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One of the great landmarks of sustainable development was the Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, bringing together an unprecedented number of world leaders. Perhaps the most important document that came out was Agenda 21. It's a statement of intent and commitment on environment and development.

Anyone who thinks this is "all environmental stuff" should take a look at the table of contents. It was designed to address key issues at global level, so there's a strong emphasis on the needs of the poorer countries of the world, along with topics like the challenges of urbanisation.

A large section deals with the roles of major groups including women, young people, farmers and non-governmental organisations. One of these covers local government, and recommended that each local authority consult with its population to develop a Local Agenda 21.

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  1., 27 April 2010

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