ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
Local Action 21
Moving from Agenda to Action

During the Local Government Session at the World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa (August 2002), local government leaders from around the world, as well as representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN-HABITAT and the World Health Organization (WHO), joined ICLEI in launching Local Action 21 as the next phase of Local Agenda 21 (LA21). Local Action 21 will support local governments? ongoing efforts in response to Agenda 21, the Rio Conventions, the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Declaration.

Local Action 21 was launched as a motto for the second decade of LA21. It is a mandate to local authorities worldwide to move from agenda to action and ensure an accelerated implementation of sustainable development. Local Action 21 will strengthen the LA21 movement of local governments to create sustainable communities and cities while protecting global common goods.

The movement from LA21 to Local Action 21 will reflect the following advances in local sustainable development planning and management. First, the creation of sustainable communities and cities will be furthered by identifying and removing barriers to sustainable development.

Barriers such as poverty; injustice, exclusion and conflict; an unhealthy environment; and insecurity, will be proactively addressed through strategies to create viable local economies, just and peaceful communities, eco-efficient cities, and resilient communities and cities.

Secondly, Local Action 21 will reduce cities? further contribution to the worldwide depletion of resources and environmental degradation, which have severe repercussions for cities and their inhabitants. Local government involvement in global campaigns and programs such as the Water Campaign, the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, and others, will work to protect global common goods.

Thirdly, Local Action 21 will introduce management instruments that will ensure unwavering implementation, effective monitoring, and continual improvement of municipal sustainability management. Municipal sustainability management will incorporate practices such as eco-procurement and instruments such as ecoBUDGET® or triple bottom line reporting, to anchor these concepts in political and administrative routines. The adoption of principles such as the Earth Charter or the Melbourne Principles will serve to guide these actions.

Local Action 21 will unfold as local governments take up the challenge, and as national governments and supra- and international organizations provide support.