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" <email@example.com
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,
Hot Springs, Arkansas
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
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
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
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!
President Global Vision Corporation
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