Sustainable Local Community Development – Slaney News
It was only after the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro concluded in June 1992 that the concept of sustainable development became an attainable goal for all the people of the world whether local, national or regional and supported by 179 countries and multiple non-governmental organisations did the concept filter through to communities worldwide. The major result of the conference was Agenda 21, a new program to achieve overall sustainable development in the 21st century.
A key component was Local Agenda 21, which encouraged local action plans that identify what matters locally to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle in the 21st century while highlighting how different social, economic, environmental and cultural factors are interdependent and evolve together, and how success in one sector requires action in other sectors to be sustained over time.
The late Dr. Anne Behan while working with communities in Wexford particularly Clonroche, Newbawn and Raheen, between 2000 and 2022, defined sustainability as ‘a concept more than a strict code, but refers to responsible and ethical methods of practice in economic, social and environmental management. Like many currently discussed issues, it is not the concept, but the terminology that is new. In many ways sustainability refers to new methods of old practices. It is often misinterpreted as relating solely to environment, but in practice, it is an integrated approach to all aspects of life – economic, social, environmental and cultural.’
Sustainable Community Characteristics
Following extensive consultation across Ireland and the UK the Carnegie UK Trust published, ‘A Manifesto for Rural Communities’ which identified the following interrelated characteristics for future sustainable communities:
A good place to start is to have conversations with family, friends or neighbours or raise the issues within a club or a group you are a member of or join a group you think might be open to the challenge. Sometimes it can be as simple as providing people with the opportunity to get together to chat and other times the setting might be more formal.
Resources and supports are listed below, but as we head into spring there is one national initiative that is guaranteed to bring people together is ‘National Spring Clean’ for good advice and resources register at this link https://nationalspringclean.org/ or keep an eye out for Spring Clean events being organised by local groups, Enniscorthy Community Allotments, April 1st, 9 – 11am, meeting at the allotments, and follow Enniscorthy Tidy Towns on social media for the location of their weekly clean-ups and the locations for their Easter Monday Spring Clean event.
Check out Wexford County Council resources at: