Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Regional (SD) Strategies:
All the 19 counties in Norway were among the first to sign up to the Local Agenda 21 initiative. A few of the counties, like Nordland and Akershus, also developed county-level Local Agenda 21 strategies. Though most of the LA21 activities have been at the municipal level, the regional project in Nordland, which supports local processes, is one of very few activities where the LA21 concept is still actively used.
LA 21 initiatives:
The concept ‘Local Agenda 21’ with its broad and participatory approach has lost much momentum over the last years in Norway, as in many other countries. In practice, references to Local Agenda 21 are now seldom made. Instead, there are now two nationally coordinated SD projects at the local level: ‘Vital Municipalities’, which has replaced much of the focus on LA 21 and a supplementary agreement named ‘Green Energy Municipalities’.
- ‘Vital Municipalities’ is an agreement on cooperation between the National Association of Local and Regional Authorities (NALRA) and the Ministry of the Environment. The agreement was signed in 2006 and runs for a 5 year period (from 2006-2010). It was signed before the new NSDS strategy, but is referred to in the NSDS. More than 200 municipalities take part in the network, close to 50 per cent of all Norwegian municipalities (status: mid-2008). The goal was to include 200 of the 430 Norwegian municipalities. The municipalities taking part in this network have to direct attention to one or two topics central to one of the three dimensions of SD. Energy and climate is the most popular topic.
‘Green Energy Municipalities’ is an agreement between the local authorities and the Government (represented by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment). The program was established early 2007 and 21 municipalities and 1 county are designated to participate. The program’s goal is to make municipalities support work on energy efficiency, renewable energy, such as bio-energy, and to reduce green house gas emission.
About 70 per cent of the municipalities made a commitment to LA21 by signing the ‘Fredrikstad declaration’. About 40 per cent had some kind of LA21 activities in 2003-2004. Much of the LA21 activities withered after the national support programme were terminated from 2001.
The municipalities participate (e.g. by political and administrative leadership, and other relevant personnel from the municipal administration). Stakeholders from regions, business, labour, environmental organisations etc., mostly from the central level, participate in the network gatherings, referred to as “learning arenas“. A similar mix of stakeholders takes part in the local work.