Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 28

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 28 LOCAL AUTHORITIES' INITIATIVE IN SUPPORT OF AGENDA 21

In Japan, as regards the conservation of the environment, local authorities are directly involved in regulation and guidance based on laws, the observation, measurement and control of pollution, ordinances etc. They also play the important role of operating various kinds of anti-pollution and nature conservation projects, and it is therefore possible to conduct these operations effectively and precisely. This is one of the reasons why the environment in Japan has been preserved particularly well, even when compared to other developed countries.

Many local authorities, which have contact with local people and businesses on a regular basis, play an important role in dealing with not only regional environmental problems, but also with global environmental problems. From the standpoint of the principle "Think Globally, Act Locally," many local authorities used the Earth Summit as an opportunity to promote comprehensive and well-planned activities for global environmental conservation which conform to the natural and social conditions of regions, including the establishment of ordinances, plans and policy guidelines which include the perspective of global environmental conservation. As of October 1992, there were two local authorities (prefectures, and designated cities) that had established such regulations, six local authorities (prefectures, and designated cities) that had established such ordinances, six local authorities (prefectures, and designated cities) that had established such plans, and seventeen local authorities (Tokyo Metropolis and prefectures, and designated cities) that had established such policy guidelines. It is important for local authorities to continue to encourage education as well as the enhancement of public awareness among local people in order to promote sustainable development, while encouraging their further participation.

As regards international cooperation by local authorities for the promotion of sustainable development, the role of local authorities is important and seven Japanese cities have participated in and contributed to the World City Forum, which was held in connection with the Earth Summit. Japan will continue to promote cooperation among local authorities for sustainable development, making use of international forum when possible.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
The Government will provide assistance for measures regarding voluntary and independent environmental conservation activities by local authorities.
(2)
The Government will actively provide assistance to the activities of local authorities for sustainable development, including assistance for the establishment of "Local Agenda 21" which will give due consideration to the specific characteristics of the individual localities, and the commendation of local authorities which have shown remarkable results in environmental conservation.
(3)
The Government will provide assistance for international cooperation on the local authorities level, by such means as providing information to local authorities and their people.
(4)
The Government will further apply the experience and expertise of local authorities to inter-governmental cooperation.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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