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Local Agenda 21


What is local sustainability?

Local Sustainability means that an area is
designed, built and operates in a way that
uses energy and natural resources
efficiently and equitably, for both present
and future generations of humans and
other species.

What is Local Agenda 21?

Local Agenda 21 is a local-government-led,
community-wide, and participatory effort to
establish a comprehensive action strategy for
environmental protection, economic prosperity
and community well-being in the local jurisdiction
or area. This requires the integration of planning
and action across economic, social and
environmental spheres. Key elements are full
community participation, assessment of current
conditions, target setting for achieving specific
goals, monitoring and reporting.



(Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of
action to be taken globally, nationally and
locally by organizations of the United
Nations System, Governments, and Major
Groups in every area in which human
impacts on the environment.

Local Agenda 21
Resources are used efficiently and waste
Pollution is limited
The diversity of nature is valued and
Where possible, local needs are met
Everyone has access to good food, water,
shelter and fuel at reasonable cost

Local Agenda 21(Samb.)

Peoples good health is protected by creating
safe, clean, pleasant environments and health
services which emphasize prevention of illness
as well as proper care of the for the sick.
Access to facilities, services, goods and other
people is not achieved at the expense of the
environment or limited to those with cars.
People live without fear of personal violence
from crime or persecution because of their
personal beliefs, race, gender or sexuality.

Local Agenda 21(Samb.)

Everyone has the skills, knowledge and
information needed to enable them to play
a full part in society.
All sections of the community are
empowered to participate in decisionmaking.
Opportunities for culture, leisure and
recreation are readily available to al

Local Agenda 21(Samb.)

Places, spaces and objects combine
meaning and beauty with utility. Human
Settlements in scale and form. Valuing
Diversity and local distinctiveness.
Links are developed with other parts of the

Internal to the local government
Local government's interaction with its
External to the local government

Internal to the local government

The basic principles laid out in the Agenda 21 can
be activated by the many organizations and
operations of a local government. These include
local policy and programme development;
planning and management procedures in local
projects, including preparing of development
plans; purchasing decisions in development and
construction of public projects; development of
network (electricity, gas, water, roads) and social
(community services, education, health)
infrastructure; day-to-day maintenance, including
waste collection and disposal

Local government's interaction

with its citizens
A local governments' interaction with its citizens in
implementing plans to realize the goals set forth in its
LA21 Plan is key to the success of the plan. Changes in
urban lifestyles have far reaching consequences,
positive and negative, on the local and global
environment. Thus education and training in
environmental issues; information campaigns and
awareness building - using both formal and informal
channels; monitoring and evaluation - including opinion
surveys, referandums; action plans involving the civil
society, for example, in the 3Rs - reduce, reuse and
recycle; can be various ways in which the local
government sensitizes its citizenry towards
environmental protection.

External to the local government

There are some actions that local governments
can only influence, but where the essential
decision-making process is outside their control.
Here issues such as green business proactices,
product and safety standards, green tourism,
labour practices etc. play an important role.
Activities of the civil society at large, including
community groups, NGOs, and other institutions,
also fall in this category.

Six Key Elements of a Local

Agenda 21
Managing and improving the local authority's
own environmental performance
Integrating sustainable development aims
into the local authority's policies and
Awareness raising and education
Consulting and involving the general public
Measuring monitoring and reporting on
progress towards sustainability

1. Managing and improving the local authority's

own environmental performance

Corporate commitment
Staff training and awareness raising
Environmental management systems
Environmental budgeting
Policy integration across sectors

2. Integrating sustainable development aims

into the local authority's policies and activities

Green housekeeping
Land use planning
Transport policies and programmes
Economic development
Tendering and purchase/provider splits
Housing services
Tourism and visitor strategies
Health strategies
Welfare, equal opportunities and poverty strategies
Explicitly 'environmental' services

3. Awareness raising and


Support for environmental education

Awareness-raising events
Visits and talks
Support for voluntary groups
Publication of local information
Press releases
Initiatives to encourage behaviour change
and practical action

4. Consulting and involving the

general public

Public consultation processes

Focus groups
'Planning for real'
Parish Maps
Feedback mechanisms

5. Partnerships

Meetings, workshops and conferences

Working groups/advisory groups
Rounds Tables
Environment City Model
Partnership initiatives
Developing-world partnerships and

6. Measuring monitoring and reporting on

progress towards sustainability

Environmental monitoring
Local state of the environment reporting
Sustainability indicators
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Strategic environmental assessment