Stakeholder Forum and a number of governments worked from 1998 to 2000 to create momentum for an Earth Summit in 2002. South Africa hosted the Summit, beating South Korea, Brazil and Indonesia in the process.

Between 2nd-5th May 2001, preceding the ninth session of the CSD, the first global preparatory committee (Prep Comm.1) for the Summit took place. Unlike the 1997 review, the Earth Summit 2002 preparations were undertaken well in advance of the Summit, at local, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels. There was considerable optimism and faith in the Summit's ability to get the sustainable development agenda back on track.

The Summit managed to get new commitments on sanitation and underlined yet again the need to address sustainable development as an interlinked agenda. The Summit also saw an increased ratification of environmental conventions, thus  significantly strengthening international environmental regulation, first identified as necessary in Rio in 1992. The increased momentum also ensured the ratification of the Kyoto and Bio Safety Protocols. A specific feature of the WSSD was the development of global partnerships for sustainable development, placing emphasis on collaborative project-based implementation as a complement to international regulation. These partnerships became known as ‘Type II Partnerships’

The 'Johannesberg Plan of Implementation' was the outcome document of WSSD.

Stakeholder Forum and the Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee facilated a discussion on the outcomes of the WSSD and produced an informal report 'Earth Summit 2002'.