Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund

Local Agenda 21

Local Agenda 21 is a process which facilitates sustainable development at community level. It is an approach, based on participation which respects the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of the present and future citizens of a community in all its diversity and which relates that community and its future to the regional, national and international community of which it is a part.

Any local agenda 21 project, therefore, should be in keeping with the ideas outlined above and:- will take into account the well being and quality of life of the entire community in the long term- will include a high level of participation at local level, giving particular attention to participation by minority or under-represented groups, and - while it may focus on a particular social, economic, cultural or environmental issue it will present an integrated vision of how the other aspects of community life will be affected.

Sustainable Development: A Strategy for Ireland , published in April 1997, provides for local authorities to complete Local Agenda 21 Plans for their areas. Each county council and county borough have a designated Local Agenda 21 Officer, and these are networked at regional and national levels. The operation of the national network, established in 1998, is facilitated by the partnership arrangement of the Department and the Institute of Public Administration. It provides a forum for exchanging experiences and examples of good practices as well as assisting a coherent implementation of Local Agenda 21 across the various local authorities.

Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 states: "Because so many of the problems and solutions being addressed by Agenda 21 have their roots in local activities, the participation and co-operation of local authorities will be a determining factor in fulfilling its objectives".

It further states that: "Each local authority should enter into dialogue with its citizens, local organisations and private enterprises and adopt 'a local Agenda 21'. Through consultation and consensus building, local authorities would learn from citizens and from local, civic, community, business and industrial organisations and acquire the information needed for formulating the best strategies".

While Agenda 21 was a large scale blue print for sustainability, it also highlighted the value and importance of a bottom-up approach. From this principle arose the concept of Local Agenda 21. In Ireland, two sets of guidelines have been published to provide guidance to Local Authorities in producing their own Local Agenda 21 programmes.

Further Information

Further information is available from the Local Agenda 21 Officer of the relevant local authority

If you have further queries please contact the Sustainable Development Unit as follows:
Phone: +353 (0)1 888 2304, +353 (0)1 888 2486
Fax: +353 (0)1 888 2014

For further details contact environment@louthcoco.ie