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DAY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Mark Hildebrand, UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), introduced the Day of Local Authorities and said preparations began at the second session of the CSD. The moderator, Jeb Brugmann, Secretary-General, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, said between 1000 and 1200 local authorities are implementing Local Agenda 21s in 26 countries. Mayor Luis B. Guerrero-Figueroa, Cajamarca, Peru, highlighted the need for a decentralized, participatory and democratic model for local decision-making to implement Local Agenda 21. Expansion of local leadership has improved democracy, urban-rural communication, conservation and recovery of natural resources. William Pearce, Head of Strategic Planning Division, Regional Municipality of Hamilton- Wentworth, Canada, said his formerly polluted municipality won an environmental achievement award in 1994. Using a consensus approach, a task force was set up to conduct consultations with local residents and organizations. He recommended sustainable development indicators that are measurable, credible and valid.

Derek Bateman, Chair, UK Local Agenda 21 Steering Group, said that 60 councils throughout the UK have committed to developing plans. The key elements are: managing and improving environmental performance; integrating sustainable development into policies; awareness-raising and education; involving the public; partnerships; measuring, monitoring and reporting; and indicators. Local Agenda 21 should be a focus for UN initiatives.

Mr. T.P. Magere, Deputy Principal Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, Tanzania, described the project for a Sustainable Dar es Salaam to improve the standard of living. Solid waste management, urban renewal, air quality, liquid waste, the integration of the informal sector into the urban economy and the coastal economy were identified as priority areas. Communities choose their own priority areas and the government provides the infrastructure. Economic structural adjustment programmes take account of social services necessary for economic recovery.

Masami Shibuya, Vice Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, introduced Agenda 21 Kanagawa, a social action programme based on cooperation between local governments, citizens, NGOs and the corporate sector. NGO, corporate and government liaison committees were created to formulate concrete programmes. Agenda 21 Kanagawa has four goals: environmentally friendly lifestyles; a society that considers the environment; a symbiotic social system; and international cooperation on the environment. The prefecture has had problems with pollution and population growth, and is planning a world Conference on Sustainable Cities for local authorities to exchange experiences and to promote environmentally friendly lifestyles.

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