What is the "Sustainable Development / Local Agenda 21 in Nuclear Regions" project?
Communities with closing nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons facilities, and other nuclear issues face especially difficult environmental and socio-economic challenges. This is particularly true of nuclear regions in the former Soviet Union, since they experienced decades of 'top down' planning which required them to specialize in nuclear and weapons industries. To help local governments and citizens find productive solutions to these difficulties, ECOLOGIA and its international partners launched the "Nuclear Communities in Transition"in 1999. (This project's name was changed to "Sustainable Development / Local Agenda 21 in Nuclear Regions" in 2001). Nuclear communities in Russia and Lithuania are using the opportunities while reducing the difficulties of this transition, by creating and implementing local sustainable development plans.
What is Local Agenda 21?
Agenda 21 is an international agreement that was signed at the United Nations Earth Summit in 1992. The Agenda 21 agreement calls for all nations to engage in "sustainable" development, meaning that social, economic and environmental needs are balanced so as to improve the quality of life of people and protect the natural environment that sustains us. When such planning is implemented on the local level, it is called a "Local Agenda 21" plan.
Local Agenda 21 has proven to be a valuable tool for public participation and the implementation of sustainable development principles, worldwide. When ECOLOGIA's six-member international delegation (Russian, Lithuanian, American) participated as a United Nations-accredited organization in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002, they found that their experiences with "Local Agenda 21" were of direct interest to delegates from Africa, Latin America and Asia.
What information can I find on this website?
This website contains original documents about nuclear issues in Russia and Lithuania, including articles on particular regions facing important nuclear development or decommissioning plans. Information about sustainable development and the Agenda 21 agreement is located here. In addition, this site provides information about the project's goals and activities.
Sustainable Development Progress in Seversk, Siberia
In February 2004, ECOLOGIA-Moscow organized a seminar for high-level authorities from the formerly closed nuclear weapons producing city of Seversk. Results include cooperative work to incorporate sustainable development into the region's economic plan, and an increase in resources devoted to public education. This is one of a series of activities supported by the Ploughshares Fund. View the Progress Report, April 2004.
Sustainable Development Progress in Visaginas, Lithuania
From July - December 2003, representatives of different sectors (municipality, NGOs, business) worked together to create a sustainable development plan for their community. This is the first in Lithuania to use the "down to up" process of Local Agenda 21, in which residents themselves originate and refine their town plan. View the Progress Report, March 2004.
Russian, Lithuanian and American media have highlighted ECOLOGIA's project work in newspapers and magazines, on the radio and on television. More...