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www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de www.pagebarani.vtb.by www.preparenetwork.org PREPARE www.sustainable-cities.net.ua www.sustdev.org - w w w. u n. o r g / r u s s i a n / conferen/wssd , 2002 www.un.org/russian/confer XXI . en/wssd/agenda www.wbcsd.ch [ 269 ] , Aleg Sivagrakau Thinking Globally Acting Locally (Sustainable Development Strategies Local Agenda 21 in Belarus) The importance of local sustainable development has long been recognised by the international community, and is reflected in a num ber of international development documents. UN Agenda 21, the guide to sustainable development that was adopted by the UN Con ference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, emphasises the role of local authorities and local initiatives in support ing sustainable development. Partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector are now globally recognized as critical to sustainable local development.

Belarus is a one of the signatories to the Agenda 21 and has already implemented a number of activities that show the importance of sus tainable development for the country. A National Sustainable Devel opment Commission was established in Belarus in 1996 to coordinate the efforts of different government institutions in the field of sustain able development. In 1997, as pioneer among CIS countries, Belarus adopted a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). Be tween 2001-2004, UNDP Belarus assisted the government with the elaboration of the new NSDS, which was an exceptional example of close cooperation between state actors and the civil society represen tatives in Belarus.

The interest in elaboration and implementation of sustainable de velopment strategies at the local level is increasing in Belarus. Early experiences from development of local sustainable development strate gies (Local Agenda 21 (LA21)) can be found in Turov (Gomel region), Disna (Vitebsk region), Childrens Centre Nadezhda (Minsk region) and in the city of Minsk. About 40 other towns and districts through out Belarus have also recently taken the first steps in the development of LA21. While this indicates a growing interest in local sustainable development in Belarus, the capacity for successful development of LA 21 is not sufficient and there is clear demand for relevant guidelines and supporting initiatives, especially in rural areas. Often, these initia tives are based on a few enthusiastic and active people. They do not always find support among the local population and the local authori ties and have difficulty in attracting resources for their activities. For successful work on sustainable development it is important that the [ 270 ] local initiatives have access to information and expertise. Further, that experience and knowledge are shared between the different initiatives in Belarus, and also that exchanges are enabled with similar initiatives abroad. The purpose of this book is to help to solve the above men tioned problems and to support existing and new LA21 initiatives.

In this book the author describes sustainable development issues at a local level: in regions, municipalities, cities, towns and villages. The main principles and procedures of the development and implementa tion of local sustainable development strategies (Local Agenda 21) are in the book. The author analyzes legislation and other institutional bases of LA21 in Belarus. He collected, summarized and analyzed ex isted and current experience in the area of local sustainability initia tives in Belarus from 1999 to 2006.

This book is addressed to local authorities, NGO representatives, scientists, professors and students, all active people, who are inter ested in their small motherland development and to the supporters of a sustainable way of living.

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02330/0131567 30.04.2004 .

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