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Abstract

The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro unleashed new energy in environmental governance, engaging actors beyond the state and across scales, from local to global, from communities to large transnational networks. In this paper we argue that this expanded pluralism has contributed to a remarkable array of governance experimentation and innovations for the environment. The impact and legacy of Rio thus goes far beyond the formal agreements that emerged in 1992. We explore why Rio had this effect by examining the context within which Rio took place and the dynamics that it served to catalyze. We close by discussing the need to generate processes that lead to coordinated innovations. Such a reorganization of the global governance space could start a new legacy of collective wondering and multiple pathways to a greener future.

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