As was explained in the previous steps, developing a viable LA21 requires a working partnership between the local government and the local community. This is done through a series of passive and active means: Passive means include newspapers, TV, radio, posters and brochures, notice boards, Internet mailing lists, etc. Active means are more interactive and involving, and include meetings and seminars, workshops, voting and referendums, competitions, exhibitions etc.
These exercises are essentially aimed at visioning and scenario building, where participants are encouraged to visualize the type of community that they would like to live in the future. Such scenario building is also useful later to develop indicators against which progress can be measured.
A whole range of organizations and institutions are targeted for involvement: green clubs, citizens and neighbourhood groups, universities and research institutions, local chambers of commerce, guild and individual firms, and other 'stakeholders' in the local environment.
The techniques and methodologies used in involving the local community in planning the LA21 is critical for public acceptance. Transparency in activities being undertaken, local environmental information, information on other local Agenda 21, best practices and good ideas, etc. are important ingredients in the process.
Decision support systems have to be put in place to facilitate consensus in the planning process. It also ensures that the right decisions are taken at the right level. Interlinkages and interdisciplinarity of decisions have to be taken into account. Who should be doing what, and at what level? Why and when should it be done? Who will pay for such actions? Collaboration and partnerships are vital at this stage - so that the shortcomings of a stakeholder can be overcome by the participation of another stakeholder. This can be further strengthened by exercises in capacity building and training in governance isses for programme and human-resource development.
A sample list of LA21 Plan Themes that can be adopted are presented below:
- Resources are used efficiently and waste minimized.
- 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.
All these activities will culminate in the preparation of a "Local Agenda Action Plan" A typical action plan will contain (1) an introduction that outlines the need and importance of a LA21 Action Plan; (2) the problems and shortcomings of the local environment(3) the vision statement which presents the future lifestyle scenario for the community; (4) goals and objectives of the actions that need to be taken; (5) an Management mechanism that details out the action plan, the actors, and actions to be taken, within a clear time frame. Also included in the Action Plan are a set of indicators of sustainable development that will be used for monitoring and evaluation of the Management process.
To generate collaboration and partnerships in drawing up a Local Agenda 21 Action
Local Agenda 21 Action Plan
- Community actions for a Local Agenda 21
- Local Governments and Agenda 21
- Six Key Elements of a Local Agenda 21
- Urban communities and participation
- Special Theme: Capacity Building
- Special Theme: Urban Governance