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Local Governments and LA21

LA 21 Plan Themes
  • Resources are used efficiently and waste minimised.
  • Pollution is limited
  • The diversity of nature is valued and protected
  • Where possible, local needs are met locally
  • Everyone has access to good food, water, shelter and fuel at reasonable cost
  • Everyone has the opportunity to undertake satisfying work in a diverse economy.
  • 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.
  • 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 decision-making.
  • Opportunities for culture, leisure and recreation are readily available to all.
  • 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 World.
Operationalization
The preperation of a Local Agenda plan by local governments, whether they are metropolies, cities, municipalities, councils, towns, or villages, requires a thorough understanding of the contents and processes of preparing an LA21 Plan.

There are essentially three categories in which the LA21 themes listed on the left can be operationalied.

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.

Source: Complied and summarzied from various Local Agenda 21 Plans
Local Agenda 21
Return to the Local Agenda 21 page
Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org