Agenda 21 is a voluntary and nonbinding program that was introduced at the 1992 United Nations’
Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was developed to address an
inventory of sustainability challenges and opportunities facing UN member countries heading into the
21st century. President George H.W. Bush, along with representatives from 177 other nations, attended
the gathering and signed the document. Agenda 21 was developed to serve as a guide to the
alleviation of poverty, hunger, sickness, and illiteracy worldwide while encouraging sustainable
development and halting the deterioration of the global ecosystems that sustain life.
The full Agenda 21 text is available here.