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Localizing Agenda 21
Data Collection
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One of the first steps to be taken in developing a LA21 Plan is to build an environmental profile of the city or town (or quite simply, an 'urban' area). It is important to profile the urban area as an intersection of three spheres: natural environments, built environments, and socio-economic environments.

Natural EnvironmentsBuilt EnvironmentsSocio-economic Environments
Resources, processes and effects related to flora and funa, human beings, minerals, water, land, air, etc. Resources, processes and effects related to buildings, housing, roads, railways, electricity, water supply, gas etc. Resources, processes and effects related to human activities, education, health, arts and culture, economic and business activities, heritage - urban lifestyles in general.

What are the natural, built and socio-economic resources that are locally available? What are their features? In what conditions do they currently exist? In answering these questions, it is useful to look at the continuum of resources-processes-effects of an urban area.

Resources
Processes
Effects
  • Human Resources
  • Sunlight
  • Land
  • Water
  • Minerals
  • Electricity
  • Fuels
  • Finance
  • Intermediary products
  • Recyclable materials
  • Manufacture
  • Transportation
  • Construction
  • Migration
  • Population Growth
  • Residence/Living
  • Community Services
    (Education, Health ... )
  • Negative Effects - Pollution - air, water, noise Waste Generation - garbage, sewage Congestion, overcrowding
  • Positive Effects Products, Value-addition, Increased knowledgebase/ education, Access to better services

There are two tools that can be used to evaluate and complete the profile using the above structure.

  1. The SWOT Analysis: SWOT stands for 'Strengths', 'Weaknesses', 'Opportunities', and 'Threats'. The words are self-explanatory, and it is used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a situation or area, and list out the opportunities and threats that affect it.

  2. The LGM Analysis: The LGM analysis looks at a problem or condition to identify the lacks (that which is not there), gaps (that which is not enough) and mismatch (that which is not correct).

Within this local picture, the perspective of Agenda 21 itself, and its emphasis on sustainable development should not be lost, and has to be effectively integrated in all activities.

Adequte attention should also be given to the data collection process. Who does the collection? what methods, indicators and representative samples are used for the purpose? What reporting format is adopted (so as to enable comparison and evaluation)?

The environmental profile can include, among other things:

  1. analysis of the local environment - description of potential positive and negative environmental, social, economic and cultural issues including cumulative, regional, temporal and spatial considerations.
  2. baseline data and conditions
  3. identify issues related to human health, living conditions and quality of life.
  4. consideration of alternative scenarios
  5. waste minimization and recycling plans
  6. public participation and consultation mechanisms currently in place
  7. current plans and initiative to minimize air/water/land pollution, and release of hazardous substances
  8. matrix of actors, actions, effects etc.

Goal:
A better and deeper understanding of the environmental potentials and weaknesses of the urban area.

Output:
An comprehensive environmental profile which will form the basis on which further planning for Agenda 21 will take place.

Resources:
- Implications of the Local Agenda 21
- Indicators of Sustainable Development
- The Lack-Gap-Mismatch Analysis
- Urban Environmental Issues: [ Air ][ Water ][ Land ][ Cross-media ]


Localizing Agenda 21
| Data collection | Planning and Development | Plan Management | Monitoring and Evaluation |

Local Agenda 21
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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org