For nearly 20 years the European Union has
been supporting research co-operation between Europe and its partners
in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean basin, Latin America and the
Caribbean, with the objective of promoting sustainable development.
This cooperation has been part of the EU's international research
and technological co-operation programmes and has covered research
related to sustainable agriculture, human health and the sustainable
management of natural resources.
The European Research Area, the EU's blueprint for Europe's own
scientific and technological future, will build on existing international
partnerships and support new ones in the broadening global context.
Research projects selected for EU funding will continue to contribute
to the creation of knowledge and expertise as a basis for improved
regional cooperation strategies and the elaboration of concepts
aimed at sustainable development. These research-related measures
and activities will be complementary to and supported by dialogue
and cooperation in other policy areas such as development and
aid, foreign relations and trade. It goes without saying that
all these activities and engagements reflect and complement European
commitment to supporting the broader declarations, agreements
and conventions of the United Nations.
Specifically, the EU is committed to three major outputs from
the 1992 Earth Summit (Rio Conference on Environment and Development
- UNCED): the 'Rio Declaration', 'Agenda 21', and the 'Statement
on Forest Principles'. These set out the principles, activities
and resources needed to achieve sustainable development in the
The present series of brochures - 'Capitalising on people and
institutions'; 'Managed land ecosystems', 'Healthy societies'
and 'Aquatic ecosystems' - have been produced to mark the most
recent decade of EU scientific and technological cooperation for
the transition towards sustainability, and to confirm the EU's
commitment to Agenda 21.