In this issue of Tiempo, we report on two important conferences held during 2002: The World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP-8) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

An overview of the main issues that continue to be part of the ongoing negotiations under the UNFCCC are presented in a report by Emily Boyd on COP-8, which was held in New Delhi in October 2002. Saleemul Huq then considers the adaptation and sustainable development issues that emerged as a major focus at that meeting.

Robert Kay and Andrew Crow present a personal perspective on the World Summit held in Johannesburg in September 2002. They describe the hectic pace of the Summit’s myriad activities and the stimulation of having participated in this global event. They also report on the launch of their OneCoast initiative.

Paul Kench and Peter Cowell present a critical perspective on studies of the impact of sea-level rise on erosion of low-lying reef islands. They outline why they consider that more critical analysis is needed when undertaking vulnerability assessments for these island states.

In our forum section, Gerald Leach, in his role as Tiempo’s bemused observer, comments on what he considers to be somewhat “sloppy thinking” on the part of too many when considering land and forestry sequestration of carbon. He suggests that more realistic calculations must be made if land and forestry projects are to be successfully implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism.

Finally, in a new section of the bulletin, we run the first editorial comment on an issue of current concern, emissions constraints for developing nations. This section will be open to guest commentators in future issues.