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The political significance of Local Agenda 21 : the early stages of some European experience

  • Sustainable development, as it emerged in Agenda 21 from the Rio conference in 1992, will only be meaningful when it touches the lives of ordinary people; then it becomes a reality. Local Agenda 21 (LA21) seeks to achieve that objective. This article assesses the origins of LA21, reviews its social and political significance, and considers its prospects in the light of case study experience emerging from the UK, Germany and Norway, focusing on the role of local government as a major stakeholder in Agenda 21 (A21). The range of response to LA21 has proved to be varied. A successful transformation to a more sustainable world will require visionary political leadership, supportive administrations, networks of experience sharing, alliances withSustainable development, as it emerged in Agenda 21 from the Rio conference in 1992, will only be meaningful when it touches the lives of ordinary people; then it becomes a reality. Local Agenda 21 (LA21) seeks to achieve that objective. This article assesses the origins of LA21, reviews its social and political significance, and considers its prospects in the light of case study experience emerging from the UK, Germany and Norway, focusing on the role of local government as a major stakeholder in Agenda 21 (A21). The range of response to LA21 has proved to be varied. A successful transformation to a more sustainable world will require visionary political leadership, supportive administrations, networks of experience sharing, alliances with non‐governmental organisations and local industry, and effective community mobilisation. All of that, in turn, requires equally supportive economic and social policy backing from national governments. This article will indicate that, not surprisingly, it is the domestic political context, nationally and locally, which in the main determines the speed and nature of response to LA21, now and in the future. By understanding and being aware of these contexts, factors impeding progress towards LA21 may be addressed, whilst at the same time retaining the diversity of response which is an essential part of local sustainability.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Heather Voisey, Christiane BeuermannGND, Liv Astrid Sverdrup, Tim O'Riordan
Year of Publication:1996
Language:English
Source Title (English):Local Environment
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839608725479
Volume:1
Issue:1
First Page:33
Last Page:50
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Politik
Abteilung:Abteilung Klimapolitik