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  1. CEL along with three other organisations and projects has been planning a Briefing Paper about the Earth Summit which was finalised and put on-line on June 14. It is hoped that churches will take part in a variety of activities including praying a common prayer on Sunday August 25th, the day before the Summit starts.

  2. We invite you to use our Earth Summit Preparation - Service leaflet to be used in churches anytime in preparation for the Earth Summit. First Used at CEL's Members Conference in June 2001

What is the Earth Summit?
In August and September world leaders will be meeting in Johannesburg to assess the agreements reached at the first Earth Summit in 1992 at Rio. That Summit - officially The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - adopted a number of important plans for policy into the 21st century
Some plans for policy adopted at Rio
  • A Convention on Climate change ( now the Kyoto protocol )
  • A Convention on Biodiversity
  • An agreement on Sustainable Development strategies
  • Agenda 21

The 2002 summit will have to consider how these plans have worked out and decide on any corrections to deal with what has happened in the 10 years -obstacles encountered, technological advances and scientific discoveries.

It is expected that some 50,000 people will be there:- representatives of governments, international agencies and NGOs

Work is proceeding on preparations for this important event. Numerous international meetings are being held.

In the UK plans are being made for the this country's contribution by UNED Forum (The United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee) For example see the report by a CEL member of the UNED (UK) Forum meeting held on 22 January

CEL regards it as important that Christians are fully involved in this process. Our Annual meeting last year (2001) included a workshop on the Summit, led by John Gordon of UNED Forum. Since then we have been involved in drawing up plans - in conjunction with other Christian groups- to provide resources and to involve the churches in activities in the coming months.

What you can do now
  • Look at the UNED Forum websites: AND
  • Find out what is happening in your area as part of Local Agenda 21 ( it may now work under some other title eg "Community Planning"., "Local Strategic Partnerships" or "Sustainable Development"
  • Ask whether there are any plans about the Summit in your local church/ Churches Together / denomination
  • You might like to write about it to Government Ministers or your MP or MEP*
  • Watch this space
  • Pray

NOTE John Gordon ( of UNED Forum) has suggested the following as possible key points for a letter to the Prime Minister, John Prescott or Margaret Beckett:
  • Importance of forthcoming Earth Summit - most important opportunity for many years to develop global cooperation to tackle world poverty and environmental degradation

  • Concerned that it appears so low on government's agenda. Apart from Prime Minister's speech (to Chatham House) in March last year no senior minister has spoken out about it.

  • The Rio Earth Summit succeeded largely because non-governmental groups and organisations became so deeply involved and persuaded governments to take it seriously

  • Believe that if the UK is to play its part the government MUST involve its citizens. What is it doing about this? As a Christian and citizen I/my group want to be involved? How can I/we be?

  • When is the Prime Minister/John Prescott (who is in overall charge of preparations)/Margaret Beckett going to make a speech calling on us all to work with government to make the Summit a success? And create a mechanism for this to be possible?

Please contact CEL if your church is planning activities to raise awareness about the Earth Summit

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