Think local, act local? Issues of co-ordination and integration in Local Agenda 21
Doak, J., (1998) Think local, act local? Issues of co-ordination and integration in Local Agenda 21. Working Papers in Land Management & Development. 09/98. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp11.
The political response to the complex package of environmental problems which threaten the future of our planet has been to introduce a new agenda of environmental action based on the principles of sustainability and subsidiarity. This has been crystallised in world agreements signed at the Earth Summit in Rio. One of these, Agenda 21, calls for the governments and communities of the world to prepare action plans for their areas which can build consensus between the various stakeholder groups and feed the principles of sustainable development back into their policies and day-to-day practices. This paper explores the experience of Local Agenda 21 type processes at three levels in the South East of England: the regional, county (sub-regional) and local level. In particular it undertakes a critical appraisal of the success of these participatory and consensus-building exercises in developing an integrated and co-ordinated approach to environmental action planning. It concludes that, although much useful work has been done in raising awareness and modifying policy and practice, there are significant cultural and institutional barriers which are hindering progress.