Book Review: Yearbook of International Co-operation on Environment and Development 2003-2004


Reviewed by Karen Morrow

This Yearbook forms part of a long-running series issued by the respected Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute, which provides information on a wide variety of environment and development issues. The information that it supplies is widely used by a broad range of actors in the international community in developing law and policy on sustainable development. The yearbook covers a range of materials, including information on the main International Governmental Organisations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the sphere of sustainable development and key details on some 71 international agreements on environment and development. While these materials are useful in research terms, providing ready access to a considerable range of current factual information which would prove invaluable to a broad range of readers, this review will concentrate on some of the longer articles contained in the analytical section of the publication, that showcase significant contemporary themes in sustainable development. The Yearbook series aims to provide an analysis not only of the key international agreements relating to sustainable development, but also to provide a means for readers to assess substantive progress in reaching the goals laid out in those agreements.  This edition of the Yearbook is particularly useful in that it focuses on governance issues and the development of the Johannesburg Declaration and the Plan of Development adopted following the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002. The importance of these documents cannot be underestimated as they set the scene for the current direction in progressing the sustainable development agenda.

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