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Video Report: Perhaps North Korea’s previous missile test on April 29 did not fail after all. That is, according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and is the chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission.

Pry wrote about some of those tests in a Newsmax piece last week:

I am looking at an unclassified U.S. Government chart that shows a 10-kiloton warhead (the power of the Hiroshima A-Bomb) detonated at an altitude of 70 kilometers will generate an EMP field inflicting upset and damage on unprotected electronics. …

On April 30, South Korean officials told The Korea Times and YTN TV that North Korea’s test of a medium-range missile on April 29 was not a failure, as widely reported in the world press, because it was deliberately detonated at 72 kilometers altitude. 72 kilometers is the optimum burst height for a 10-Kt warhead making an EMP attack. …

According to South Korean officials, “It’s believed the explosion was a test to develop a nuclear weapon different from existing ones.” Japan’s Tetsuro Kosaka writes in Nikkei, “Pyongyang could be saying, ‘We could launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack if things get really ugly.’”

Aaron Klein interviewed Pry about this.  Below is the full interview.






Video report: During  the same week as WikiLeak’s Zero Day Vault 7, we now learn through unsealed court records, Best Buy’s Geek Squad are working directly for the FBI to increase Orwellian secret public surveillance.




In this video, Battle Of New Orleans Radio breaks down the nature of the CIA leaks known as Vault 7 released by WikiLeaks.


Governments Usurped Into Corporations | Integrating Dark and Light ...

Governments Usurped Into Corporations | Integrating Dark and Light …



G. Carlin – “It’s a Big Club and you ain’t it.”
How did we get here (Corporate Government) from there (Constitutional Government)?  How did we fall from rights to privileges, laws to policy, men to fictions, masters to slaves? Three men, Thomas Deegan, Gene Stalnaker, and I, Phil Hudok were determined to know the truth. ( is our website with comprehensive documents and information)
Discovering that our own government has classified us as their enemies our entire lives, we were compelled act.  We petitioned our government for redress of grievances and breach of contract. Our government overlords would not answer which speaks volumes.  We filed a complaint with over a dozen writs of mandamus in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The defendants addressed only one which is tacit admission of the others. The governor, attorney general, legislature, and eventually the justices placed themselves in default and dishonor.
Now, Thomas Deegan is arrested and jailed.  Take it personally!  You don’t have the Rule of Law and you are the enemy of your own government!  How did this happen?  This is the story.
We begin with some strong purposeful language from 143 year ago. West Virginia is nine years old and adopts the second and current constitution.
The Constitution of West Virginia, 1872:
Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia, in and through the provisions of this Constitution, reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God and seek diligently to promote, preserve and perpetuate good government in the State of West Virginia for the common welfare, freedom and security of ourselves and our posterity.
Article 1 Section 2, Internal Government and Police
The government of the United States is a government of enumerated powers, and all powers not delegated to it, nor inhibited to the states, are reserved to the States or to the people thereof.  Among the powers so reserved to the States is the
exclusive regulation of their own internal government and police, and it is the high and solemn duty of the several departments of government, created by this Constitution, to guard and protect the people of this State from all encroachments upon the rights so reserved.
Article 1 Section 3, Continuity of Constitutional Operation
The provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, are operative alike in a period of war as in time of peace, and any departure therefrom, or violation thereof, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive of good government, and tends to anarchy and despotism.
Article 6 Section 47, Incorporation of Religious Denominations Prohibited  
No charter of incorporation shall be granted to any church or religious denomination.  Provisions may be made by general laws for securing the title to church property, and for the sale and transfer thereof, so that it hall be held, used, or transferred for the purposes of such church, or religious denomination.
What went wrong?  Most of our churches are incorporated and therefore government creations, under control of the IRS.  Political correctness is replacing God’s commandments.  The 1933 War Powers Act, did indeed make our constitutions, national and state, inoperative and made the people enemies of the government!  The high and solemn duty of the departments of government have failed us and continue to refuse to protect and guard the people of West Virginia from encroachments upon the exclusive rights so reserved. Our representatives no longer affirm faith and reliance upon God.  Instead they are creatures of private fictional corporate constructs, not government of, by, and for the people. “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it!”
It is very painful to learn that we have all been lied to from childhood.  However, only acceptance of the truth, followed by action, will set you free.  Thomas, Gene and I had our individual, rude awakening run-ins, with the corporate borg posing as “our” government.  It is not possible to completely plumb the depths of the rabbit hole, but I will give you the red pill of irrefutable signposts along the road to tyranny. Don’t head off unbridled.  The Divine Providence aspired to in 1872 is faith in God’s the righteousness.  Knowledge without discernment is deadly. We are in a spiritual battle.  Our land is in moral meltdown.  Being in total agreement with the Preamble, Thomas, Gene, and I, entered into the case file the entire Bible and cited specific applicable verses.
Gene, at 76, is the eldest of the three.  Gene’s awakening began in 1974-75 Kanawha County textbook battle which is documented in the book PROTESTER VOICES- A first time, first-hand protester account of the event that launched the fight for the heart and soul of America.  It garnered national attention.  Incidentally, the U.S. Dept. of Education had its beginnings shortly thereafter during the Carter Administration.  In 2008 Gene then became involved in a constitutional violation issue when he insisted that the State Treasury issue his tax refund in constitutionally mandated money. They would not/could not do that.
I am not too far behind Gene at 65.  I became active in politics and legal actions in the 1990’s with initial successes in the West Virginia Supreme Court in 1992 and 2000. I won in two important court actions involving the Randolph County Board of Education with whom I was employed as a physics teacher.  But in 1999, I and others began a battle over mandatory “face mapping” for a “driver’s license”.   After eight years of negotiations with the DMV and Governor Manchin, the Governor agreed to an accommodation.  That accommodation was rescinded by the succeeding Tomblin administration.  We have since discovered how the powers took the commercial operation of driver and applied it to travelers.  By slight of word, they redefined the word driver.  Around 2013 I became actively involved in the muzzling of churches via incorporation and I insisted the Attorney General honor his oath of office and enforce Article 6, Section 47, Incorporation of Religious Denominations Prohibited.  I produced two YouTube videos that the Constitution Party of West Virginia gave to many churches.  A 2013 personal battle ensued over state mandated compulsory vaccination of my daughter which I successfully tied up in court.
Thomas, is the babe at 39.  He has suffered most egregiously at the hands of a lawless government.  In 2010 when he was kidnapped and spent five months in solitary confinement.  It was kidnapping because he was forcefully taken without warrant (fourth listing down , on pages 11 to 13).  The state would have you believe is was strictly his use of marijuana which he had resorted to in a move of desperation having gone progressively downhill with a prescribed big pharma cocktail to treat the results of a serious automobile accident.  The side effects of the many drugs he was taking were probably enough to do him in.  Many are convinced that through a common enemy, Thomas and Gene were drawn together and through Gene, I got involved a couple of years later.  You may think enemy is too strong a term.  What else would call those who pretend to be your servants but act as masters using the heavy hand of government coercion, control, and outright tyranny against you?
There were two notable meetings prior to the beginning action of petitioning ten West Virginia Legislators on camera on February 24, 2015 that would be the first official action in our action in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
July 23, 2014, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey held a “Town Hall Meeting” in Elkins West Virginia.    Mr. Morrisey was questioned on the church incorporation issue for which I had been assured two attorneys had been specifically assigned and DMV forced biometric identification. We received no satisfaction or subsequent response.
January 28, 2015 Gene, Pastor Butch, Pastor House, and I met with state attorney, Steve Travis, in the Capitol Law Library.  We discussed forced biometric identification, church incorporation, and facts and ramifications involving the 1933 War Powers Act.  Again there was no reply despite Mr. Travis’s multiple assurances that there would be.
On February 24, 2015 Gene, I, and a video cameraman when to the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston.  I personally served by hand ten legislators, a petition by Gene Stalnaker and me, Phillip Hudok, for redress of grievances and breach of promise document and an acceptance of their oath of office.  Most of these legislators were in key leadership positions.  We recorded handing them the documents and where possible the explanation of the purpose of the documents.  I explained that our constitution states that it is operative in both war time and in peace and that was violated by the 1933 War powers act. I also explained the purpose of our officially accepting their oath of office, thereby making it a contract between two parties.
There are links to the documents and YouTube video (See Filings & Responses – Petition for redress of grievances and breach of promise 2/24/15)
1. Using Legalese and Wordplay, otherwise known as Fraud, to work their way around the Intent and Factuality of We the Living Souls’ Sovereign Authority, Enabling Document and Contractual Terms to commit Fraudulent Financial and Terroristic Crimes against Ourselves and Our Fellow Brothers and Sisters.

2. Outright, Continuous and Flagrant Breaches of the Original Contract by our so called representatives who are violating their Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities as Public Servants and Public Trustees.

3. Aiding and Abetting of Foreign Agents by Our Public Servants and Public Trustees to allow International Money Changers, and their Agents, to Infiltrate, Destroy, Rape and Pillage, at will, under Threat of Unlawful Imprisonment and/or Death.

4. The Aided and Abetted Kidnapping of Our Children under various fraudulent and for profit commercial schemes.

5. The Aiding and Furthering of military tribunals to utilize foreign jurisdictions in Absolute Contempt and Breach of the Original Contract in collusion with foreign powers.

6. The Aiding and Furthering of the Unlawful Legislating from the bench of military judges and military jurisdiction in Absolute Defiance and Breach in furtherance of a Fraudulent Commercial Scheme.

7.  Placing Our jails and prisons under the control and authority of military tribunals, and the judges thereof, in furtherance of a fraudulent commercial scheme.

8.  Giving fictional entities endless authority and legal protection to rape and pillage Our Land, Environment and Fellow Brothers and Sisters.

9.  The Breaching of Contractual Oaths to support, uphold and defend that which permitted Certain and Expressed Authorities for the Securing and Protection of our Rights, Privileges, Freedoms, Immunities and Properties so Granted and Authored by God.

10.  Creating and blending of jurisdictions not expressly permitted by Our Original Contract to perpetrate Fraudulent and Violent Interactions.
11.  The Swearing and Affirming of False Oaths to attempt to legally evade the Public Servants’ and Public Trustees’ Contractual Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities. 12.  Unlawfully turning Our State over to, and under the authority of, a private, international body not contemplated, nor beholden, to Our Original Contract who are presently operating as the UNITED STATES and UNITED NATIONS. 13.  The legislating of so-called crimes not Expressly Permitted by Our Original Contract. 14.  Unlawful and Violent Intrusions into the Personal Affairs and Dealings of We the Living Souls’ Lives as we Pursue Our Lives, Liberties and Pursuit of Happiness as Authorized by Our Only authority, the Almighty Author of All.
1. The Immediate and Unconditional Public Affirmations, under Penalty of Breach of Contract, Perjury, Treason and Sedition, by Any and All Public Servants and Public Trustees, regardless of title, position and office, from the lowest to the highest, to Uphold, Support  and Defend the Original Contract Authorized by the Living Souls known as the Amended Constitution of West Virginia Ratified by We the Living Souls on the third day of May, in the Year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred sixty two, and, in addition to the aforementioned, to Uphold, Support and Defend Our Unlimited and Inalienable Rights, Privileges, Freedoms, Immunities and Properties as Granted and Authored by the Almighty Author of All, without Exceptions and Conditions.

2.  The Immediate and Unconditional Public Severing, Voiding, Cancellation and Repudiation of Any and All ties and contractual obligations with, and to, the UNITED STATES and UNITED NATIONS, both of which are foreign and privately controlled corporations, and a Public Assertion of Absolute Compliance to the Constitution for the United States of America c1791.

3.  The Complete, Absolute and Unconditional Public Cancelling, Repealing and Rescinding of Any and All codes, statutes, rules, regulations, ordinances, et cetera of the federal territory STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, State of West Virginia, West Virginia and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and creations, from the date of June 20, 1863 to the date of this Petition
We only received one email from a legislator stating that he was aware of the 1933 War Powers Act and he asked what we wanted him to do.  Our reply was to
bring up this fact on the House of Delegates Floor and sponsor a resolution to begin to remedy the situation.
Near the end of March, we served the same petition and acceptance of oath to the Governor via mail.  We served the State Attorney General and Supreme Court Justices through their representatives.
There was no reply from Governor Tomblin, AG Morrisey, or any of the Supreme Court Justices.  It is at this point that searching Dun & Bradstreet and Manta were producing unsettling but revealing connections which made our quest all the more important.
On May 22, 2015, Thomas David House of Deegan joined Gene and me in a 25 page Emergency Affirmed Declaratory Complaint, Ultra Vires In Law and Equitable Demand document filed in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. (See Filings & Responses- Filed Action in the Supreme Court of Appeals)
On June 5, 2015 The Supreme Court issued a Scheduling Order.  We were improperly addressed as pro se, and not as in propria persona sui juris.  Which meant that they wanted us pro se, or representing ourselves.  That would enter us into their fiction world of commerce not as the natural men that we are.  We are ourselves, we need not represent ourselves. (See Filings & Responses – Supreme Court Scheduling Order)
On June 12, 2015, we responded to the Scheduling Order with a Refused for Cause, Without Dishonor with ten statements consisting of one or more acceptances, denials, or declarations. (See Filings & Responses – Refusal of Scheduling Order for Cause)
On June 27, 2015, we filed a Notice of Default and Dishonor in Commerce, Admiralty, Equity, In Law, At Law and otherwise. The Defendants had failed by the own actions or lack thereof…  (See Filings & Responses – Notice of Default)
On June 29, 2015, we filed a Declaratory Judgment Demand.  Due to Default and Dishonor, we filed a Demand for Immediate and Unconditional Summary Judgment, Declaratory Judgment and Equitable Relief (See Filings & Responses – Declaratory Judgement Demand)
On July 2, 2015, we received a Response From Defendants. There were numerous inaccuracies and failings. Nearly all the Writs were ignored, and we were addressed again as both pro se and in all caps which indicates corporate fictions. (See Filings & Responses – Response from Defendants)
On July 8, 2015, we filed a Second and Final Notice of Default (See Filings & Responses – 2nd & Final Notice of Default)
On July 14, 2015, we filed a Proper Correction of Defendant’s Response.  This was to counter the defendant’s deficient, incomplete, and incorrect response.  We explained the definitions of kidnapping, and a definition and history of fictions among other things.  We cited postal regulation P030 9.13 and 10.1 which had been violated in their Certificate of Service mailed on July 2, but postage meter date stamped as mailed on July 1. (See Filings & Responses – Proper Correction of Defendant’s Response)
On July 23, 2015, we received a request from Daniel W. Greear, council for Steve Harrison, Clerk of the House of Delegates.  Mt. Greear, citing Rule 37, requested that we cease serving documents to his client at 105 Bradley Drive in Charleston.  However, both Dun & Bradstreet and Manta lists Steve Harrison as the Principal of the Virginia West Legislature.  And no, it is not the West Virginia, but the Virginia West Legislature with the W.Va. web address.
On July 28, 2015, we filed a refusal of Chief of Staff Greear’s Request for Cause.  Because his client, Steve Harrison, operates a business corporation from his home we will continue to serve him there.  We did make note that were he to dissolve the corporation registered to his home, and register it somewhere else, we would oblige.  Mr. Greear’s citing of Rule 37 was countered by Rule 2.  Under rule two, all rules can be suspended for expediency or any other good reason and since this was an emergency situation, we were invoking Rule 2.
On August 28, 2015, we sent James A. Hoyer, of the West Virginia Adjutant General’s Office and Mark S. Inch, US Army Provost Marshall General a notice and declaration and order to Effectuate Immediate and Unconditional Arrests and Removal of the three defendants being self-confessed criminals and outlaws.
On September 4, 2015, we filed an amended complaint which was read on camera outside the Clerk’s office. There were a number of additional entities
added as defendants including the Supreme Court Justices, the West Virginia State Bar, and others.
Interestingly, we found information that the State Bar is incorporated with the Supreme Court which is incorporated with the U.S. Supreme Court. It is a tangled mess of corporations.  We had subpoenaed a listing all public and private government corporations from the Secretary of State.  There was never a response to our subpoena.  At this point all state agencies were in default and dishonor and there was no higher court or authority.  All we were asking for was a return to the Rule of Law, government of, by, and for the people.  We now have corporate government and commercial law.  As you can see in our other documents on, we lost our country long ago.  Our bodies are now collateral for the nation’s debt.  We have been in a perpetual state of war since 1933 and the people are all classified as enemies.  We are governed by policy dictated by our servants turned masters.  The people fear the government and there is truly tyranny.  As Thomas can now attest, sitting in solitary, in the North Central Regional Jail, it is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.
On September 5, 2015, Gene and Gene alone received the Supreme Court’s order of dismissal of Case 15-0491.  They cited consideration of the defendant’s joint summary response of July 2nd.
Never once was an order from the Supreme Court signed.  Go figure!  Who is going to tell the McDonald’s corporation how to run their corporation?   Public institutions can’t be corporations.  Corporate officers can’t be public servants.  Having county, state, and federal corporations is like having Obama in the White House.  Without having county, state, and federal corporations, we wouldn’t have Obama in the White House.  If you attend a church that is incorporated, what are you doing?
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  That is why I will not and cannot stop seeking truth and justice.  I am the Constitution Party of West Virginia’s candidate for governor in 2016.  I will use the opportunity to speak the truth as I understand it as often and as loudly as I can.  Upon election, the state’s attorney general will be instructed to begin a return to government of, by, and for the people!
What I have given you is only a snapshot.  The full picture involves international intrigue.  Will the people ever wake up?  Will the people ever understand that only a self-governing, moral people, can establish and maintain a righteous society?  Wasn’t it followers of the Bible given to them by their Creator that did establish the freest country ever?  Will the people ever give more than lip service to our most important founding document?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.  That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

This article first appeared in Nov/Dec 2015 The American’s Bulletin.


Weather on Demand: Making It Rain Is Now a Global Business


Amanda Little

“Most pilots are trained to avoid these storm systems,” shouts Byron Pederson. “We’re trained to enter them.” He’s flying a King Air B200 prop jet above Maharashtra, India, toward a dense, bruise-colored monsoon cloud more than 20,000 feet from top to bottom. He dips a wing, Top Gun-style, as he circles the cumulonimbus. “Bank alert!” warns a computerized female voice from the control panel. Pederson calls her Bitchin’ Betty for all the scolding she does as he defies the generally accepted rules of aviation.

Four of us are crammed inside the tiny plane, and the air smells like stress and sweat. Pederson’s in the cockpit with Shahzad Mistry, the rookie co-pilot he’s training; I’m seated a few feet behind them, trying not to vomit on the fridge-size computer to my right that’s humming and blinking as it records meteorological data. To my left is Prakash Koliwad, chief executive officer of Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants, the cloud-seeding company based in Bangalore that commissioned this flight.

The view outside my window goes smoky gray as Pederson maneuvers the King Air inside a dark layer of heavy moisture along the cloud’s underbelly. The plane lurches and shakes. “We’re in,” says Pederson. The Vertical Speed Indicator on the dashboard climbs. We’ve entered the “updraft,” a shaft of wind at the center of all storm clouds that’s sucking the plane upward at a rate of 800 feet per minute. I can barely lift my hands—the G-force is pinning them to my lap.

Combustible sodium chloride flares
Combustible sodium chloride flares.
Photographer: Philippe Calia for Bloomberg Businessweek

“Fire left,” instructs Pederson. Mistry flips a switch on the center console and deploys a flare on the left wing. “Fire right.” There are 24 cylinders resembling sticks of dynamite wired to racks on the plane’s wings, 12 on each. The flares are filled with combustible sodium chloride—pulverized table salt mixed with a flammable potassium powder. When the switch is flipped, the end of the flare shoots orange fire and trillions of superfine salt particles are released into the cloud. Water molecules are attracted to salt, so they bond to the particles and coalesce into raindrops.

It’s early September, still monsoon season in this southwestern region of India, yet the clouds haven’t done much more than drizzle. Maharashtra is one of the largest and wealthiest of India’s 30 states, with 110 million residents. It encompasses Mumbai and other large cities, plus vast swaths of farmland. Like other agricultural regions of India, it’s in its third consecutive year of drought. More than 80 percent of its farms depend on rain for irrigation, and agriculture production has dropped by almost a third since 2013. The human impact has been severe—1,300 debt-trapped farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra in just the past six months.

In July, the state’s minister of revenue, Eknath Khadse, took a gamble: He hired Koliwad to carry out a $4.5 million cloud-seeding program over three months and across 100 square miles in the middle of the state, the largest campaign of this kind ever attempted in India. “Our situation is severe,” says Khadse. “There is no other technology available in the world to bring more rains. We must be willing to try it.”

So Koliwad called Weather Modification Inc., the world’s largest private aerial cloud-seeding company, based in Fargo, N.D. WMI’s chief executive, Patrick Sweeney, developed a five-year technology transfer program with Koliwad that’s now in its first year. Pederson and other WMI staff are training Indian pilots, meteorologists, and Doppler radar technicians to seed clouds.

Sweeney has seeded clouds all over the world for more than 20 years, but the Maharashtra project is unique in that the circumstances are so dire. “The hardest part is managing expectations,” he says. “People in Maharashtra are hoping for a cure-all to drought. They come out and dance in the streets when it rains, they hug our pilots and say, ‘Do it again.’ But we can’t guarantee that the clouds will be there—and willing to cooperate.”

During our mission over Maharashtra, we have cooperative clouds. Twenty-two minutes after seeding the first cloud, Pederson returns to the location where he fired that initial flare. It’s pouring. “We’ve got drops!” he shouts. He dips the King Air into a victory swoop before gunning over to another cluster of clouds. My stomach churns, and I can’t hold it in any longer; I heave into my purse. Pederson doesn’t notice. The computer barks out another warning about excessive banking. He laughs and says, “Shove it, Betty.”

Maharashtrians drawing water from a well.

Photographer: Philippe Calia for Bloomberg Businessweek

Cloud seeding has been controversial since it was invented by Vincent Schaefer in 1946. A chemist for General Electric, Schaefer made the first snowstorm in a laboratory freezer. The media predicted that cloud seeding could perform miracles, from dousing forest fires to ensuring white Christmases. But doubts quickly arose about the impact of meddling with nature. Concerns that cloud seeding might “steal” water from an area a cloud is traveling toward—robbing Peter to water Paul, as it were—have been dispelled. Storm clouds continually regenerate and release only a portion of their moisture when they rain, which means you can’t “wring out” all the moisture from one cloud. “If anything, the area downwind would get more precipitation from cloud seeding, not less,” says Dave Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Setting up the cloud-seeding flares.
Photographer: Matthew Hintz for Bloomberg Businessweek

Silver iodide, ready to be deployed.
Photographer: Philippe Calia for Bloomberg Businessweek

“There’s little dispute that if you can actually get the seeding material inside the clouds, it will enhance precipitation,” says Dan Breed, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The question is, by how much?” Just as it’s hard to predict the weather, it’s hard to really know if you’ve made it rain or not. Breed’s own research—a nine-year, $14 million government-funded study he completed last year in collaboration with WMI and the University of Wyoming—found that seeding increased snowfall 5 percent to 15 percent from clouds in two Wyoming mountain ranges.

In India, I witnessed “hygroscopic” or water-attracting cloud seeding, which is used in warm-weather regions to enhance rain, disperse fog, and clean dirty skies. Breed’s study examined the cold-weather seeding of “orographic” clouds that form above high-altitude mountains and deliver snow. This method, which is used during winters in arid western U.S. states, fills rivers and water reservoirs in the spring when the snow melts. Snow-enhancement projects are often commissioned by water managers and power companies with hydroelectric plants; for decades, Pacific Gas & Electric has spent millions annually on cloud seeding in the Sierra Nevadas.

Cold-weather seeding is done at the core of snow clouds that can reach altitudes as high as 60,000 feet: Flares filled with tiny flakes of silver iodide are ejected into the clouds’ centers. Silver iodide has a molecular structure similar to that of ice. As the silver particles drift down through the clouds, water gloms onto them as it would to ice, and snowflakes grow.

This method is also routinely used for mitigating hail storms, especially in Canada: When silver iodide particles are injected into a hail-producing storm cloud, there are suddenly more nuclei for the ice to cling to. Smaller ice pellets, or “graupel,” form rather than large hail stones.

Silver iodide in large concentrations can be harmful, but the concentrations found in snowpack after cloud seeding are often so low as to be undetectable. Breed’s NCAR study in Wyoming found that there was less silver iodide in snow and soil samples in areas where clouds had been seeded than there had been before the campaigns—either due to fluctuations in naturally occurring levels of silver iodide or because the extra water released by the seeding flushed the system.

Just as it’s hard to predict the weather, it’s hard to really know if you’ve made it rain or not

It’s easier to measure the success of snow seeding than rain seeding, but Reynolds of the NOAA points out that even the results from snowstorm studies vary significantly. “The data is still pretty sparse,” he says. “There are very few absolutes in cloud science. What we do know is that no two clouds are alike.” This makes it difficult to control and replicate the results of cloud-seeding studies.

Despite the uncertainty, the industry is on the rise. According to the World Meteorological Organization, more than 52 countries have active cloud-seeding operations—up from 42 four years ago. In the U.S. last year, 55 cloud-seeding projects were reported to NOAA. There’s even a luxury cloud-seeding market emerging—one European company, for instance, charges a minimum of $150,000 to guarantee good wedding weather by forcing clouds to rain in the days before the event.

“The scientists want 100 percent certainty—we know in our industry from experience that, most of the time, it works,” says Koliwad. The cost of cloud seeding is negligible compared with that of drought, he adds. The Maharashtra government has spent $750 million to defray the impact of drought over the last three years; cloud seeding costs a fraction of that. “Rain is life,” says Koliwad, whose family has farmed in southwestern India for more than 300 years. “And with climate change, rain is becoming less reliable. If we can monitor it, forecast it, manage it, and enhance it—then we can survive.”

The plane takes off for cloud-seeding operations.

Photographer: Philippe Calia for Bloomberg Businessweek

The man who’s brought cloud seeding to 31 countries on six continents works out of an unassuming airfield in North Dakota. Patrick Sweeney is 63, with thick silver hair and the compact build of a wrestler. There’s an air of J.R. Ewing about him—the confidence of a wildcatter-turned-mogul. Since he got his pilot’s license in 1974, he’s flown more than 6,000 hours of cloud-seeding expeditions. He looks low-key, driving his Chevy pickup in jeans and sunglasses, but he also owns a pair of Learjets and an amphibious plane that he takes to his compound on Bad Medicine Lake in Minnesota.

Sweeney aboard one of his Learjets.
Sweeney aboard one of his Learjets.
Photographer: Matthew Hintz for Bloomberg Businessweek

Sweeney is optimistic about the India project, but he cautions that what he does isn’t a short-term solution for drought. “This industry should be seen as long-term water management—not a drought relief deal,” he says. “If you don’t have clouds, you can hire all the cloud seeders in the world and you’re still not going to have rain.” Still, a lot of people are eager to hire him for a variety of projects: WMI, which generates roughly $20 million a year in revenue, is negotiating contracts with governments in Asia, South America, and the Middle East that could double its revenue in 2016.

As a kid, Sweeney reassembled radios for fun. He’s been working in meteorology since he was 18, when he joined the Navy and went to Vietnam, specializing in weather radar. When he enrolled at the University of North Dakota after the war, he started building advanced Doppler radars in the university’s department of atmospheric sciences. At 27 he was hired as WMI’s third employee by Wilbur Brewer, a North Dakota farmer who became interested in cloud seeding as a means to protect his crops from hail damage. At 34, Sweeney bought out Brewer and made WMI an international business.

Since then he’s built a series of multifaceted companies. WMI is located at the Fargo Jet Center—a private airport Sweeney owns with his brother, Jim. Hundreds of private planes fly in and out each year, many stopping to refuel as they ferry clients on international travel (the jet center has a famously expedient customs office). This is also where Sweeney’s mechanics equip and service the more than 100 WMI cloud-seeding aircraft—Cessnas, King Airs, and Bombardiers—they operate or have leased and sold worldwide.

Sweeney also built ICE (Ice Crystal Engineering), a company that makes cloud-seeding chemicals and supplies flares to 25 countries. ICE adds a decent sidestream of income for Sweeney, with revenue of about $3 million a year. But the bigger advantage is that it helped WMI become the only aerial seeding company that “does a full turnkey,” says Neil Brackin, WMI’s president—meaning it customizes and operates the planes and radars, manufactures the flares, and flies the missions.

They do have competitors. There are 34 private companies worldwide that do weather modification, but there’s no bigger rival in aerial cloud seeding than the Chinese government, which spends hundreds of millions a year seeding clouds in 22 of its 23 provinces, both to clear pollution above cities and to enhance rainfall for farming. China has yet to allow private companies to enter its market, but Sweeney is making inroads; he sold his first cloud-seeding plane to Beijing last year.

Thailand’s government has a Bureau of Royal Rainmaking, with hundreds of employees that WMI helped train, though the program’s still using old technology—releasing mounds of table salt from trap doors in the bellies of its planes. And when the Argentine government took over the cloud-seeding program WMI built for the country, it cut costs. Soon after, two pilots died seeding clouds above a mountain, and the project was suspended.

Sweeney says plenty of programs around the world are mismanaged or nothing more than short-term vanity projects. “Some are doing weather modification for political reasons, to make it look like they’re helping farmers, then they cut corners and don’t maintain the scientific integrity,” he bristles. “That’s what creates distrust in our industry more than anything else—the people who don’t do it right.”

The disaster management headquarters in Aurangabad.

Photographer: Philippe Calia for Bloomberg Businessweek

The office of disaster management in Aurangabad, at the center of Maharashtra’s farming region, is located in a pale-pink building that looks like a wedding cake. What especially draws the eye isn’t the building’s color or the ornate façade but the weird thing on the roof—a huge white orb, about 80 feet in diameter, on top of a scaffolded tower. This is the latest in Doppler radar, a technology that’s improved significantly over the last decade, along with satellite data and computing power. It helps the government make sure it’s getting its money’s worth.

The orb sends out electromagnetic waves that travel hundreds of kilometers; when the waves hit rain droplets and ice crystals, they bounce back and create an image of the cloud contour. The stronger the signal, the denser the cloud and the more intense the rain. Conventional radars send out only horizontal waves, but the new generation of radars has a dual-polarization system that emits vertical and horizontal waves, enabling meteorologists to get 3D images of the interior of the cloud to see how the precipitation is developing and at what rate. The resolution of its images has increased with improved computing power. In recent years, software known as Titan (Thunderstorm identification, tracking, and nowcasting) interprets and visualizes radar data in real time, feeding it to meteorologists as pilots seed the clouds. Weather Research & Forecasting software is also able to model future storm activity with increasing accuracy.

Cloud-seeding flares.
Photographer: Matthew Hintz for Bloomberg Businessweek

“The combination of these things has given cloud-seeding research a tremendous push in the past 10 years,” says Roelof Bruintjes, a scientist at NCAR, “and we’ll see it redouble in the next decade.”

“The better we can see weather, the better we can model it,” adds WMI’s Brackin, “and the better we can then measure the impact of the seeding.”

Maharashtra’s minister of revenue, Khadse, is happy with the results of the first phase of the cloud-seeding effort. It produced 950 millimeters of rainfall in the seeded areas, according to local officials. “It has been enough to keep some of our crops alive,” he says. “But we understand that a project like this can only succeed over a longer duration.” His director of disaster management, Suhas Diwase, plans to move the program out of his department, which is designed to handle short-term troubleshooting. “We can’t think of this as a one-time deal,” Diwase says. Given this longer view, cloud seeding doesn’t have to succeed 100 percent of the time—it’s enough for it to work part of the time, when the clouds decide to cooperate.

NCAR’s Breed explains that this long-term mentality is the reason water managers and hydroelectric plant operators in the western U.S. have invested in cloud seeding over many decades: No matter how variable the weather is, “a 5 percent increase in snowpack from cloud seeding over time is pretty doable. Water managers are perfectly happy with 5 percent—even if they don’t get 15 percent, it’s still economical.”

Brackin adds that while scientists want to achieve a 99.99 percent probability that a technology consistently works, the industry doesn’t need that kind of certainty or consistency to succeed. He likens cloud seeding to a cutting-edge medication that’s still in development: “If you’re dealing with a serious ailment and you were offered a medicine that had a 60 percent chance of working, or even 20 percent, would you take it? You probably would.”

Local Government Implementation of Agenda 21

April 1997

Local Gov­ern­ment Imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 was pre­pared by ICLEI for the Earth Council’s Rio+5 Forum (April 13–19, 1997 — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), for the 5th Ses­sion of the UN Com­mis­sion on Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, and for the UN Gen­eral Assembly’s “Earth Summit+5″ Spe­cial Session.

ICLEI is the inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal agency of local gov­ern­ments. Founded in 1990, the Council’s mis­sion is to build and serve a world­wide move­ment of local gov­ern­ments to achieve and mon­i­tor tan­gi­ble improve­ments in global envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions through cumu­la­tive local actions. It is a mem­ber­ship asso­ci­a­tion whose mem­bers cur­rently include more than 250 cities, towns, coun­ties, and their asso­ci­a­tions around the world. ICLEI is for­mally asso­ci­ated with the Inter­na­tional Union of Local Author­i­ties (IULA) and serves as its envi­ron­men­tal arm.

For more infor­ma­tion on this report, please contact:

The Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Local
Envi­ron­men­tal Ini­tia­tives (ICLEI)
World Sec­re­tariat
City Hall, East Tower, 8th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2, Canada
Phone: +1–416/392‑1462
Fax: +1–416/392‑1478
Inter­net Web­site:


© ICLEI-Canada, 1997.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this pub­li­ca­tion may be repro­duced, stored in a
retrieval sys­tem, or trans­mit­ted, in any form or by any means,
elec­tronic, mechan­i­cal, pho­to­copy­ing, record­ing or oth­er­wise with­out
prior per­mis­sion of ICLEI-Canada


Table of Contents

  1. The Local Agenda 21 Movement
  2. Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ters 2–22 of Agenda 21 via the Statu­tory Func­tions of Local Government
  3. Pro­grammes and Poli­cies Related to Inter­na­tional Accords
  4. Munic­i­pal Inter­na­tional Coop­er­a­tion (Chap­ter 2)
  5. Par­tic­i­pa­tion and the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Process — Local Agenda 21 in Caja­marca, Peru
  6. The Use of Flex­i­ble Pub­lic Reg­u­la­tion to Pro­mote Pol­lu­tion Pre­ven­tion — The Green Builder Pro­gram of Austin, U.S.A.
  7. Build­ing Local Gov­ern­ment Capac­ity for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment in Mex­ico City, Mex­ico and Quito, Ecuador
  8. Local Imple­men­ta­tion of Inter­na­tional Envi­ron­men­tal Accords — The Case of Local Cli­mate Action Plan­ning in Han­nover & Saar­brücken, Germany
  9. Pro­tec­tion of Bio­di­ver­sity as a Local Man­age­ment Chal­lenge — Multi-Functional Park Design and Man­age­ment in Dur­ban, South Africa



Because so many of the prob­lems and solu­tions being addressed by Agenda 21 have their roots in local activ­i­ties, the par­tic­i­pa­tion and coop­er­a­tion of local author­i­ties will be a deter­min­ing fac­tor in ful­fill­ing its objec­tives. Local author­i­ties con­struct, oper­ate and main­tain eco­nomic, social and envi­ron­men­tal infra­struc­ture, over­see plan­ning processes, estab­lish local envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions, and assist in imple­ment­ing national and sub­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies. As the level of gov­er­nance clos­est to the peo­ple, they play a vital role in edu­cat­ing, mobi­liz­ing and respond­ing to the pub­lic to pro­mote sus­tain­able development.

Agenda 21, para­graph 28.1


We adopt the enabling strat­egy and the prin­ci­ples of part­ner­ship and par­tic­i­pa­tion as the most demo­c­ra­tic and effec­tive approach for the real­iza­tion of our com­mit­ments. Recog­nis­ing local author­i­ties as our clos­est and essen­tial part­ners in the imple­men­ta­tion of the Habi­tat Agenda, we must, within the legal frame­work of each coun­try, pro­mote decen­tral­i­sa­tion through demo­c­ra­tic local author­i­ties and work to strengthen their finan­cial and insti­tu­tional capac­i­ties in accor­dance with the con­di­tions of coun­tries, while ensur­ing their trans­parency, account­abil­ity and respon­sive­ness to the needs of peo­ple, which are key require­ments for Gov­ern­ments at all levels.

The Istan­bul Dec­la­ra­tion, Arti­cle 12

Exec­u­tive Summary

Local gov­ern­ments have demon­strated a deep com­mit­ment to the imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21.

Since 1991, more than 1,800 local gov­ern­ments in 64 coun­tries have estab­lished Local Agenda 21 plan­ning processes to engage with their com­mu­ni­ties to imple­ment Agenda 21 at the local level. Local gov­ern­ments and their com­mu­ni­ties also have vol­un­tar­ily assumed new respon­si­bil­i­ties for global envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems, such as cli­mate change, for­est destruc­tion, and pol­lu­tion of the seas. They have estab­lished their own inter­na­tional pro­grammes, in the con­text of inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal con­ven­tions, to address these chal­lenges. For exam­ple, 164 cities in 34 coun­tries — and rep­re­sent­ing 4% of global car­bon diox­ide (CO2) emis­sions — have joined a Cities for Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion Cam­paign to reduce their green­house gas emis­sions by as much as 20%.

The grow­ing role of local gov­ern­ments in the imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 has been rec­og­nized by national gov­ern­ments and the United Nations sys­tem. How­ever, this recog­ni­tion has not been accom­pa­nied by real­is­tic dis­cus­sion of the abil­ity of local gov­ern­ments and com­mu­ni­ties to imple­ment their Local Agenda 21 action plans or other sus­tain­able devel­op­ment respon­si­bil­i­ties. Over the past ten years local gov­ern­ments in more than 60 coun­tries have received increased respon­si­bil­i­ties for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and social pro­grammes as a result of national-level dereg­u­la­tion, decen­tral­iza­tion, and “down load­ing” of tra­di­tional national– or state-level respon­si­bil­i­ties. The insti­tu­tional and finan­cial capac­ity of local gov­ern­ments to ful­fill these man­dates, and the impacts of rapid decen­tral­iza­tion upon the world­wide capac­i­ties of the pub­lic sec­tor to imple­ment sus­tain­able devel­op­ment have not been suf­fi­ciently reviewed.

ICLEI’s analy­sis of local gov­ern­ment imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 dur­ing the 1992–1996 period con­cludes that the great­est impacts of local gov­ern­ment actions have been in the areas of insti­tu­tional devel­op­ment, pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion, and improved man­age­ment sys­tems. In thou­sands of cities and towns indi­vid­ual “best prac­tice” projects also have pro­duced con­crete, pos­i­tive impacts in spe­cific areas of man­age­ment. How­ever, few local gov­ern­ments have yet demon­strated their capac­ity to achieve dra­matic improve­ments in social and envi­ron­men­tal trends except in cer­tain key areas of local respon­si­bil­ity, such as solid waste man­age­ment or water pol­lu­tion con­trol. This con­clu­sion high­lights the impor­tance of the fol­low­ing crit­i­cal issues to the suc­cess­ful, world­wide imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21.

  1. Dur­ing the past five years, the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment strate­gies and projects of local gov­ern­ments have gen­er­ally been iso­lated from over­all munic­i­pal bud­get­ing, local devel­op­ment plan­ning, land-use con­trol, and eco­nomic devel­op­ment activ­i­ties. As a result, sus­tain­able devel­op­ment strate­gies, such as Local Agenda 21, have only resulted in sig­nif­i­cant changes in urban devel­op­ment trends in a lim­ited num­ber of cases.
  2. Dur­ing the same period, many national gov­ern­ments have “down loaded” envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and social devel­op­ment respon­si­bil­i­ties to local gov­ern­ments in order to address national fis­cal prob­lems. This trend rarely has been accom­pa­nied by new rev­enue gen­er­at­ing pow­ers or by trans­fers of the rev­enues that were tra­di­tion­ally avail­able for their exe­cu­tion. The result­ing increase in finan­cial bur­dens upon local gov­ern­ments is under­min­ing their abil­ity to imple­ment Local Agenda 21 strategies.
  3. At the same time, reduced or poor national-level reg­u­la­tion of eco­nomic activ­i­ties is weak­en­ing the abil­ity of local gov­ern­ments to hold local busi­nesses and other insti­tu­tions (includ­ing them­selves) account­able for the neg­a­tive envi­ron­men­tal and social impacts of their activities.
  4. National, sub­na­tional, and local gov­ern­ments con­tinue to main­tain poli­cies, sub­si­dies, and fis­cal frame­works that inhibit effi­cient resource use and devel­op­ment con­trol at the local level.
  5. Min­i­mal incen­tives exist for transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions and multi-lateral devel­op­ment insti­tu­tions to be account­able and com­mit­ted to local devel­op­ment strate­gies. Local gov­ern­ments have lim­ited con­trol over the tox­i­c­i­ties, resource effi­cien­cies, and pack­ag­ing of the con­sumer prod­ucts that are sold, used, and dis­posed within their jurisdictions.

On this basis, the Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Local Envi­ron­men­tal Ini­tia­tives (ICLEI) makes the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions to the United Nations sys­tem, national gov­ern­ments, the non-governmental com­mu­nity, and local gov­ern­ment organizations.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 1 –
Strengthen and sup­port the Local Agenda 21 movement.

The Local Agenda 21 move­ment is one of the most exten­sive follow-up activ­i­ties to the Earth Sum­mit. To expand this move­ment, national gov­ern­ments, NGOs, and donor insti­tu­tions are encour­aged to sup­port the estab­lish­ment of national Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns. To inten­sify the imple­men­ta­tion of Local Agenda 21 action plans, local gov­ern­ments are strongly urged to for­mally link Local Agenda 21 plan­ning activ­i­ties with the annual bud­get­ing and statu­tory plan­ning activ­i­ties of the munic­i­pal­ity. It is fur­ther rec­om­mended that national and inter­na­tional invest­ment pro­grammes actively fac­tor the strate­gies and tar­gets of Local Agenda 21 action plans in the selec­tion and design of projects for their support.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 2 –
Har­mo­nize pub­lic sec­tor poli­cies and approaches.

Within each coun­try, estab­lish a part­ner­ship between national, state, and local lev­els of gov­ern­ment — per­haps within the frame­work of National Coun­cils for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment — to iden­tify and review poli­cies, legal frame­works, and fis­cal frame­works that inhibit sus­tain­able resource man­age­ment and social devel­op­ment. It is fur­ther rec­om­mended that the UNCSD request a pre­lim­i­nary review report on this topic to be pre­pared by the UNDPCSD and ICLEI for its sixth session.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 3 –
Increase local gov­ern­ment finan­cial capacities.

Estab­lish a global part­ner­ship of national gov­ern­ments, local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions, and mul­ti­lat­eral and pri­vate lend­ing insti­tu­tions to devise and rec­om­mend local gov­ern­ment rev­enue enhance­ment strate­gies to accom­pany national decen­tral­iza­tion pro­grammes or “down load­ing” ini­tia­tives. Focus munic­i­pal devel­op­ment pro­gramme assis­tance on capacity-building in munic­i­pal finance.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 4 –
Estab­lish flex­i­ble reg­u­la­tory frame­works for all areas of Agenda 21.

The role of reg­u­la­tion in achiev­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment needs to be refined. How­ever reg­u­la­tory frame­works should be designed to con­sist of two inte­grated ele­ments: min­i­mum enforce­able stan­dards and a frame­work for flex­i­ble com­pli­ance using inno­v­a­tive vol­un­tary agree­ments and programmes.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 5 –
Increase pri­vate sec­tor account­abil­ity to Local Agen­das 21.

Estab­lish coop­er­a­tion agree­ments between LGOs and inter­na­tional busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions on a sector-by-sector basis to encour­age all busi­nesses and, in spe­cific, transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions to respect and sup­port the Local Agenda 21 strate­gies of the com­mu­ni­ties in which they invest and main­tain their operations.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 6 –
Orga­nize local gov­ern­ment pur­chas­ing pow­ers for sus­tain­able development.

Estab­lish inter­na­tional pro­to­cols among local gov­ern­ments on an inter­na­tional basis to use their pur­chas­ing and legal pow­ers to per­suade con­sumer prod­ucts man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers to achieve min­i­mum effi­ciency and waste reduc­tion stan­dards in prod­uct design and packaging.


– — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — –


Fig­ure 1.
Local Gov­ern­ment Imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 — High­lights from the 1991–1996 Period.

Local Agenda 21

  • Local Agenda 21 plan­ning activ­ity is widespread.
    • 1,812 local gov­ern­ments from 64 coun­tries are now involved.
    • 933 munic­i­pal­i­ties from 43 coun­tries have Local Agenda 21 plan­ning underway.
    • 879 munic­i­pal­i­ties are just start­ing to estab­lish the process.
  • Most Local Agenda 21 activ­ity is tak­ing place in coun­tries with national campaigns.
    • 1,487 (82%) are from 11 coun­tries where national cam­paigns are underway.
    • 117 (6%) are in 9 coun­tries where national cam­paigns are just starting.
    • 208 are in 44 coun­tries where there is no national campaign.

Other Key Activities

  • Health and the envi­ron­ment. The World Health Organization’s Healthy Cities Pro­gramme now involves more than 1,000 munic­i­pal­i­ties and 17 national campaigns.
  • Cli­mate and rain for­est pro­tec­tion. The ICLEI Cities for Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion Cam­paign — focus­ing on green­house gas emis­sions — includes 164 cities from 34 coun­tries. The Euro­pean Cli­mate Alliance — addi­tion­ally focus­ing on rain for­est pro­tec­tion — includes 650 cities from 10 countries.
  • Land-based pol­lu­tion of the seas. City net­works have been estab­lished to sup­port munic­i­pal anti-pollution efforts related to spe­cific seas, such as the Union of Baltic Cities, Envi­ron­ment North Sea, and the UTDA Med­c­i­ties Project.
  • Munic­i­pal inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion. Numer­ous North-South and East-West inter-municipal devel­op­ment assis­tance pro­grammes have been imple­mented under the aus­pices of national and inter­na­tional asso­ci­a­tions of local gov­ern­ment. These pro­grammes have involved many hun­dreds of cities and towns.


– — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — –

A. Intro­duc­tion

Since the begin­nings of the mod­ern envi­ron­men­tal and pub­lic health move­ments, cities have been viewed as cen­ters of the social and envi­ron­men­tal ills of the indus­tri­al­ized world. This anti-urban bias was still observ­able on the eve of the 1992 United Nations Con­fer­ence on Envi­ron­ment and Devel­op­ment (Earth Sum­mit). At that time, most inter­na­tional devel­op­ment assis­tance was allo­cated to rural devel­op­ment projects. Envi­ron­men­tal­ists still focused pri­mar­ily upon nature pro­tec­tion, and the “brown agenda” was a new idea. The desire to stop migra­tion to cities was a reg­u­lar topic of debate in the UNCED prepara­tory process.

Since 1992, a rev­o­lu­tion of opin­ion has occurred with regards to the role and impor­tance of cities in the achieve­ment of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. While few still appre­ci­ate the tremen­dous eco­log­i­cal ben­e­fits of urban­iza­tion1, cities now are viewed as cen­ters of social and eco­nomic cre­ativ­ity. By the time of the Sec­ond United Nations Con­fer­ence on Human Set­tle­ments, the city had come to be rec­og­nized as the locus of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment at the national and global lev­els. This recog­ni­tion has been accom­pa­nied by a dra­matic shift in inter­na­tional devel­op­ment assis­tance and national gov­ern­ment and pri­vate foun­da­tion resources to urban pro­grammes. In turn, UN agen­cies, national gov­ern­ments, and the NGO com­mu­nity have been rapidly estab­lish­ing new urban-oriented projects.

Par­al­lel to this trans­for­ma­tion of opin­ion about urban devel­op­ment, the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity, national gov­ern­ments, and NGOs have also been review­ing their long-held biases against local gov­ern­ments. For decades, local gov­ern­ments gen­er­ally have been viewed as the poor cousin in the pub­lic sec­tor. They were more likely to be referred to in pol­icy debates as incom­pe­tent, cor­rupt, and unac­count­able than as crit­i­cal part­ners for sus­tain­able development.

Prior to the Earth Sum­mit, inter­na­tional insti­tu­tions rarely involved local gov­ern­ments in their dis­cus­sions and pro­grammes. Within the United Nations sys­tem they were not even rec­og­nized as gov­ern­men­tal insti­tu­tions. Inter­na­tional devel­op­ment pro­grammes com­monly ignored local gov­ern­ments and some­times encour­aged their replace­ment by paras­tatal bod­ies. As the most acces­si­ble level of gov­ern­ment, NGOs often sin­gled out local gov­ern­ment for their harsh­est crit­i­cisms, or ignored them altogether.

Five years after the Earth Sum­mit, the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity has rec­og­nized that major respon­si­bil­i­ties for sus­tain­able urban devel­op­ment are in local gov­ern­ment hands. Indeed, dur­ing this period, national gov­ern­ments in more than 60 coun­tries have been decen­tral­iz­ing and “down load­ing” pub­lic sec­tor respon­si­bil­i­ties for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and social devel­op­ment to local gov­ern­ments.2

Local gov­ern­ments con­struct, oper­ate, and main­tain eco­nomic, social, and envi­ron­men­tal infra­struc­ture, over­see land use and devel­op­ment plan­ning processes, estab­lish local envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions, and assist in imple­ment­ing national and sub­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies. They annu­ally pro­cure tens of bil­lions of dol­lars worth of goods and can use their eco­nomic clout to influ­ence mar­kets. They play a vital role in edu­cat­ing and mobi­liz­ing the pub­lic to pro­mote sus­tain­able development.

Local gov­ern­ments have been work­ing steadily since the late 19th cen­tury to address the issues raised in Agenda 21, over­see­ing three suc­ces­sive cycles in pub­lic invest­ment, involv­ing tril­lions of dollars.

In the first instance, local gov­ern­ments financed, con­structed and main­tained much of the world’s basic infra­struc­ture for pub­lic health and eco­nomic devel­op­ment — sew­er­age sys­tems, solid waste man­age­ment sys­tems, roads and pub­lic tran­sit sys­tems, and pub­lic health sys­tems. As these sys­tems removed wastes and pol­lu­tants from urban liv­ing spaces and dis­posed them into rivers, seas, soils and air, local gov­ern­ments — often under pres­sure from envi­ron­men­tal­ists — under­took a sec­ond cycle of invest­ments, adding sew­er­age treat­ment facil­i­ties, pol­lu­tion mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol pro­grammes, and engi­neered land­fills to their sus­tain­able devel­op­ment infra­struc­ture. In the 1970s and 1980s, as eco­nomic growth and con­sump­tion over­whelmed these con­trols and facil­i­ties, local gov­ern­ments started to imple­ment a third cycle of invest­ments. This time their invest­ments focused on pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion, source reduc­tion, and demand-side man­age­ment pro­grammes, includ­ing solid waste recy­cling pro­grammes, water and energy effi­ciency pro­grammes, and trans­porta­tion demand man­age­ment strategies.

Since the Earth Sum­mit, local gov­ern­ments have accel­er­ated their invest­ments in these three gen­er­a­tions of infra­struc­ture. At the same time, they have enthu­si­as­ti­cally led a global Local Agenda 21 move­ment that presently involves more than 1,800 local gov­ern­ments in 64 coun­tries. Local gov­ern­ments have also estab­lished new inter­na­tional cam­paigns to con­tribute to the imple­men­ta­tion of inter­na­tional devel­op­ment assis­tance objec­tives and inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal accords. A sum­mary of some of these activ­i­ties is pre­sented in this report.

The efforts of local gov­ern­ments to imple­ment Agenda 21 have received increas­ing recog­ni­tion and praise from the UN sys­tem, national gov­ern­ments and the NGO com­mu­nity. How­ever, local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions (LGOs) are con­cerned that sup­port for local gov­ern­ment efforts does not stop at pub­lic recognition.

LGOs know that the recent invest­ments and efforts of local gov­ern­ments are not suf­fi­cient to reverse global trends in resource deple­tion, impov­er­ish­ment, and eco­nomic dis­lo­ca­tion caused by rapid eco­nomic growth and change. At the same time, they are keenly aware that grow­ing national man­dates and pub­lic expec­ta­tions upon local gov­ern­ments are not being accom­pa­nied by the resources and pow­ers required to ful­fill them. Fur­ther­more, in impor­tant ways, local gov­ern­ments still do not have for­mal sta­tus in key sus­tain­able devel­op­ment insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the UN Com­mis­sion on Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment and the National Coun­cils for Sus­tain­able Development.

For this rea­son, this report reviews some of the key lessons of local gov­ern­ment suc­cess since the Earth Sum­mit, and high­lights the major obsta­cles that must be over­come to imple­ment Agenda 21 and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment at the local level. It con­cludes with a set of six action rec­om­men­da­tions that aim to focus the new respect for local gov­ern­ments by the UN sys­tem, national gov­ern­ments, and NGOs on prac­ti­cal mea­sures to lend them support.


B. Progress on the Imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 and Related United Nations Con­fer­ences and Inter­na­tional Accords

Local gov­ern­ment imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21 and related UN con­fer­ences and inter­na­tional accords is tak­ing place in four cat­e­gories of activ­ity. These are:

  1. Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ter 28 of Agenda 21, “Local Author­i­ties’ Ini­tia­tive in Sup­port of Agenda 21,” or Local Agenda 21, as well as related part­ner­ship activ­i­ties with major groups (Chap­ters 24–27 and 29–32);
  2. Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ters 3–22 of Agenda 21 via the day-to-day func­tions of local gov­ern­ment in the areas of nat­ural resource man­age­ment (e.g., water sup­ply, land-use con­trol), urban devel­op­ment (e.g., hous­ing, trans­porta­tion), waste man­age­ment, pub­lic health pro­mo­tion, and social ser­vices as well as pro­mo­tional activ­i­ties to edu­cate local res­i­dents and stake­hold­ers about Agenda 21 and sus­tain­able development;
  3. Local pro­grammes and poli­cies related to spe­cific inter­na­tional accords and UN strate­gies; and
  4. Munic­i­pal inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion (Chap­ter 2).

High­lights of activ­i­ties in each of these areas are pre­sented below.


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A Note on Methodology

The infor­ma­tion pre­sented in this report — and used to draw its con­clu­sions — has been gath­ered by ICLEI and part­ner local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions using sur­veys, regional con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings, tele­phone inter­views, and exten­sive case study analy­sis. The fol­low­ing is a sum­mary of the key data col­lec­tion and analy­sis meth­ods employed.

Local Agenda 21 and Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ters 23–32 of Agenda 21

The pri­mary sources of infor­ma­tion used for this review were two inter­na­tional sur­veys on Local Agenda 21, the results of which were val­i­dated through regional con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings, tele­phone inter­views, and the country-specific sur­veys of national asso­ci­a­tions of local gov­ern­ment. A full descrip­tion of these sur­veys and their find­ings is pre­sented in Local Agenda 21 Sur­vey — A Study of Responses by Local Author­i­ties and Their National and Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tions to Agenda 21 (ICLEI/UNDPCSD, 1997).

Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ters 2–22 of Agenda 21

The pri­mary method used for this pur­pose was com­par­a­tive case study analy­sis. ICLEI com­pared the con­tents of 150 local gov­ern­ment “best prac­tice” sub­mis­sions from 23 coun­tries in 1991 with the con­tents of 129 local gov­ern­ment “best prac­tice” sub­mis­sions from 24 coun­tries dur­ing the 1993–1996 period in order to dis­cern pri­or­ity areas of action and changes in prac­tices. These find­ings were sup­ple­mented by a con­tent analy­sis of the envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment strate­gies of six national asso­ci­a­tions of local government.

Analy­sis of Key Obsta­cles to Local Sus­tain­able Development

The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of obsta­cles was derived from the above men­tioned case study analy­sis as well as from a com­par­i­son of the con­clu­sions of three Local Agenda 21 con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings held by ICLEI in prepa­ra­tion for the Earth Sum­mit (1991–1992) with the con­clu­sions of inter­na­tional and regional con­sul­ta­tions of local gov­ern­ments in 1995–1996.


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1. The Local Agenda 21 Movement

Per­haps the great­est response by local gov­ern­ments to Agenda 21 is in the area of Chap­ters 22–32, strength­en­ing the role of major groups, and in par­tic­u­lar Chap­ter 28 of Agenda 21. This chap­ter states that “by 1996 most local author­i­ties in each coun­try should have under­taken a con­sul­ta­tive process with their pop­u­la­tions and achieved a con­sen­sus on a ‘local Agenda 21′ for the community.”

Fol­low­ing UNCED, local gov­ern­ments, national and inter­na­tional local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions (LGOs), and inter­na­tional bod­ies and UN agen­cies entered a period of exper­i­men­ta­tion with the imple­men­ta­tion of the Local Agenda 21 con­cept. The lead actors in these efforts were the local gov­ern­ments them­selves which worked, often with the sup­port of their national munic­i­pal asso­ci­a­tions, to develop the Local Agenda 21 plan­ning approaches appro­pri­ate to their cir­cum­stances. How­ever, inter­na­tional pro­grammes played a crit­i­cal role in doc­u­ment­ing and ana­lyz­ing these grow­ing local expe­ri­ences, and in facil­i­tat­ing the exchange of Local Agenda 21 approaches and tools.

The accu­mu­la­tion and exchange of prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ences helped to iden­tify a set of uni­ver­sal ele­ments and fac­tors for the suc­cess of Local Agenda 21 plan­ning. While these are being con­tin­u­ally updated and revised by local prac­ti­tion­ers, five key ele­ments have been defined for Local Agenda 21 plan­ning in the 1992–1996 period. These are:

  • Multi-sectoral engage­ment in the plan­ning process through a local stake­hold­ers group which serves as the coor­di­na­tion and pol­icy body for prepar­ing a long-term sus­tain­able devel­op­ment action plan.
  • Con­sul­ta­tion with com­mu­nity groups, NGOs, busi­ness, churches, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, pro­fes­sional groups and unions in order to cre­ate a shared vision and to iden­tify pro­pos­als and pri­or­i­ties for action.
  • Par­tic­i­pa­tory assess­ment of local social, eco­nomic, and envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and needs.
  • Par­tic­i­pa­tory target-setting through nego­ti­a­tions among key stake­hold­ers in order to achieve the vision and goals set forth in the action plan.
  • Mon­i­tor­ing and report­ing pro­ce­dures, includ­ing local indi­ca­tors, to track progress and to allow par­tic­i­pants to hold each other account­able to the action plan.

Dur­ing 1996, ICLEI and the UN Depart­ment for Pol­icy Coor­di­na­tion and Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment (DPCSD) con­ducted an inter­na­tional sur­vey on Local Agenda 21 progress world­wide. The fol­low­ing is a sum­mary of the ICLEI/DPCSD Sur­vey results, which have been pub­lished in a spe­cial report of the UNCSD enti­tled Local Agenda 21 Sur­vey — A Study of Responses by Local Author­i­ties and Their National and Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tions to Agenda 21 (1997).3

The sur­vey revealed that as of Novem­ber 30, 1996, more than 1,800 local gov­ern­ments in 64 coun­tries were involved in Local Agenda 21 activ­i­ties. Of this num­ber, ICLEI con­firmed that Local Agenda 21 plan­ning was under­way in 933 munic­i­pal­i­ties from 43 coun­tries and was just get­ting started in an addi­tional 879 munic­i­pal­i­ties. Most of these plan­ning processes are being under­taken under the name of “Local Agenda 21.” How­ever, the Local Agenda 21 man­date is being imple­mented in a num­ber of cities and towns under a dif­fer­ent local name or through var­i­ous estab­lished inter­na­tional assis­tance pro­gramme, such as the UNCHS Sus­tain­able Cities Pro­gramme, the UNDP Capac­ity 21 Pro­gramme or the GTZ Urban Envi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Pro­gramme. Local Agenda 21 activ­i­ties are most con­cen­trated in the eleven coun­tries where national Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns are underway–in Aus­tralia, Bolivia, China, Den­mark, Fin­land, Japan, Nether­lands, Nor­way, Repub­lic of Korea, Swe­den, and the United King­dom. These national cam­paigns are usu­ally oper­ated by the national asso­ci­a­tion of local gov­ern­ment in part­ner­ship with national gov­ern­ment and NGOs. In these coun­tries, 1,487 local gov­ern­ments — rep­re­sent­ing 82% of the reported total — have estab­lished Local Agenda 21 plan­ning efforts.

An addi­tional 6% of the reported total, or 117 Local Agenda 21 processes, have been estab­lished in the nine coun­tries where national Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns are just now get­ting under­way — in Brazil, Colom­bia, Ger­many, Greece, Ire­land, Malawi, Peru, South Africa, and the United States. The remain­ing 208 reported Local Agenda 21 processes are tak­ing place in 44 coun­tries that do not have national cam­paigns. These find­ings high­light the crit­i­cal impor­tance of national Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns to the imple­men­ta­tion of Agenda 21, Chap­ter 28.

Munic­i­pal­i­ties in devel­oped coun­tries account for 1,631 or 90% of the iden­ti­fied Local Agenda 21 plan­ning processes. Nev­er­the­less, Local Agenda 21 plan­ning is rapidly increas­ing in 42 devel­op­ing coun­tries and economies-in-transition, where 181 Local Agenda 21 plan­ning processes were identified.

The sur­vey also doc­u­mented the types of activ­i­ties being under­taken as part of Local Agenda 21 plan­ning. Of the 933 Local Agenda 21 processes that were iden­ti­fied to be under­way, all have estab­lished a con­sul­ta­tive process with local res­i­dents, 516 have estab­lished a local “stake­hold­ers group” to over­see this process, and 666 have begun the prepa­ra­tion of a local action plan. Among the most advanced processes, 237 have estab­lished a frame­work to mon­i­tor and report on the achieve­ment of action plan objec­tives, and 210 have estab­lished local indi­ca­tors for mon­i­tor­ing purposes.

The ICLEI/DPCSD sur­vey was unable to eval­u­ate the local-level impacts of Local Agenda 21 plan­ning activ­i­ties. For this pur­pose, ICLEI under­took a detailed, com­par­a­tive review of local prac­tice through the doc­u­men­ta­tion and eval­u­a­tion of 29 case stud­ies. The pri­mary con­clu­sion of this case study review is that the great­est impact of Local Agenda 21 dur­ing its first years has been to reform the process of gov­er­nance at the local level so that the key require­ments of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment can be fac­tored into local plan­ning and budgeting.

As is illus­trated by the case of Caja­marca, Peru, described in Sec­tion C, the imple­men­ta­tion of the Local Agenda 21 process requires local gov­ern­ments to decen­tral­ize gov­er­nance, reform their cur­rent depart­men­tal struc­tures, and change tra­di­tional oper­a­tional pro­ce­dures. Most Local Agenda 21 efforts started by cre­at­ing new orga­ni­za­tional struc­tures to imple­ment plan­ning. On the one hand, new stake­holder plan­ning bod­ies are cre­ated to coor­di­nate community-wide involve­ment and part­ner­ship for­ma­tion for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. On the other hand, local gov­ern­ments insti­tute inter­nal reforms, such as the cre­ation of inter­de­part­men­tal plan­ning units or the estab­lish­ment of neigh­bor­hood or village-level gov­ern­ment units.

These activ­i­ties gen­er­ally con­sume the first years of the Local Agenda 21 plan­ning. Such insti­tu­tional reforms may not imme­di­ately pro­duce phys­i­cal improve­ments in devel­op­ment or envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. Nev­er­the­less, they are chang­ing the fun­da­men­tal approaches and pol­icy focus of hun­dreds of local gov­ern­ments. These changes include extend­ing the time hori­zon of local plan­ning, estab­lish­ing par­tic­i­pa­tory, account­able decision-making frame­works, and oper­at­ing through multi-sectoral part­ner­ships. As a result, these local gov­ern­ments are becom­ing more effec­tive and ded­i­cated agents of the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment agenda.

In some cases — pri­mar­ily in those com­mu­ni­ties that started work prior to 1992 — local gov­ern­ments have reached the stage in the process where they are imple­ment­ing their Local Agenda 21 action plans. For instance, in Kana­gawa Pre­fec­ture, Japan, the imple­men­ta­tion of the Kana­gawa Agenda 21 involves 52 projects with a bud­get of U.S.$149 mil­lion.4

In devel­op­ing coun­tries, imple­men­ta­tion tends to begin by address­ing a few pri­or­ity prob­lems. For instance, the Local Agenda 21 effort in Quito, Ecuador, is focus­ing on the sta­bi­liza­tion and restora­tion of the many ravines in that city’s low income South Zone. Local Agenda 21 efforts in Pim­pri Chinch­wad, India, are focus­ing on slum upgrad­ing. In Jinja, Uganda, efforts focus on solid waste management.

The chal­lenges fac­ing the Local Agenda 21 move­ment over the next five years fall into two cat­e­gories. First, the growth of the move­ment itself must be sup­ported. To date, the most suc­cess­ful mech­a­nism of sup­port has been the estab­lish­ment by LGOs of national and, in some cases, regional Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns. Par­tic­u­larly atten­tion needs to be given to the estab­lish­ment of national cam­paigns in devel­op­ing countries.

Sec­ond, local gov­ern­ments them­selves must move from the plan­ning stage to imple­men­ta­tion. The suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion of Local Agenda 21 action plans will require fur­ther inte­gra­tion of the Local Agenda 21 strate­gies and tar­gets with the tra­di­tional bud­get­ing and statu­tory plan­ning activ­i­ties of munic­i­pal­i­ties. To the extent that statu­tory plans and annual bud­gets are not revised to reflect Local Agenda 21 objec­tives, these plans will limit the impact of the Local Agenda 21 move­ment on sus­tain­able human set­tle­ments development.


2. Imple­men­ta­tion of Chap­ters 2–22 of Agenda 21
via the Statu­tory Func­tions of Local Government

Local gov­ern­ments in most coun­tries have direct respon­si­bil­i­ties for some aspect of each chap­ter of Agenda 21. The ful­fill­ment of these local respon­si­bil­i­ties has a direct impact on the suc­cess of inter­na­tional accords, such as the Con­ven­tion for the Pre­ven­tion of Marine Pol­lu­tion from Land-based Sources (1974) or the UN Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (1992), as well as the achieve­ment of other UN human set­tle­ments and social devel­op­ment strategies.

Local gov­ern­ments annu­ally spend bil­lions of dol­lars to ful­fill their statu­tory respon­si­bil­i­ties. The total annual expen­di­tures of the world’s local gov­ern­ments related to the the­matic areas of Agenda 21 is dif­fi­cult to cal­cu­late. How­ever, an extrap­o­la­tion based on the annual bud­gets of typ­i­cal medium-sized cities for solid waste man­age­ment (Chap­ter 21), water sup­ply and waste water man­age­ment (Chap­ters 17 and 18), and pub­lic trans­porta­tion (Chap­ter 7) would indi­cate that, in aggre­gate, local gov­ern­ments prob­a­bly spend hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars annu­ally in these areas alone.

In many coun­tries, local gov­ern­ments spend more on envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion than other lev­els of gov­ern­ment. The Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Coop­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment (OECD) has esti­mated that local gov­ern­ments in the United States will account for 65% of total U.S. pub­lic expen­di­ture for the envi­ron­ment by 2000.5 A more detailed account­ing of expen­di­tures for Den­mark has doc­u­mented that Dan­ish local gov­ern­ments are respon­si­ble for more than 80% of that coun­tries envi­ron­men­tal expen­di­tures.6

In con­sid­er­a­tion of these real­i­ties, progress with the imple­men­ta­tion of many chap­ters of Agenda 21 would appear to be depen­dent upon the actions of local gov­ern­ments. In addi­tion to their annual expen­di­tures, local gov­ern­ments also have a vari­ety of other instru­ments to pro­mote sus­tain­able devel­op­ment includ­ing com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment plans, land-use and con­struc­tion con­trols, eco­nomic instru­ments (fines, fees, sub­si­dies and taxes), and local regulations.

In prepa­ra­tion for this report, ICLEI com­pared the con­tents of 150 local gov­ern­ment “best prac­tice” sub­mis­sions from 23 coun­tries in 1991 with the con­tents of 129 local gov­ern­ment “best prac­tice” sub­mis­sions from 24 coun­tries dur­ing the 1993–1996 period in order to dis­cern pri­or­ity areas of action and changes in prac­tices (see “A Note on Method­ol­ogy”). A com­par­i­son of the man­age­ment areas of these best prac­tices and the lev­els of their reported impacts was used to eval­u­ate local gov­ern­ment per­for­mance in the areas of Chap­ter 2 through Chap­ter 22 of Agenda 21.

ICLEI’s pri­mary con­clu­sion from this review is that improve­ments in per­for­mance have been most observable–in keep­ing with trends prior to 1992–in the areas of fresh­wa­ter man­age­ment (Chap­ter 18) and solid waste man­age­ment (Chap­ter 21). These are areas over which local gov­ern­ments have both con­sid­er­able con­trol and have received increased local gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment and invest­ment since 1992. In addi­tion, local gov­ern­ments have made con­sid­er­able new com­mit­ments and invest­ments in the areas of pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able human set­tle­ments devel­op­ment (Chap­ter 7) and inte­grat­ing envi­ron­ment and devel­op­ment deci­sion mak­ing (Chap­ter 8). The case stud­ies reviewed indi­cate that in these two areas local gov­ern­ments have responded directly to inspi­ra­tion derived from the UNCED and related pro­mo­tion of sus­tain­able development.

Local gov­ern­ments also appear to have main­tained or increased their com­mit­ments and invest­ments in a num­ber of areas where local con­trol is more lim­ited and, there­fore, where the impacts of local actions are not well estab­lished. These areas include, in order of expressed inter­est and com­mit­ment in the local gov­ern­ment com­mu­nity: inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion to accel­er­ate sus­tain­able devel­op­ment (Chap­ter 2), pro­tec­tion of the atmos­phere (Chap­ter 9), pro­tect­ing and pro­mot­ing human health (Chap­ter 6), sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and rural devel­op­ment (Chap­ter 14), pro­tec­tion of oceans, seas, and coastal areas (Chap­ter 17), com­bat­ing poverty (Chap­ter 3), chang­ing con­sump­tion pat­terns (Chap­ter 4), con­ser­va­tion of bio­log­i­cal diver­sity (Chap­ter 15), and com­bat­ing deser­ti­fi­ca­tion and drought (Chap­ter 12).

Local gov­ern­ments have con­sid­er­able con­trol over one area–integrated plan­ning and man­age­ment of land resources (Chap­ter 10)–where ICLEI has wit­nessed con­sid­er­able commitment-in-principle to chang­ing local prac­tices, but where few local gov­ern­ments have demon­strated real progress in con­trol­ling low-density urban sprawl, soil ero­sion, and encroach­ment on agri­cul­tural and biologically-sensitive lands.

Finally, six chap­ters of Agenda 21 rep­re­sent areas where local gov­ern­ments have both lim­ited local con­trol and lim­ited com­mit­ment as well. Com­bat­ing defor­esta­tion (Chap­ter 11) is con­sid­ered by ICLEI to be a bor­der­line case in terms of com­mit­ment — local gov­ern­ments in Europe have made par­tic­u­larly com­mend­able com­mit­ments in this area — but local gov­ern­ment con­trol over major for­est areas is lim­ited. The man­age­ment of haz­ardous wastes (Chap­ter 20) is an area where local gov­ern­ments may have more con­trol, but in prac­tice their com­mit­ment and/or invest­ments are still low. Other areas in these cat­e­gories include: man­age­ment of toxic chem­i­cals (Chap­ter 19), sus­tain­able moun­tain devel­op­ment (Chap­ter 13), demo­graphic dynam­ics and sus­tain­abil­ity (Chap­ter 5), and man­age­ment of biotech­nol­ogy (Chap­ter 16) and radioac­tive wastes (Chap­ter 22).

A graphic pre­sen­ta­tion of these con­clu­sions is pro­vided in Fig­ure 2.


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Fig­ure 2.
Local Gov­ern­ment Responses to Chap­ters 2 — 22 of Agenda 21.


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The above con­clu­sions, based upon case study analy­sis, are sup­ported by a con­tent analy­sis of the envi­ron­men­tal or sus­tain­able devel­op­ment pol­icy and strat­egy doc­u­ments of eight national asso­ci­a­tions of local gov­ern­ment in Aus­tralia, Aus­tria, Canada, Den­mark, Fin­land, Ghana, the United King­dom, and the United States.7 This analy­sis iden­ti­fied the com­mit­ments and activ­i­ties of these national asso­ci­a­tions rel­a­tive to each chap­ter of Agenda 21 in the fol­low­ing areas: domes­tic projects and train­ing; domes­tic pol­icy and advo­cacy, munic­i­pal inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion, and inter­na­tional pol­icy advo­cacy. The over­all com­mit­ments and activ­i­ties of the albeit lim­ited sam­ple of national munic­i­pal asso­ci­a­tions was then scored for each chap­ter of Agenda 21. The results of this analy­sis are pre­sented in Fig­ure 3.


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Fig­ure 3.
Pri­or­ity Areas of Agenda 21 Follow-up for Eight National Munic­i­pal Associations.


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Closer con­sid­er­a­tion of local gov­ern­ment com­mit­ments and pri­or­i­ties in each area of Agenda 21 reveals that com­mit­ment is often higher than local con­trol or resources for action. Even in areas where local gov­ern­ments have sub­stan­tial con­trol — such as solid waste or fresh­wa­ter resources man­age­ment — the actions of national and state-level gov­ern­ments or the pri­vate sec­tor can reduce the effec­tive appli­ca­tion of this control.

For instance, dur­ing the 1992–1995 period hun­dreds of local gov­ern­ments have increased the por­tion of their munic­i­pal solid waste that is recy­cled. Nev­er­the­less, over­all vol­umes of solid waste have increased in many cities due to increased con­sump­tion and waste­ful prod­uct design and pack­ag­ing. In many African cities, local gov­ern­ments have made efforts to improve drainage and sew­er­age sys­tems, but the pro­lif­er­a­tion of one sim­ple prod­uct — the plas­tic bag — has resulted in con­tin­ued clog­ging of drains and sew­ers and asso­ci­ated floods in res­i­den­tial areas. In North Amer­ica local gov­ern­ments have worked to reduce pri­vate auto­mo­bile use and air emis­sions; the impacts of these efforts are being eroded by the increas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of vehi­cles with low fuel efficiencies.

In areas where local gov­ern­ments have high com­mit­ment but low con­trol — such as pro­tec­tion of the atmos­phere, pro­mot­ing human health, sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture, pro­tec­tion of seas and coastal areas, or com­bat­ing poverty — suc­cess will depend upon part­ner­ships among all lev­els of gov­ern­ment, the pri­vate sec­tor, and house­holds. Local gov­ern­ments can make impor­tant con­tri­bu­tions, but only if the poli­cies, eco­nomic instru­ments, and activ­i­ties of other sec­tors are har­mo­nized with local objectives.


3. Pro­grammes and Poli­cies Related to Inter­na­tional Accords

The imple­men­ta­tion of a num­ber of inter­na­tional accords and United Nations strate­gies can be greatly assisted by local gov­ern­ment action. These include:

  • the Con­ven­tion on Wet­lands of Inter­na­tional Importance,
  • the Con­ven­tion on the Pre­ven­tion of Marine Pol­lu­tion from Land-based Sources,
  • the Con­ven­tion on Long-range Trans­bound­ary Air Pollution,
  • the Con­ven­tion Con­cern­ing Occu­pa­tional Safety and Health and the Work­ing Environment,
  • the Mon­treal Pro­to­col on Sub­stances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,
  • the Basel Con­ven­tion on the Con­trol of Trans­bound­ary Move­ments of Haz­ardous Wastes,
  • the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change, and
  • the Con­ven­tion on Bio­log­i­cal Diversity.

Many local gov­ern­ment cam­paigns, net­works, projects, and plan­ning bod­ies have been orga­nized to address these issues. Local gov­ern­ment efforts in the areas of wet­lands pro­tec­tion, marine pol­lu­tion, and bio­log­i­cal diver­sity are typ­i­cally orga­nized on a sub-regional basis to address spe­cific prob­lems related to a bio­log­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant area. Since 1992, sig­nif­i­cant local gov­ern­ment net­works have been orga­nized in par­tic­u­lar to address pol­lu­tion and coastal man­age­ment on the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Mediter­ranean, the Mar­mara Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The net­works facil­i­tate the exchange of exper­tise within their regions and sup­port their munic­i­pal mem­bers to under­take envi­ron­men­tal audits and design con­crete projects for pol­lu­tion control.

Local gov­ern­ment cam­paigns to address the issue of global cli­mate change pro­vide a dif­fer­ent model for engag­ing local gov­ern­ments in the imple­men­ta­tion of inter­na­tional accords.

In 1993, ICLEI joined with UNEP to host the first Munic­i­pal Lead­ers’ Sum­mit on Cli­mate Change and the Urban Envi­ron­ment at the United Nations in New York, which estab­lished ICLEI’s Cities for Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion Cam­paign (CCP). Par­tic­i­pat­ing munic­i­pal­i­ties adopt a for­mal res­o­lu­tion com­mit­ting them to pre­pare an inven­tory of their local green­house gas emis­sions and an action plan — with con­crete tar­gets — for reduc­ing these emis­sions. Cities in highly indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries are urged to adopt an emis­sions reduc­tion tar­get of 20%. The Cam­paign presently has 164 mem­bers from 34 coun­tries. Together they rep­re­sent more than 4% of the world’s anthro­pogenic emis­sions of car­bon diox­ide. The Cam­paign has set as its tar­get the recruit­ment of cities which rep­re­sent a total of 10% of the world’s emissions.

Par­tic­i­pants are pro­vided with assis­tance in prepar­ing their cli­mate action plans through train­ing work­shops, a “tool kit” with emis­sions quan­tifi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures and green­house gas reduc­tion mea­sures, and a related soft­ware pro­gramme. In addi­tion, in some coun­tries, local gov­ern­ments are pro­vided with small grants to imple­ment their action plans.

The Cam­paign also pro­vides a vehi­cle through which local gov­ern­ment lead­ers can give input into the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties (COP) to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (FCCC), through meet­ings of the Inter-governmental Nego­ti­at­ing Com­mit­tee. In 1996, ICLEI also was given an offi­cial observer seat in the Sub­sidiary Body for Sci­en­tific and Tech­no­log­i­cal Advice for the COP.

ICLEI has facil­i­tated local gov­ern­ment input into the FCCC process through a series of inter­na­tional “sum­mits.” In March 1995, 320 may­ors and city rep­re­sen­ta­tives from more than 50 coun­tries met in Berlin on the occa­sion of the first meet­ing of the COP to dis­cuss and com­pare strate­gies to reduce green­house gas emis­sions. They then adopted and directed a Com­mu­niquŽ to the COP, urg­ing national lead­ers to rec­og­nize and sup­port part­ner­ships with local author­i­ties to reduce green­house gas emis­sions. In Octo­ber 1995, a third CCP sum­mit was hosted by Saitama Pre­fec­ture in Japan to launch the Cities for Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion Cam­paign in Asia. A fourth sum­mit will be held in Nagoya, Japan shortly before the third meet­ing of the COP in Decem­ber 1997. The Nagoya Sum­mit will focus on con­crete reports by munic­i­pal lead­ers on the spe­cific reduc­tions in green­house emis­sions that their cities have achieved since par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Campaign.

At a regional level, nearly 650 Euro­pean cities and towns in 10 coun­tries have joined the Cli­mate Alliance cam­paign to both reduce their green­house gas emis­sions and work to pro­tect the world’s rain forests and bio­di­ver­sity. A unique aspect of the Cli­mate Alliance is its alliance with indige­nous peo­ple in the Ama­zon region and its effort to dis­cour­age local gov­ern­ments from using trop­i­cal wood.


4. Munic­i­pal Inter­na­tional Coop­er­a­tion (Chap­ter 2)

Munic­i­pal inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion (MIC) is a modal­ity of inter­na­tional devel­op­ment assis­tance that presently involves con­crete exchanges of per­son­nel, tech­nol­ogy, equip­ment, train­ing, and expe­ri­ence between hun­dreds of cities and towns in every region of the world. MIC offers a very direct and cost-effective medium for devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion, bring­ing together peers in part­ner­ships based on appro­pri­ate pro­fes­sional exper­tise, inno­va­tion, joint-ownership and mutual benefit.

Long before the Earth Sum­mit, local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions like the Inter­na­tional Union of Local Author­i­ties (IULA), the United Towns Orga­ni­za­tion (UTO), Sis­ter Cities Inter­na­tional and the Arab Towns Orga­ni­za­tion (ATO) orga­nized a vari­ety of inter­na­tional pro­grammes to share tech­ni­cal exper­tise on a North-South and East-West basis. The num­ber of LGOs specif­i­cally ded­i­cated to MIC increased dra­mat­i­cally in the 1980s, when groups such as the United Towns Devel­op­ment Agency (UTDA), the Orga­ni­za­tion of Islamic Cap­i­tals and Cities, ICLEI, the MegaC­i­ties Project, CITYNET, Euroc­i­ties and oth­ers were formed.

Expan­sion of MIC activ­i­ties was fur­ther increased by the grow­ing invest­ments of national munic­i­pal asso­ci­a­tions in devel­op­ment assis­tance projects. Dur­ing the 1990s alone, asso­ci­a­tions such as the Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Munic­i­pal­i­ties, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Nether­lands Munic­i­pal­i­ties, and the UK Local Gov­ern­ment Inter­na­tional Bureau have spon­sored major tech­ni­cal assis­tance and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer pro­grammes involv­ing hun­dreds of municipalities.

Since the Earth Sum­mit, these national and inter­na­tional LGOs have increas­ingly focused their inter­na­tional assis­tance activ­i­ties on sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. Dozens of spe­cial­ized multi-city and twin city projects have been imple­mented on urban envi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment, potable water sup­ply, trans­port, energy man­age­ment, solid waste man­age­ment, waste water man­age­ment, coastal pro­tec­tion, fresh water sup­ply, haz­ardous waste man­age­ment, refor­esta­tion, parks man­age­ment and dozens of sim­i­lar top­ics.8

MIC net­works and projects serve as a par­al­lel and com­ple­men­tary tech­ni­cal assis­tance sys­tem to the inter­na­tional devel­op­ment assis­tance sys­tem. Increas­ingly, bilat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral donor insti­tu­tions have financed these net­works directly to deliver appro­pri­ate and low-cost assis­tance. Since the Earth Sum­mit, sup­port­ers of these net­works have included UNDP, the World Bank, UNCHS, the Euro­pean Union and the bilat­eral assis­tance agen­cies of Nor­way, Swe­den, Den­mark, Nether­lands, Ger­many, France, Canada, United States and many other countries.


C. Local Imple­men­ta­tion of Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment
– Lessons from the Field


1. Par­tic­i­pa­tion and the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Process
– Local Agenda 21 in Caja­marca, Peru

Val­ues and Prin­ci­ples for Success

Par­tic­i­pa­tory local action plan­ning — or “Local Agenda 21″ plan­ning — has proven to be a par­tic­u­larly valu­able way to advance sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in devel­op­ing coun­try cities and towns. By engag­ing all sec­tors to jointly address pri­or­ity local prob­lems, it mobi­lizes local resources and increases pub­lic will to affect change. This helps to over­come the weak finan­cial con­di­tion of many devel­op­ing coun­try munic­i­pal­i­ties and increases polit­i­cal pres­sure upon key insti­tu­tions — such as the munic­i­pal­ity or pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions — to sup­port change. Fur­ther­more, Local Agenda 21 plan­ning has proven to be a use­ful means to sup­port suc­cess­ful local responses to decen­tral­iza­tion policies.

Case Sum­mary

The Provin­cial Munic­i­pal­ity of Caja­marca, Peru ranks among the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties in the world. In 1993, the infant mor­tal­ity rate was 82% higher than the Peru­vian national aver­age, and was 30% higher than the aver­age for the world’s low income coun­tries. The Province’s main river has been pol­luted by min­ing oper­a­tions and untreated sewage. Farm­ing on the steep Andean hill­sides, over­graz­ing, and cut­ting of trees for fuel has resulted in severe soil erosion.

In 1993, the Mayor of Caja­marca ini­ti­ated an exten­sive Local Agenda 21 plan­ning effort for the Province. This effort had two main com­po­nents. The first was a dra­matic decen­tral­iza­tion of the provin­cial gov­ern­ment so that local gov­ern­ment deci­sions would reflect the needs of the Province’s many small and remote com­mu­ni­ties. Caja­marca City was divided into 12 neigh­bor­hood Coun­cils and the sur­round­ing coun­try­side into 64 “minor pop­u­lated cen­ters” (MPCs), each with their own elected May­ors and Coun­cils. The Provin­cial Coun­cil was recon­sti­tuted into a body with 48 May­ors from the MPCs, 12 Caja­marca City May­ors, 12 Dis­trict May­ors, and the Provin­cial Mayor.

The sec­ond ele­ment of the ini­tia­tive is the cre­ation of a Provin­cial Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Plan. An Inter-Institutional Con­sen­sus Build­ing Com­mit­tee was estab­lished with rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the Province’s dif­fer­ent juris­dic­tions, NGOs, pri­vate sec­tor, and key con­stituency groups. Six “Theme Boards” were estab­lished under this Com­mit­tee to develop action pro­pos­als in the fol­low­ing areas: Edu­ca­tion; Nat­ural Resources and Agri­cul­tural Pro­duc­tion; Pro­duc­tion and Employ­ment; Cul­tural Her­itage and Tourism; Urban Envi­ron­ment; and Women’s Issues, Fam­ily, and Pop­u­la­tion. These Theme Boards were charged with cre­at­ing a strate­gic plan for their respec­tive areas. Train­ing work­shops were held in the new local author­i­ties to gather local input, and edu­ca­tional note­books were pre­pared for the local May­ors to use in dis­cussing pro­pos­als and ideas with their constituents.

The plans pre­pared by the Theme Boards were inte­grated into a Provin­cial Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Plan, which was sub­mit­ted to the Provin­cial Coun­cil in August, 1994. Hav­ing received approval, after a series of pub­lic edu­ca­tion work­shops about the Plan, the Plan was sub­mit­ted for pub­lic approval through a cit­i­zens’ referendum.

Since that time, the Theme Boards have con­tin­ued their work, rais­ing funds and cre­at­ing part­ner­ships to imple­ment the Plan. Projects have included pro­vi­sion of potable water, san­i­ta­tion, envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tion, and rural elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. In total, the Local Agenda 21 process has mobi­lized more than U.S.$21 mil­lion for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment activ­i­ties since 1993.

Source: The Provin­cial Munic­i­pal­ity of Caja­marca and UNDPCSD/ICLEIThe Role of Local Author­i­ties in Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, New York, April 1995.


2. The Use of Flex­i­ble Pub­lic Reg­u­la­tion to Pro­mote
Pol­lu­tion Pre­ven­tion — The Green Builder Pro­gram of Austin, U.S.A.

Val­ues and Prin­ci­ples for Success

Pub­lic reg­u­la­tion of pri­vate and munic­i­pal activ­i­ties has proven to be a fun­da­men­tal ingre­di­ent to improve­ments in envi­ron­men­tal and social con­di­tions at the local level. How­ever, reg­u­la­tions have been justly crit­i­cized for their inflex­i­bil­ity, bureau­cratic costs, and insen­si­tiv­ity to the unique con­di­tions of reg­u­lated par­ties. Nev­er­the­less, these crit­i­cisms jus­tify reg­u­la­tory reforms, not reg­u­la­tory aban­don­ment. Sys­tems of reg­u­la­tion can be estab­lished that main­tain a min­i­mum stan­dard of per­for­mance for all actors while offer­ing reg­u­la­tory relief to those actors who con­sis­tently exceed reg­u­la­tory stan­dards of per­for­mance through alter­na­tive, vol­un­tary means.

Case Sum­mary

Like most local gov­ern­ments, the City of Austin, Texas, reg­u­lates the prac­tices of pri­vate builders through its munic­i­pal Build­ing Code. The Build­ing Code imposes hun­dreds of spec­i­fi­ca­tions on con­struc­tion site prepa­ra­tion and build­ing design, rang­ing from lot size to win­dow require­ments to the types of mate­ri­als used in con­struc­tion. In 1986, Austin amended its Build­ing Code to include an Energy Code, which estab­lished min­i­mum energy-related stan­dards for floors, walls, win­dows and doors, roofs, air infil­tra­tion, insu­la­tion, light­ing, heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem effi­cien­cies, solar expo­sure and shad­ing, and the use of waste heat. Par­al­lel to this upgrad­ing of build­ing reg­u­la­tion, the City pro­vided a vol­un­tary com­pli­ance mech­a­nism which builders could use to achieve the Energy Code’s energy effi­ciency stan­dards through alter­na­tive mea­sures than those spec­i­fied in the Code. That mech­a­nism was the Energy Star Rat­ing System.

Estab­lished in 1985, the Energy Star Rat­ing Sys­tem is a vol­un­tary pro­gramme in which munic­i­pal staff audit and rate the energy effi­ciency of new res­i­den­tial build­ings accord­ing to a com­pre­hen­sive set of cri­te­ria. Build­ing designs that achieve the per­for­mance stan­dards of the Energy Code are relieved of rel­e­vant design spec­i­fi­ca­tions in the Code. In addi­tion, these high per­for­mance build­ings are mar­keted to home buy­ers by the munic­i­pal­ity and the local real estate bro­ker­age indus­try as supe­rior homes.

Due to the dual incen­tive of poten­tial reg­u­la­tory relief and mar­ket­ing sup­port, more than 50 sep­a­rate builders and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pated in the Energy Star pro­gramme between 1986 and 1992, result­ing in the rat­ing of more than 90% of the new res­i­den­tial build­ings con­structed dur­ing that time — a num­ber exceed­ing 4,000 new homes.

Build­ing upon the suc­cess of the Energy Star sys­tem, in 1991 the City of Austin decided to expand its vol­un­tary rat­ing frame­work to include a vari­ety of other sus­tain­abil­ity cri­te­ria in home con­struc­tion. That year, the Energy Star sys­tem was expanded into the Green Builder Pro­gram whose four-star rat­ing sys­tem focuses on energy sav­ings, sus­tain­able build­ing mate­ri­als and mate­ri­als recy­cling, water con­ser­va­tion, and waste. The rat­ing sys­tem applies a life­cy­cle approach, address­ing upstream and down­stream impacts of mate­ri­als and home resource con­sump­tion pat­terns. In addi­tion to res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, the Green Builder Pro­gram also cov­ers all munic­i­pal build­ing projects, includ­ing the munic­i­pal air­port and pub­lic hous­ing. A Com­mer­cial Green Builder Pro­gram also has been established.

The rapid expan­sion of the Green Builder Pro­gram — presently involv­ing more than 150 builders — requires that the City oper­ates the rat­ing sys­tem on a self-rating basis. In order to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram­mme, builders must par­tic­i­pate in a half-day rat­ing train­ing ses­sion and pledge accu­rate and hon­est rat­ing of their build­ings. The accu­racy of the vol­un­tary rat­ings is ran­domly con­firmed by munic­i­pal employees.

A recent study of the actual energy con­sump­tion of a supe­rior Green Builder home with a home that merely com­plies with the Energy Code showed that the Green Builder home used 48% less elec­tric­ity and 34% less nat­ural gas than the stan­dard Code home. In addi­tion, the aver­age Green Builder home is esti­mated to use 114,000 less gal­lons of fresh water per year than the stan­dard Build­ing Code home, and dis­charges 22,000 less gal­lons of grey­wa­ter per year into the munic­i­pal sew­er­age system.

The Austin Green Builder Pro­gram could not have gen­er­ated such wide­spread vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion with­out the under­ly­ing reg­u­la­tory require­ments of the Energy Code. It serves as an excel­lent exam­ple of the flex­i­ble and effec­tive use of pub­lic reg­u­la­tion for sus­tain­able development.

Source: ICLEICase Study #5: Hous­ing Con­struc­tion (Toronto, ICLEI: 1992).


3. Build­ing Local Gov­ern­ment Capac­ity for Sus­tain­able
Devel­op­ment in Mex­ico City, Mex­ico and Quito, Ecuador

Val­ues and Prin­ci­ples for Success

Decen­tral­iza­tion and the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of munic­i­pal juris­dic­tions is often a pre­req­ui­site to address­ing the pol­lu­tion prob­lems of many fast-growing cities.

Case Sum­mary

For decades, Mex­ico City, Mex­ico and Quito, Ecuador were known for their pol­lu­tion prob­lems. How­ever, shortly after spe­cial leg­is­la­tion was passed in each city, pro­vid­ing their local gov­ern­ments with increased admin­is­tra­tive, polit­i­cal, and fis­cal pow­ers, the respec­tive cities achieved dra­matic improve­ments in envi­ron­men­tal conditions.

In the 1970s, Mex­ico City estab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion as both the largest and most pol­luted city in the world. By the mid-80s the city’s 2.5 mil­lion vehi­cles con­sumed 20 mil­lion liters of gaso­line and diesel fuel each day. The city’s 35,000 indus­tries and ser­vice facil­i­ties daily used 1.8 mil­lion liters of fuel oil and 340 mil­lion cubic feet of nat­ural gas. These fuels were burned mainly in old vehi­cles and in obso­lete indus­trial facil­i­ties. Ninety-seven per­cent of all gaso­line con­sumed con­tained lead, while diesel and fuel oil had high sul­fur con­tent. The com­bined daily com­bus­tion of these fuels pro­duced 11,700 tons of pol­lu­tants. The national gov­ern­ment seemed pow­er­less to stop the down­wards spi­ral of one its great cities into an envi­ron­men­tal oblivion.

Then, in 1989, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of Mex­ico estab­lished the “Gen­eral Law of Eco­log­i­cal Bal­ance and Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion,” which, among other things, decen­tral­ized author­ity to con­trol sources of pol­lu­tion to states and munic­i­pal­i­ties. Arti­cle 9 of the law granted Mex­ico City the author­ity to reg­u­late emis­sions from busi­nesses, ser­vice indus­tries and all mobile sources, to reg­u­late urban devel­op­ment, land use, vehi­cle traf­fic, and to oper­ate envi­ron­men­tal laboratories.

That same year the mayor of Mex­ico City launched a munic­i­pal clean air ini­tia­tive with­out prece­dent in the world. The ini­tia­tive imple­mented a clean fuel pro­gramme which reduced lead con­tent in gaso­line by 50% and enriched its oxy­gen con­tent. The pro­gramme pro­vided a new gas-oil fuel for indus­try to reduce sul­fur con­tent by 33%. It replaced fuel oil in the city’s power plants with nat­ural gas. In addi­tion to these mea­sures, the city admin­is­tra­tion imple­mented 1,865 par­tial or tem­po­rary clo­sures of local indus­try and 62 high pol­lu­tion indus­tries were per­ma­nently closed.

The city also invested in a major expan­sion of the pub­lic tran­sit sys­tem, adding 10 miles to the sub­way sys­tem, retro­fitting 3,500 buses with low emis­sion engines, adding 250 elec­tric buses, and replac­ing 55,000 taxis with 1991 or newer mod­els. A trial pro­gramme called “A Day With­out Car” lim­ited the use of pri­vate cars to six days per week and reduced gaso­line con­sump­tion in the city by 12% in the first year.

Within the first year of these and other mea­sures, Mex­ico City saw a 23% reduc­tion in total pol­lu­tant emis­sions — over two thou­sand tons per day. Air qual­ity indexes for car­bon monox­ide, sul­fur oxides, hydro­car­bons, and lead ranged from 10–15%. Win­ter ozone lev­els decreased by more than 40%.

Like the Mex­ico City model, Quito’s abil­ity to address the sys­temic roots of its key envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems was dra­mat­i­cally strength­ened with the pas­sage of the 1993 Met­ro­pol­i­tan Dis­trict Law in Ecuador. This law was ini­ti­ated by the Munic­i­pal­ity of Quito in 1990 and adopted by the National Con­gress in 1993.

The law per­mits the Munic­i­pal­ity to estab­lish its own local envi­ron­men­tal ordi­nances for activ­i­ties within its juris­dic­tion. For­merly, envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions had to be approved by the National Con­gress. As a result, the Munic­i­pal­ity now inde­pen­dently con­trols land-use, build­ing and con­struc­tion, pub­lic and pri­vate trans­porta­tion, and envi­ron­men­tal con­t­a­m­i­na­tion. Addi­tion­ally, the law was used to increase the juris­dic­tion of the new Met­ro­pol­i­tan Dis­trict to include the entire urban area, so that land-use and trans­porta­tion could take place for the first time on a met­ro­pol­i­tan basis.

Since pas­sage of the law, the Munic­i­pal­ity has estab­lished a light rail tran­sit sys­tem, a pol­lu­tion mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, and a flood, ero­sion and risk con­trol pro­gramme. It is extend­ing the water and san­i­ta­tion sys­tem in the met­ro­pol­i­tan area, with a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in reduc­ing dis­charges into local rivers. The Munic­i­pal­ity also has pre­pared a local ordi­nance for the con­trol of all haz­ardous indus­trial wastes and pri­vate vehi­cle emissions.

The cases of Mex­ico City and Quito illus­trate that the simul­ta­ne­ous decen­tral­iza­tion of respon­si­bil­i­ties, legal pow­ers, and finan­cial means to munic­i­pal­i­ties can result in dra­matic improve­ments in envi­ron­men­tal conditions.

Source: ICLEIInstruc­tions for a Sus­tain­able Future (1992) and var­i­ous reports pre­pared for ICLEI by the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Dis­trict of Quito (1996).


4. Local Imple­men­ta­tion of Inter­na­tional Envi­ron­men­tal Accords
– The Case of Local Cli­mate Action Plan­ning in
Han­nover & Saar­brücken, Germany

Val­ues and Prin­ci­ples for Success

The imple­men­ta­tion of inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal accords gen­er­ally requires action at the local level. Timely and effec­tive local responses to these accords can be facil­i­tated by includ­ing local gov­ern­ments in the nego­ti­a­tion process as well as in the prepa­ra­tion of national level action plans.

In the case of global cli­mate change, the largest source of green­house gas emis­sions is energy con­sump­tion in urban-based indus­try, trans­porta­tion, and build­ing heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tems. Local gov­ern­ments have a vari­ety of instru­ments at their con­trol to reduce energy con­sump­tion, but their ulti­mate suc­cess in achiev­ing global green­house gas reduc­tion tar­gets will depend upon sup­port and coop­er­a­tion from indus­try and util­ity com­pa­nies, national and sub­na­tional gov­ern­ment, and households.

Case Sum­mary

In 1991, four­teen local gov­ern­ments from North Amer­ica, Europe, and the Mid­dle East joined with ICLEI to develop a method­ol­ogy for local cli­mate action plan­ning. Sup­ported by the US Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency and pri­vate foun­da­tions, this method­ol­ogy estab­lished a base­line inven­tory of green­house gas (GHG) emis­sions for each city, a sce­nario of emis­sions growth until 2005, and a plan for mea­sures to reduce emis­sions. Through this expe­ri­ence, ICLEI demon­strated a clear role for local gov­ern­ments in the imple­men­ta­tion of the pend­ing UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change.

The cities of Han­nover (pop­u­la­tion 514,000) and Saar­brücken (pop­u­la­tion 189,000), Ger­many com­pleted their local cli­mate action plans in 1994. Both munic­i­pal­i­ties have been world­wide lead­ers in local energy effi­ciency and renew­able energy strate­gies. The CO2 emis­sions inven­to­ries pre­pared by each city high­lighted the extent to which emis­sions reduc­tions could be best achieved by reduc­ing heat­ing and elec­tric­ity demand in res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and indus­trial buildings.

The Han­nover action plan aims to reduce total CO2 emis­sions 25% by 2005. The total esti­mated annual CO2 emis­sions of the city of Han­nover was esti­mated to be 10.8 mil­lion tonnes. This esti­mate includes life­cy­cle emis­sions from upstream energy inputs in its cal­cu­la­tions. Energy end-use for build­ings and indus­try (elec­tric­ity, heat­ing and cool­ing) in Han­nover accounts for 83% of total emis­sions. The trans­porta­tion sec­tor accounts for 17% of the city’s CO2 emissions.

As of 1997, the energy effi­ciency mea­sures of the munic­i­pal­ity and its munic­i­pal energy util­ity since 1990 are esti­mated to result in a an annual reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions of 199,000 tonnes. This accounts for a 2.2% annual reduc­tion in CO2 emis­sions from build­ings and indus­try and a 1.8% annual reduc­tion of total CO2 equiv­a­lent emis­sions. Hannover’s mea­sures range from increas­ing the expan­sion of com­bined heat and power facil­i­ties, chang­ing in energy costs (least cost plan­ning) to encour­age energy retro­fit activ­i­ties in build­ings, and retro­fitting of pub­lic build­ings includ­ing schools. Among Hannover’s most impor­tant ini­tia­tives is a “green pric­ing” util­ity rate for elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by five new wind gen­er­a­tion facil­i­ties. Util­ity cus­tomers are will­ing to pay a pre­mium for this clean, wind energy.

The Saar­brücken action plan also sets a tar­get of 25% reduc­tion in CO2 emis­sions by 2005. How­ever, unlike Han­nover, Saar­brücken did not fac­tor upstream emis­sions in its cal­cu­la­tions. Nonethe­less, the Saar­brücken plan builds upon an out­stand­ing record of achieve­ment in the 1980s which pro­duced a 15% reduc­tion in CO2 emis­sions from city-wide heat­ing demand and a reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions from munic­i­pal build­ings of 37% between 1980 and 1990. An expan­sion of these pro­grammes, as well as an inno­v­a­tive pro­gramme to finance solar energy con­ver­sions for res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial build­ings, has pro­duced an annual reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions of 1% between 1990 and 1996.

The progress of Han­nover and Saar­brücken since 1990 demon­strates that last­ing reduc­tions in CO2 emis­sions can be achieved with­out dam­ag­ing local eco­nomic health. In addi­tion to their own energy effi­ciency mea­sures, these cases high­light the role that munic­i­pal­i­ties can play in intro­duc­ing new, renew­able energy tech­nolo­gies to the market.

How­ever, both munic­i­pal­i­ties report that they are unlikely to achieve their 25% reduc­tion tar­gets on their own. In order to achieve the lev­els of reduc­tions required to pro­tect the global cli­mate, munic­i­pal­i­ties require fur­ther com­mit­ment and sup­port­ive actions by national gov­ern­ments, indus­try and house­holds — such as energy taxes, mea­sures to reduce the growth of pri­vate auto­mo­bile trans­porta­tion, and indus­trial effi­ciency measures.

Source: The Urban CO2 Reduc­tion Strate­gies of Han­nover and Saar­brücken and staff reports from the Han­nover energy util­ity (Stadtwerke Han­nover) and the Saar­brücken Energy Department.


5. Pro­tec­tion of Bio­di­ver­sity as a Local Man­age­ment Chal­lenge
– Multi-Functional Park Design and Man­age­ment in Dur­ban, South Africa

Val­ues and Prin­ci­ples for Success

Among all the envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems addressed by inter­na­tional agree­ments, the pro­tec­tion of bio­di­ver­sity, in par­tic­u­lar, rep­re­sents a local man­age­ment chal­lenge. The sur­vival of each species requires the main­te­nance of spe­cific eco­log­i­cal con­di­tions in geo­graph­i­cally dis­tinct habi­tats. As humans estab­lish set­tle­ments and eco­nomic activ­i­ties on all of Earth’s ter­rain, main­te­nance of these con­di­tions requires site-specific plan­ning, man­age­ment, and inte­gra­tion of local social and eco­log­i­cal requirements.

His­tor­i­cally, most human set­tle­ments have been estab­lished with lit­tle ref­er­ence to local eco­log­i­cal fea­tures and indige­nous species. How­ever, a grow­ing num­ber of local gov­ern­ments have begun to fac­tor habi­tat pro­tec­tion and species repro­duc­tion issues into munic­i­pal plan­ning and devel­op­ment approval pro­ce­dures. In so doing, they are pio­neer­ing new ways to cre­ate more sym­bi­otic rela­tion­ships between local res­i­dents and their neigh­bors in the plant and wildlife communities.

Case Sum­mary

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Dur­ban (pop­u­la­tion 3.5 mil­lion) is located in a high rain­fall tran­si­tion area between trop­i­cal and tem­per­ate zones and has an almost full rep­re­sen­ta­tion of species from both zones. Ad hoc urban­iza­tion in the city’s cen­tral core, cou­pled with poverty, over­crowd­ing, and poor munic­i­pal ser­vices in the periph­eral town­ship areas, has lead to the degra­da­tion of the major ecosys­tems in the city — forests are being stripped for fire­wood and build­ing mate­ri­als, soil ero­sion is rife, rivers are pol­luted with untreated waste­water, and nat­ural areas are being cleared for devel­op­ment. In an attempt to alle­vi­ate both the eco­log­i­cal and social prob­lems it faced, the city estab­lished the Dur­ban Met­ro­pol­i­tan Open Space Sys­tem (D’MOSS) as part of its long-term land use plan.

D’MOSS employs a holis­tic approach to park devel­op­ment, incor­po­rat­ing both social and eco­log­i­cal cri­te­ria into park design and man­age­ment. To ensure that local res­i­dents respect sen­si­tive eco­log­i­cal areas, the munic­i­pal­ity involves res­i­dents in neigh­bor­ing park devel­op­ment through a con­tin­u­ous con­sul­ta­tion process that aims to estab­lish com­pat­i­ble social and envi­ron­men­tal uses of the parks. By using park areas to pro­vide abut­ting neigh­bor­hoods with ser­vices such as waste water treat­ment, schools, health clin­ics, and com­mu­nity gar­dens, the parks are being designed to meet the recre­ational, edu­ca­tional, health, and eco­nomic needs of a diverse group of cit­i­zens. Fur­ther­more, the munic­i­pal­ity trains and employs local peo­ple in the con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of sec­tions of the parks, thus pro­vid­ing edu­ca­tion and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties while devel­op­ing munic­i­pal services.

Along with this very sig­nif­i­cant social com­po­nent, the parks are designed to ful­fill a num­ber of dif­fer­ent envi­ron­men­tal func­tions for the city. In par­tic­u­lar, D’MOSS gives the local gov­ern­ment and its cit­i­zens the oppor­tu­nity to play a cru­cial role in main­tain­ing, and increas­ing, biodiversity.

In most cities and towns, urban con­ser­va­tion is con­cerned with the sur­vival of “islands” of veg­e­ta­tion and wildlife in a “sea” of build­ing devel­op­ment. The pop­u­la­tions within these islands are cut off from the main body of their par­tic­u­lar plant or ani­mal com­mu­nity. This under­mines the long-term sur­vival of the iso­lated species — the small pop­u­la­tions in these com­mu­ni­ties decrease the like­li­hood of uccess­ful repro­duc­tion, reduce genetic diver­sity, and increase vul­ner­a­bil­ity to nat­ural dis­as­ters and com­pe­ti­tion from inva­sive, non-native species. D’MOSS plan­ners have adopted phys­i­cal design prin­ci­ples which aim to estab­lish and main­tain links between these rem­nant patches of orig­i­nal nat­ural veg­e­ta­tion and to restore dis­turbed areas to their nat­ural state. Large and small nature reserves are being con­nected by nat­ural area cor­ri­dors that serve as bio­log­i­cal links. These cor­ri­dors enhance plant and ani­mal habi­tats and max­i­mize nat­ural dis­per­sal of plant and ani­mal species. The link­ages allow genetic trans­fers between the areas thereby main­tain­ing diver­sity both in species num­bers and in genetic mate­r­ial within a species. In keep­ing with the multi-functional design strat­egy, the cor­ri­dors include rus­tic trails fea­tur­ing inter­pre­ta­tive charts, bird-watching blinds, and pic­nic sites, for recre­ational use by local citizens.

Even­tu­ally the park sys­tem will form a grid across the entire city, with the prin­ci­pal axes fol­low­ing the coast and sev­eral river val­leys run­ning per­pen­dic­u­lar to the coast. The water­courses will be retained in their nat­ural state with indige­nous vegetation.

In addi­tion to estab­lish­ing bio­log­i­cal link­ages, Dur­ban will under­take a process of active man­age­ment to restore miss­ing habi­tats and to encour­age the re-establishment of indige­nous plant and ani­mal com­mu­ni­ties. Costs for this part of the project will be min­i­mized through the appli­ca­tion of bio­geo­graph­i­cal design prin­ci­ples which allow nat­ural dis­per­sal to assist active management.

As an exam­ple of the prac­ti­cal ini­tia­tives under­way, Dur­ban is devel­op­ing a nurs­ery for indige­nous med­i­c­i­nal shrubs and trees aimed at pro­vid­ing an alter­na­tive sup­ply of tra­di­tional plant mate­r­ial. City staff will teach herbal­ists and traders how to grow these plants. Through this and other ini­tia­tives, Dur­ban is cre­at­ing a multi-functional park sys­tem which addresses both envi­ron­men­tal and social needs.

Source: ICLEICase Study #27: Multi-Functional Park Design and Man­age­ment(Toronto, ICLEI: 1995).


D. Obsta­cles to the Local Imple­men­ta­tion
of Sus­tain­able Development

The sur­veys and case study analy­sis under­taken for this report iden­ti­fied a num­ber of com­mon obsta­cles to the local imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able development.

Obsta­cle 1

In most coun­tries, exist­ing poli­cies and fis­cal frame­works at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment serve as bar­ri­ers to effi­cient resource use and devel­op­ment con­trol at the local level. At the local level these bar­ri­ers include statu­tory munic­i­pal devel­op­ment plans and bud­get pri­or­i­ties that do not reflect Local Agenda 21 or sus­tain­able devel­op­ment objec­tives. Of equal impor­tance, most munic­i­pal­i­ties apply old land-use, build­ing and pub­lic health require­ments that dis­cour­age the design of neigh­bor­hoods that sup­port pub­lic tran­sit or of build­ings that use new tech­nolo­gies for water, energy and waste water man­age­ment. At the state and national lev­els, gov­ern­ments main­tain bar­ri­ers such as sub­si­dies and other eco­nomic incentives/disincentives that encour­age unsus­tain­able practices.

The cen­tral­ized con­trol of local bud­gets and resources, and poor coor­di­na­tion of national invest­ment plans with local pri­or­i­ties can seri­ously under­mine the abil­ity of local gov­ern­ments to imple­ment their Local Agenda 21 action plans. Numer­ous exam­ples can be found of local gov­ern­ments whose aims to increase pub­lic tran­sit ser­vices and dis­cour­age pri­vate vehi­cle use are con­tra­dicted by nationally-supported road build­ing schemes or trans­porta­tion subsidies.

A fur­ther area of con­tra­dic­tion between local plans and state and national efforts is the lax enforce­ment or dereg­u­la­tion of pol­lut­ing activ­i­ties. Local gov­ern­ments play an impor­tant role in the enforce­ment of national envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards, but their efforts can only suc­ceed if they are fully sup­ported at other lev­els of gov­ern­ment. Like­wise, local gov­ern­ments can make seri­ous efforts to improve local envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions, but these efforts often can be mar­gin­al­ized if other lev­els of gov­ern­ment fail to enforce reg­u­la­tions on the facil­i­ties of major man­u­fac­tur­ers or nat­ural resource industries.

Obsta­cle 2

The rev­enue gen­er­a­tion options of local gov­ern­ments are reg­u­lated and restricted by national and state-level poli­cies; how­ever, at the same time, national and state-level gov­ern­ments con­tinue to trans­fer their fis­cal prob­lems to the local level. This is com­monly achieved by mak­ing local gov­ern­ments respon­si­ble for ser­vices or gov­ern­ment func­tions that were tra­di­tion­ally the respon­si­bil­ity of national gov­ern­ment — with­out trans­fer­ring the tra­di­tional rev­enues for this pur­pose. Such trans­fers under­mine efforts to build stronger local gov­ern­ments. With­out the par­al­lel estab­lish­ment of new sources of local rev­enues, these trans­fers also gen­er­ally weaken pub­lic sec­tor capac­ity to imple­ment new social and envi­ron­men­tal mandates.

Obsta­cle 3

The estab­lish­ment and enforce­ment of national reg­u­la­tory stan­dards is a pre­req­ui­site to improved local gov­ern­ment per­for­mance in a wide vari­ety of areas, includ­ing air pol­lu­tion and water qual­ity con­trol, waste reduc­tion, and pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion. While local gov­ern­ments wel­come ongo­ing review of reg­u­la­tory approaches, dereg­u­la­tion cre­ates a dual bar­rier to local imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment — it both legal­izes prac­tices that cause social and envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems and it increases the com­plex­ity of hold­ing insti­tu­tions account­able for the prob­lems they cause.

Obsta­cle 4

The devel­op­ment of resource effi­cient, socially vibrant (i.e., sus­tain­able) cities requires local con­trol of devel­op­ment accord­ing to clear, locally-determined strate­gies and prin­ci­ples. How­ever, the open­ing of global mar­kets is accel­er­at­ing invest­ments and devel­op­ment activ­i­ties in cities by exter­nal actors, such as transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions, which have min­i­mal incen­tive to be account­able and com­mit­ted to local devel­op­ment strategies.

Obsta­cle 5

The unsus­tain­able design and pack­ag­ing of con­sumer prod­ucts is a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to local envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. Con­sumer prod­ucts and pack­ag­ing account for a large por­tion of the local solid waste stream, con­tain high lev­els of toxic sub­stances, and rarely employ best avail­able tech­nol­ogy to max­i­mize energy and water effi­ciency. Local gov­ern­ments have few direct con­trols over the prod­ucts that are sold and used in their jurisdictions.


Donor agen­cies, often the same as those which pro­moted and pro­mul­gated decen­tral­iza­tion and admin­is­tra­tive reform, instead of try­ing to build capac­ity at the local level, return to the very paras­tatal and cen­tral gov­ern­ment agen­cies in their efforts to inte­grate envi­ron­men­tal and devel­op­ment con­sid­er­a­tions and more sus­tain­able approaches to project design and imple­men­ta­tion. These are the same con­trol gov­ern­ment agen­cies which have weak­ened the capac­ity of local author­i­ties for the past two decades. This pur­suit of rapid results has frus­trated seri­ous attempts in build­ing capac­ity at the local author­ity level. Such capac­ity is essen­tial for the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity of devel­op­ment efforts and initiatives.

UNCHS in Mak­ing Cities Work: The Role of Local Author­i­ties in the Urban Envi­ron­ment, R. Gilbert et al, 1996, Earth­scan Pub­li­ca­tions, London.

E. Rec­om­men­da­tions for Improved Local Per­for­mance for Sus­tain­able Development

On the basis of the pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied obsta­cles, and reflect­ing the suc­cess­ful responses to these obsta­cles iden­ti­fied at the local level, ICLEI sub­mits the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions to improve sus­tain­able devel­op­ment efforts at the local level.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 1 –
Strengthen and sup­port the Local Agenda 21 movement.

The Local Agenda 21 move­ment is one of the most exten­sive follow-up activ­i­ties to the Earth Sum­mit. To expand this move­ment, national gov­ern­ments, NGOs, and donor insti­tu­tions are encour­aged to sup­port the estab­lish­ment of national Local Agenda 21 cam­paigns. To inten­sify the imple­men­ta­tion of Local Agenda 21 action plans, local gov­ern­ments are strongly urged to for­mally link Local Agenda 21 plan­ning activ­i­ties with the annual bud­get­ing and statu­tory plan­ning activ­i­ties of the munic­i­pal­ity. It is fur­ther rec­om­mended that national and inter­na­tional invest­ment pro­grammes actively fac­tor the strate­gies and tar­gets of Local Agenda 21 action plans in the selec­tion and design of projects for their support.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 2 –
Har­mo­nize pub­lic sec­tor poli­cies and approaches.

Within each coun­try, estab­lish a part­ner­ship between national, state, and local lev­els of gov­ern­ment — per­haps within the frame­work of National Coun­cils for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment — to iden­tify and review poli­cies, legal frame­works, and fis­cal frame­works that inhibit sus­tain­able resource man­age­ment and social devel­op­ment. It is fur­ther rec­om­mended that the UNCSD request a pre­lim­i­nary review report on this topic to be pre­pared by the UNDPCSD and ICLEI for its sixth session.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 3 –
Increase local gov­ern­ment finan­cial capacities.

Estab­lish a global part­ner­ship of national gov­ern­ments, local gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions, and mul­ti­lat­eral and pri­vate lend­ing insti­tu­tions to devise and rec­om­mend local gov­ern­ment rev­enue enhance­ment strate­gies to accom­pany national decen­tral­iza­tion pro­grammes or “down load­ing” ini­tia­tives. Focus munic­i­pal devel­op­ment pro­gramme assis­tance on capacity-building in munic­i­pal finance.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 4 –
Estab­lish flex­i­ble reg­u­la­tory frame­works for all areas of Agenda 21.

The role of reg­u­la­tion in achiev­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment needs to be refined. How­ever reg­u­la­tory frame­works should be designed to con­sist of two inte­grated ele­ments: min­i­mum enforce­able stan­dards and a frame­work for flex­i­ble com­pli­ance using inno­v­a­tive vol­un­tary agree­ments and programmes.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 5 –
Increase pri­vate sec­tor account­abil­ity to Local Agen­das 21.

Estab­lish coop­er­a­tion agree­ments between LGOs and inter­na­tional busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions on a sector-by-sector basis to encour­age all busi­nesses and, in spe­cific, transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions to respect and sup­port the Local Agenda 21 strate­gies of the com­mu­ni­ties in which they invest and main­tain their operations.

Rec­om­men­da­tion 6 –
Orga­nize local gov­ern­ment pur­chas­ing pow­ers for sus­tain­able development.

Estab­lish inter­na­tional pro­to­cols among local gov­ern­ments on an inter­na­tional basis to use their pur­chas­ing and legal pow­ers to per­suade con­sumer prod­ucts man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers to achieve min­i­mum effi­ciency and waste reduc­tion stan­dards in prod­uct design and packaging.





  1. Brug­mann, J. Man­ag­ing Human Ecosys­tems. Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Local Envi­ron­men­tal Ini­tia­tives, Toronto, 1992.
  2. World Bank, Munic­i­pal Devel­op­ment Sec­tor Review. Decen­tral­iza­tion and Its Impli­ca­tions for Urban Ser­vice Deliv­ery. World Bank, Wash­ing­ton, 1993.
  3. Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Local Envi­ron­men­tal Initiatives/United Nations Depart­ment for Pol­icy Coor­di­na­tion and Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment. Local Agenda 21 Sur­vey: A Study of Responses by Local Author­i­ties and Their National and Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tions to Agenda 21. UNDPCSD, New York, 1997.
  4. Inter­na­tional Coun­cil for Local Envi­ron­men­tal Ini­tia­tives. Action Plan­ning, Kana­gawa Pre­fec­ture, Japan, (ICLEI Case Study Series Num­ber 28). ICLEI, Toronto, 1995.
  5. Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-operation and Devel­op­ment. Urban Envi­ron­men­tal Poli­cies for the 1990s. OECD, Paris, 1990.
  6. Jacob­son, M.R. Envi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment in the Munic­i­pal­ity of Aarhus. Paper pre­sented at the Con­fer­ence on Envi­ron­men­tally Effi­cient Cities, Sav­solito, U.S.A., 1991.
  7. Analy­sis made of doc­u­ments pro­vided by the Aus­tralian Local Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion, the Aus­tralian League of Cities, the Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Munic­i­pal­i­ties, the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Local Author­i­ties in Den­mark, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Finnish Local Author­i­ties, the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Local Author­i­ties of Ghana, the UK Local Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion, and the U.S. National League of Cities.
  8. Gilbert, R., et al. Mak­ing Cities Work: The Role of Local Author­i­ties in the Urban Envi­ron­ment. Earth­scan Pub­li­ca­tions Ltd., Lon­don, 1996.


April 1997 — Con­tents copy­right © 1997 ICLEI

World Government Isn’t Coming Its Here: The UN Is Coming The UN Is Coming


Nathan Laurenson


The mainstream media and mainline Americans have always made world government a conspiracy theory issue. Where is the global government conspiracy theorists? Guess what its here! In the last couple months it has been shoved right in our face and no one has noticed. In late August U S officials from the Obama administration met in Mexico to discuss the Arms Trade Treaty which comes right out of The UN’s disarmament office.

Last month the United Nations sent  Pope Francis to  America ahead of the roll out of Agenda 2030 ,which is an extension of Agenda 21. The United Nations general assembly met September 25-27 to discuss this plan to action.  Agenda 2030 is a 17 part plan for  Sustainable Development Goals with 169 associated targets. This is the social implementation of world government that will control humanity from cradle to grave through  healthcare, schools, the internet, police departments, city gov., county gov., state gov., environmental, food, water,  and all resources.

On September 29, 2015 Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that her office would be working in several cities to form this network with the United Nations called the Strong Cities Network. This is a law enforcement program that combats “violent extremism”. According to the  press release on  will fight extremism and collaborate with other cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities. So we will have international bodies over our cities. If the Atty General is involved with this, this will be over police departments because she is the nations top cop. Does everyone see why all of that federal money being doled out locally to departments was used to purchase off these local departments through federalization and now through globalization.

This is just a few points of the recent global push by the United Nations. I hope you see the pattern of  globalization, that  is here and is happening right now. Welcome to the New World Order and don’t worry if you resist your local Infragard agent will tell his superior, have you disappeared because under the NDAA your rights are a figment of your imagination.


U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on a rainy and foggy night in Romulus, Michigan, January 26, 2012.  REUTERS/Jason Reed  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)





I recently rode in the back seat of a car with President Obama (I know, scary right?).  We have some history with each other.  The car was slowed down to park beside the side entrance to a brick building .  Ahead of us were other acquaintances of the President peering down from a skywalk linking to another building.  I asked the President what he thought about all the people saying he has torn the U.S. Constitution to shreds.  His reply was rather flippant.  He basically said, “That is really no concern to me”.  The President then proceeds to exit the vehicle with a look of burdensome stress  on his face.  I reckon the pressures of the presidency has been getting to him.  Standing in front of the door of the building, he then executes some kind of happy-go-lucky attitudinal routine to loosen himself up before entering. Do you believe this really happened?  It DID happen, albeit only in a dream! lol, gotcha didn’t I.

Ok, seriously, in the last handful of days, 2 U.S. Senators, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have publicly challenged the President about the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) and the ultra secretive TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).

In an interview with Breitbart News on Saturday morning, when asked about the revelation that many Congressmen in the Republican Party voted to fast-track the TPP in the Senate—and many in the House GOP leadership have been pushing it—without reading the text of the TPP in the secret room inside the Capitol, Paul went ballistic.

“The American people are frustrated by Congress—Congress has about a 10 percent approval rating,” Paul said. “I think part of that is that they don’t think we’re taking the amount of time to do an adequate job to read the legislation. It’s sort of twofold: They don’t give us enough time, and they also make the bills too long. I have a bill called Read The Bills Act, and in it there’s a requirement that you have to wait one day for every 20 pages of legislation. So 800-page legislation [like Obamatrade] would wait 40 days. You’d wait 40 days so we’d have adequate time to read it. Yeah, I’m a believer that we should read legislation before we vote on it.”

Paul also said that “absolutely” President Barack Obama should immediately release the TPP text, instead of keeping it hidden from the public.

“It kind of boggles the mind,” Paul said “Who’s in charge of the administration that decides to keep a trade treaty secret? To keep it classified makes no sense at all.”

Paul also laid out how this deal would cede congressional authority to the administration even more—despite Obamatrade proponents’ arguments to the contrary.

“To me, it’s kind of you put the cart before the horse to give the permission to do something you haven’t seen,” Paul said. “They claim you’ll get to see it, again but you’ll only get an up-or-down vote with no amendments. Also, they get rid of some of the rules on—I guess it’s not, you can’t filibuster it either. It passes with a simple majority.”

On Monday,  U.S. Sen. Sessions (R-Ala.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, publicly released a letter he sent to President Obama to hold his feet to the fire due to unanswered questions from a previous letter sent about a month earlier as well as asking for information about the new global governance structure to be formed under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty. Sen. Sessions has been one of the main cogs opposing Obama and the GOP leadership about the ultra secretive Obamatrade agenda.

“On May 6th of this year, I sent you a letter (enclosed) regarding your request for Congress to grant you fast-track executive authority,” Senator Sessions reminds in his new letter to President Obama. “Under fast-track, Congress transfers its authority to the executive and agrees to give up several of its most basic powers. These concessions include: the power to write legislation, the power to amend legislation, the power to fully consider legislation on the floor, the power to keep debate open until Senate cloture is invoked, and the constitutional requirement that treaties receive a two-thirds vote.”

This latter point is crucial, the senator notes, “since, having been to the closed room to review the secret text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it is clear it more closely resembles a treaty than a trade deal. In other words, through fast-track, Congress would be pre-clearing a political and economic union before a word of that arrangement has been made available to a single private citizen.”

In his June 5 letter, Sessions reminds the president of previous unanswered requests: “I asked that you make public the section of the TPP that creates a new transnational governance structure known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission. The details of this new governance commission are extremely broad and have the hallmarks of a nascent European Union, with many similarities.”

Senator Sessions’most recent letter highlights one of the most subversive aspects of the TPP (and its sister agreements, the TTIP and TISA): the secrecy with which they are being negotiated and hiding the documents from public view and elected members of Congress, whose constitutional obligation is to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and, more importantly, to safeguard our constitutional Republic from subversive threats such as those presented by TPP/TTIP/TISA.

“Reviewing the secret text, plus the secret guidance document that accompanies it,” says Sessions, “reveals that this new transnational commission — chartered with a ‘Living Agreement’ clause — would have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental, and commercial policy. Under this new commission, the Sultan of Brunei would have an equal vote to that of the United States.”

President Obama and his GOP allies enjoy bragging about their self-proclaimed commitment to transparency and openness. Senator Sessions is trying to hold them accountable on this matter, demanding the TPP be brought out into open view— instead of attempting to push it through Congress on Fast Track, before Congress and the American people can thoroughly examine and debate it.

“The implications of this new Pacific Union are extraordinary and ought to be discussed in full, in public,” Sessions wrote, “before Congress even contemplates fast-tracking its creation and pre-surrendering its power to apply the constitutional two-thirds treaty vote. In effect, to adopt fast-track is to agree to remove the constitutional protections against the creation of global governance structures before those structures are even made public.”

Senator Sessions ends his letter by challenging President Obama to “provide to me the legal and constitutional basis for keeping this information from the public and explain why I cannot share the details of what I have read with the American people. Congress should not even consider fast-tracking the transfer of sovereign power to a transnational structure before the details of that new structure are made fully available for public review.”

Unfortunately, TPA seems to be making some headway this week  though House Speaker John A. Boehner wouldn’t declare victory ahead of a Friday showdown, saying only that Republicans will provide enough support but that it’s up to Mr. Obama to deliver dozens of his own party members.

“We’ll do our part, and I hope they’ll do their part,” he said.

The window of time is closing quickly on this TPP/TTIP/TISA nightmare as Congress seems to be owned by these transnational corporations.  But perhaps there is hope with Congressmen such as Paul and Sessions speaking out and wikileaks releasing these documents helping America to wake up from this bad dream.

Which reminds me. I had a previous dream about the President.  I had been doing some yard work for him.  So I knocked on the door to his house to receive payment.  The President and his wife answered the door and invited me in.  They showed me around before some others showed up.  After chit chatting a little, I told Mr. and Mrs. President I would be praying for them.  A huge smile appeared on Obama’s face.  After going outside, war was happening….Only God knows what the future holds.








Public law 87-297, the Arms Control and Disarmament Act signed by President Kennedy in 1961, calls for a ban on civilian firearm ownership and the United Nations taking control of the U.S. military.

“It is the purpose of this Act to provide impetus toward this goal by creating a new agency of peace to deal with the problem of reduction and control of armaments looking toward ultimate world disarmament,” the law states.


Section 2 states: “This organization must have the capacity to provide the essential scientific, economic, political, military, psychological, and technological information upon which realistic arms control and disarmament policy must be based.”  One of the primary functions it must be able to carry out is, “The dissemination and coordination of public information concerning arms control and disarmament.”

This sounds like an infowar waged against the American mindset as then U.S. Attorney Eric Holder in 1995 announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.

Section 3: “Arms” and Disarmaments” meaning, “the identification, verification, inspection, limitation, control, reduction, or elimination, of armed forces and armaments of all kinds under international agreement including the necessary steps taken under such an agreement to establish an effective sytem of inter-national control, or to create and strengthen international organizations for the maintenance of peace.” 

We are obviously talking about an all out hardcore global take over here. The director of this agency shall be appointed by the President and act as primary advisor to Secretary of State and the President in regards to arms disarmament matters and shall have supreme responsibility for overall functions of the agency having assistance from an entire organization of committees, advisors, deputy director, bureaus, divisions, offices, etc, whom shall have required meetings with the President, Secretary of State, and the Director of Arms and Disarmament Agency.

Now by The Arms Control and Disarmament Act, we are not just alluding to gun confiscations of individual citizens but entire disarmament of entire national military capabilities! According to Title III-Functions, section 31, the Act states,

The authority of the Director with respect to research, development,and other studies shall be limited to participation in the following in so far as they relate to arms control and disarmament:

(a) the detection, identification, inspection, monitoring, limitation, reduction, control, and elimination of armed forces and armaments, including thermonuclear, nuclear, missile, conventional, bacteriological, chemical, and radiological weapons;
(b) the techniques and systems of detecting, identifying, inspecting, and monitoring of tests of nuclear, thermonuclear, and other weapons;
(c) the analysis of national budgets, levels of industrial production, and economic indicators to determine the amounts spent by various countries for armaments;
(d) the control, reduction, and elimination of armed forces and armaments in space, in areas on and beneath the earth’s surface,and in underwater regions;
(e) the structure and operation of international control and other organizations useful for arms control and disarmament;
(f) the training of scientists, technicians, and other personnel for manning the control systems which may be created by international arms control and disarmament agreements……
(k) methods for the maintenance of peace and security during different stages of arms control and
(l) the scientific, economic, political, legal, social, psychological,military, and technological factors related to the prevention of war with a view to a better understanding of how the basic structure of a lasting peace may be established
Prevention of war huh? Good luck with that one! In the Patents section 31, the Act basically calls for complete and total transparency of all research within the U.S. “shall be provided for in such manner that all information as to uses,products, processes, patents, and other developments resulting from such research developed by Government expenditure will (with such exceptions and limitations, if any, as the Director may find to be necessary in the public interest) be available to the general public,…”  What a crock! We all know the pristine transparency reputation our federal government has earned right?! 
Policy Formation under section 33 seems to call for some Constitutional and affirmative Congressional legislative check and balance for powers made unto the President.  This is pretty laughable.
In the Negotiations and Related Functions section 34, the Act basically designates the Director as acting under the Secretary of State authority as U.S. representative to communicate with other nations and international organizations in matters relating to arms control and disarmament. Title IV-General Provisions, General Authority section 41 outlines the agency working with a number of other government agencies and compensation generalities.
CONTRACTS OR EXPENDITURES SEC. 43. states, “The President may, in advance, exempt actions of the Director from the provisions of law relating to contracts or expenditures of Government funds whenever he determines that such action is essential in the interest of United States arms control and disarmament and security policy.”  This sounds like government spending and corporate fascism gone wild.
Security Requirements, section 45 basically calls for background investigations into any persons, officers, employees, contractors acting with the agency to make sure loyalty to the World State (Brave New World) is not in question.  The Atomic Energy Commission must allow open door access of any restricted data to any said agent working for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for compliance control purposes.
Public Law 87-297 Arms Control and Disarmament Act is based on the Department of State Publication 7277 Dtd 1961

 Some primary points from this publication are as follows:
First, there must be immediate disarmament action….  Second, all disarmament obligations must be subject to effective international controls….Third, adequate peace-keeping machinery must be established….
The over-all goal of the United States is a free, secure, and peaceful world of independent states adhering to common standards of justice and international conduct and subjecting the use of force to the rule of law; a world which has achieved general and complete disarmament under effective international control;and a world in which adjustment to change takes place in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.
In order to make possible the achievement of that goal, the program sets forth the following specific objectives toward which nations should direct their efforts:
The disbanding of all national armed forces and the prohibition of their reestablishment in any form whatsoever other than those required to preserve internal order and for contributions to a United Nations Peace Force.
The elimination from national arsenals of all armaments, including all weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery, other than those required for a United Nations Peace Force and for maintaining internal order.
The institution of effective means for the enforcement of international agreements, for the settlement of disputes, and for the maintenance of peace in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.
The establishment and effective operation of an International Disarmament Organization within the framework of the United Nations to insure compliance at all times with all disarmament obligations.
As states relinquish their arms, the United Nations must be progressively strengthened in order to improve its capacity to assure international security and the peaceful settlement of disputes;
There would be a 3 stage disarmament.  In the first stage the nuclear threat, strategic delivery vehicles, arms and armed forces would all be reduced. Peaceful use of outer space would be promoted. U.N. peace-keeping powers would be strengthened. An International Disarmament Organization would be established for effective verification of the disarmament program. States would be committed to other measures to reduce international tension and to protect against the chance of war by accident,miscalculation, or surprise attack. 
The second stage simply calls for further development of steps already outlined in stage one.
During the third stage of the program, the states of the world,building on the experience and confidence gained in successfully implementing the measures of the first two stages, would take final steps toward the goal of a world in which:
States would retain only those forces, non-nuclear armaments, and establishments required for the purpose of maintaining internal order; they would also support and provide agreed manpower for a U.N. Peace Force.
The U.N. Peace Force, equipped with agreed types and quantities of armaments, would be fully functioning.
The manufacture of armaments would be prohibited except for those of agreed types and quantities to be used by the U.N. Peace Force and those required to maintain internal order. All other armaments would be destroyed or converted to peaceful purposes.
The peace-keeping capabilities of the United Nations would be sufficiently strong and the obligations of all states under such arrangements sufficiently far-reaching as to assure peace and the just settlement of differences in a disarmed world.
In Stage III progressive controlled disarmament and continuously developing principles and procedures of international law would proceed to a point where no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force and all international disputes would be settled according to the agreed principles of international conduct. 

Since public law 87-297 was enacted, just about every president has worked to enact its provisions, including President Obama who signed a U.N. arms trade treaty which was rejected by the Senate.

“The right to own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer all means of armed resistance, including handguns, is denied to civilians by [Article 2] of the Arms Trade Treaty,” wrote Joe Wolverton II of the New American. “Article 3 places the ‘ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2′ within the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions, as well.”

Arms Control and Disarmament Act

Arms Control and Disarmament Act





Army 3-39.40 Army Field Manual Internment Resttlement Operations