UN Agenda 21 and its ties to the local communities

 I was seeking information to unequivocally tie the local
 visioning process to the larger Agenda 21 plan so I could
 demonstrate it to our local "facilitators."  This is the
 response I got... Quite enlighening.

 ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Michael O'Callaghan" <moc@global-vision.org
 Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 9:11 AM
 Subject: re: Information please


 Mr. O'Callaghan     I desperately need some  information.  I am seeking
 clarification on an issue and there is no small matter of dispute in our
 community over it.   I am seeking to clarify whether or not  terms that
 Agenda 21 uses such  as sustainable development and visioning and other
 terms  originated at the U.N. or one of the conferences or did these terms
 come into use by the U.N. from some other  quarter.   And I am seeking the
 tie between  Agenda 21 from the Rio U.N. summit to the local  community
 'visioning' processes  that are going on in counties here in Arkansas.
 Perhaps that would help more than  anything in clearing up the
 ambiguousness.   If you would not be the person to answer  these questions,
 could you please refer me to the person(s) who  could?  I would be most
 grateful!   This would help clear up a lot of  confusion if you could help
 me out with that.   Thanks for responding,

 Charlene Sanders
 Hot Springs, Arkansas
 Garland County,

 Dear Charlene

 The term "sustainable development" was originally coined by the Brundtland
 Commission, a body set up by the UN and headed by the then Prime Minister of
 Norway, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland (now head of the World Health Organisation
 (WHO), to investigate the global environmental situation back around 1990.
 The Brundtland Commission defined SD as a way of using the Earth's resources
 to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability
 of future generations to meet their own needs, warned that Humankind's
 current overconsumption is on a collision course with the carrying capacity
 of the planetary ecosystem, and called for a global summit to discuss
 solutions.  This was the United Nations Conference on Environment and
 Development (UNCED) also known as the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio
 de Janeiro in 1992.

 In 1991, at the invitation of Secretariat for the UN Conference on
 Environment and Development, ICLEI presented a draft of Chapter 28 of Agenda
 21 including the mandate for all local authorities to prepare a "local
 Agenda 21."

 Following the adoption of the LA21 at the Earth Summit, ICLEI began
 organizing to ensure that this mandate would be used to advance sustainable
 development. In particular, ICLEI was concerned that LA21 processes be truly
 participatory and that they result in new commitments by municipalities and
 their communities to improve and extend urban services in a sustainable way.
 To address these concerns, ICLEI established a Local Agenda 21 Initiative
 with three elements.

 Local Agenda 21 Model Communities Programme

 The Local Agenda 21 Model Communities Programme (MCP) was a research and
 development project which supported a select group of municipalities to
 design, test, and evaluate planning frameworks for sustainable development.
 These local frameworks were guided by a general ICLEI framework called
 "Strategic Services Planning" which addresses many of the organizational and
 institutional problems related to governance and public sector service
 delivery in the sustainable development context.

 The LA21 MCP established the guiding principles for LA21 planning and tested
 a variety of participatory planning tools. The experiences of the MCP
 participants resulted in the publication, in English, Spanish, and now
 Turkish, of the ICLEI Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide: An Introduction to
 Sustainable Development Planning in 1996 (available from  ICLEI's web store
 at http://mail.iclei.org/store1/index.ihtml). This guide is being
 increasingly used in university and local government institute training
 courses around the world. Local Agenda 21 Campaign

 With the creation of its Local Agenda 21 Campaign, ICLEI has positioned
 itself in the growing LA21 movement--which presently counts more than 2,000
 communities involved--as a developer and promoter of standards for LA21

 The mission of the Local Agenda 21 Campaign is to build a worldwide movement
 of local governments and associations dedicated to achieving sustainable
 development through participatory, multistakeholder sustainable development
 planning and the implementation of resulting LA21 action plans.

 The LA21 Campaign is designed to generate tangible results and increase
 standards of local performance. Cities in the LA21 Campaign make a formal
 commitment (endorsement of ICLEI's Local Agenda 21 Declaration, the Aalborg
 Charter, or other equivalent regional charters) to undertake broadly based
 participatory planning processes that aim at achieving sustainable
 development in their communities. Municipal councils commit to completing
 five milestones that gauge the progress of the participants in meeting the
 campaign objectives.

 LA21 Campaign Milestones

 1. Establish a multi-sector stakeholder group to oversee the LA21 process,
 consisting of representatives from all sectors of the community, that will
 be formally involved in the development and implementation of all actions
 aiming at the achievement of the LA21 Campaign milestones.

 2. With the active participation of the LA21 stakeholder group, complete a
 sustainability audit considering social, economic, and environmental
 conditions and trends in the community.

 3. Complete a sustainable community vision for the future, based on
 community review of the audit and assessment of priorities.

 4. Implement an LA21 action plan, identifying clear goals, priorities,
 measurable targets, roles and responsibilities, funding sources, and work

 5. Establish community-based monitoring and annual evaluation and community
 progress reporting on performance in achieving the LA21 action plan, using
 locally appropriate indicators.

 The overall LA21 Campaign has gained considerable momentum over the past two
 years, broadening its programmatic and geographic impact, particularly
 through the implementation of three international projects: the Local Agenda
 21 Incentive Grants Project, the African Sustainable Cities Network, and the
 Local Agenda 21 Charters Project. These projects involve cities and
 stakeholder groups in Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America.

 In Europe, ICLEI's International Training Centre (ITC) is organizing
 conferences on LA21 and seminars at the national and  international level.
 ICLEI is involved in the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign
 including nearly 500 participating municipalities who have signed the
 Aalborg Charter.

 Parallel with the regional networks, ICLEI is establishing a system for
 monitoring progress in implementing LA21 action plans worldwide.

 Local Agenda 21 Declaration

 ICLEI also developped with participating municipalities, the Local Agenda
 21 Declaration. This declaration consists of a set of milestones and
 principles which are formally adopted by local councils as their standard
 for LA21 planning. In 1998, ICLEI directly assisted more than 180
 municipalities in the establishment of LA21 planning and projects that are
 consistent with the declaration's standards.

 To find out more about ICLEI, visit their website at http://www.iclei.org

 Hope this is useful!

 Good luck

 Michael O'Callaghan
 President Global Vision Corporation

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