Communication on environment is not simply a one-way process, whereby objective information is transmitted by the informed to the uninformed. It can and should involve debate, dialogue and feedback, especially in the context of a decision-making process.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.
The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) was established in Geneva in September 1996 to contribute to a better understanding of development and environment concerns in the context of international trade. It exists to help NGOs secure information on, and communicate their concerns to, key policy-making fora on trade and development—WTO, UNCTAD, other intergovernmental organizations and national governments. At the same time, the Centre aims to increase awareness among policy-makers and trade officials of the NGO community's work on trade, development and environment. It helps those involved in environment and development work understand how the trade policy-making process operates, and what negotiations and issues it deals with, and encourages decision-makers to understand the importance of integrating sustainable development imperatives into their priorities.