisms it takes up represent only a stop along a path to sustainability--not a final destination.


About the Authors

Geoffrey D. Dabelko

Geoffrey D. Dabelko, PhD

Senior Advisor, ECSP; Former Director, ECSP;
Professor and Associate Dean, George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University; Associate Senior Fellow, Environment of Peace Initiative, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Sascha Müller-Kraenner

Director, Washington Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation

Hans JH Verolme

Environment Attaché, British Embassy
John W. Sewell

John W. Sewell

Former Global Fellow;
Former President of the Overseas Development Council (ODC)
Roger-Mark De Souza

Roger-Mark De Souza

Global Fellow and Advisor;
Vice President, Sustainable Markets, Pact

Melinda Kimble

Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; Civil Society Member, GEO-6 High Level Group
Frederick Meyerson

Frederick Meyerson

Former Public Policy Scholar;
AAAS Fellow, National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency

James D. Nations

Center for State of the Parks at the National Parks Conservation Association

Geeta Rao Gupta

President, International Center for Research on Women

Alfred M. Duda

Senior Advisor, Global Environment Facility Secretariat

Karin Krchnak

Director, International Water Policy;
The Nature Conservancy

Gordon Binder

Senior Fellow, World Wildlife Fund

Tony Colman

Member of Parliament, UK

Marian A. L. Miller

Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Akron

Jacob Park

Assistant Professor, Business and Public Policy, Green Mountain College

Johnstone Odera Tungani

Adaptive Research Coordinator, SACRED Africa
William Krist image

William Krist

Asia Fellow;
Former Senior Vice-President, American Electronics Association, Washington, DC

W. Bradnee Chambers

Head, Programme on Multilateralism and Sustainable Development, United Nations University

Pamela S. Chasek

Co-founder and Editor, Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Bharat H. Desai

Associate Professor, International Environmental Law and Institutions, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more