Wednesday, 15 July 2020
LA 21 initiatives
Local/regional Agenda 21 in Austria:
In 1998, the first Local Agenda 21 processes (pilot-processes) started in Austria. Currently, more than 529 processes at local level and almost 50 at regional level (provinces, districts) can be found. Processes at regional level cover political districts as well as tourist regions or aggregations of communities. A constantly increasing number of processes in Austria can still be observed. The number of LA21 processes is measured periodically by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. Local Agenda 21 was strongly linked to the NSDS (2002) and the ÖSTRAT (2009/2010).
All federal ministries were tasked with the coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda by a decision of the Council of Ministers of 12 January 2016. In its progress report on implementing the SDGs the former Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism mentioned the Local Agenda 21 as one of important activities with overlapping function.
Organisation at regional level (nine Austrian federal states):
Each of the nine states has its own coordinating office providing quality management, evaluation, training of moderators, subsidies in processes and projects, communication etc.
To provide best possible support, a working-group on Local Agenda 21, the “DNS-LA21”, has been established by the “Regional SD Coordinators of Austria” in 2003. A board of representatives of the nine Austrian states and of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and developed the “Joint Declaration on Local Agenda 21 in Austria”, which was politically adopted by the “Conference of the Environmental Spokespersons of the Federal Provinces” on 9th October 2003 (further adapted in 2010 and also quality based renewals with focus on the Agenda 2030 in 2019). According to this declaration, a work program was implemented and is being further developed.
Tasks of the board „DNS-LA21“:
- Implementing the “Joint Declaration on Local Agenda 21 in Austria” in a view of a “Good Governance Model” for Austrian local authorities
- Focusing on the 2030 Agenda
- Bilateral cooperation between the federal states
- Coordination of common topics and public relation by the federal ministry
- Coordination and organisation of the periodically held Austrian Summit on Local Agenda 21; 8th Summit (Salzburg, 2017), Conferences on Local 2030 Agenda (Linz, 2019; Styria, 2021)
- Quality management; developing methods for a long-term stabilization of processes and orientation on the 2030 Agenda
- Political and institutional lobbying
Which criteria have to be fulfilled to declare a process a “Local Agenda 21”?
To ensure high quality of processes, a set of five criteria was elaborated by a working group of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology together with the heads of the co-ordinating offices of the nine Austrian federal states. These criteria form the basis for the uptake of municipalities or provinces into the register of Austrian Local Agenda 21 processes. The quality management process was adjusted to the objects of the 2030 Agenda and politically adopted by the “Conference of the Environmental Spokespersons of the Federal Provinces” on 28th June 2019.
- Political decision at local level – has to be fulfilled
- Participation of local civil society – has to be fulfilled
- Mission statement for Sustainable Development – has to be fulfilled
- Co-ordinated learning process (targeted goals, measures, projects – scheduled level
- Cross-community exchange and networking – scheduled level
Subsidies and support from national and/or regional level
Local Agenda processes are usually supported directly by the co-ordinating office responsible for the respective region. Subsidies are provided for keeping high quality standards, training of moderators and citizens, pilot projects, public relation (events, materials, websites), networks etc.
The Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology provides support for co-ordinating common topics, public relation and for the recurring conference “2030 Agenda at the local level” (former: “Austrian Summit on Local Agenda 21”). An internet platform for LA 21 provided by the Federal Ministry provides the most important information about LA 21, news, a list of coordinating offices as well as a register and regularly presents a representative Austrian LA 21-process to the public.
Local Agenda 21 receives subsidies by “The Austrian Programme for Rural Development 2014-2020”and was included as an explicit topic, which triggered funding of several research activities over the last years. Funding of research activities took place within the national research programme “provision” in the years 2005-2009.For further details please visit our website for Local Agenda 21.