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Train to LA21 - Training the Facilitators for Local Agenda 21 Implementation

abstract The TRAIN to LA21 project entails the development and testing of training products (courses and didactic materials) targeting the various professionals involved in the implementation of Local Agenda 21 (LA21), which is a very important instrument for the operationalization of Sustainable Development (SD) at local and regional levels.

LA21 can be understood as a process for improving the quality of life in communities by a mix of measures that are developed in a participative process by different local actors (public authorities, enterprises, NGOs, associations, etc.). It includes systems and processes for the integration of social, economic and environmental development and is grounded in a strong cooperation of local actors and institutional building for the development and implementation of a strategic development plan. The existing experience shows that there is a lack of appropriate skills among some of the competent personnel, not only in the thematic areas of sustainability and LA21 (concepts, relevant legislation, environmental management, mobility, waste management, indicators, social issues, etc.), but also in the process facilitation skills that are crucial to the success of this multi-stakeholder activity (good governance). Additionally, knowledge on local management issues, including the local political system, competences and decision-making processes, as well as local specific sustainability questions is necessary.

The TRAIN to LA21 project aims precisely at contributing to the development of skills and awareness amongst groups within the local communities that are involved in promoting and developing action in the field of regional sustainability, thus enabling the former to act as facilitating and dissemination agents. In order to accommodate the needs of various regions and target groups, the LA21 courses will be developed with a flexible modular structure, which ensures their wide applicability in different European regions. The target groups of these courses are the ones who will have to support, facilitate, co-ordinate and manage the LA21 processes. So the target groups are:

Politicians (elected) and technical staff working at municipalities, local and regional authorities;
NGO’s acting in the field of sustainable development;
Others, facilitators, namely country specific such as the Green Guides in Denmark and people from cultural/ sports associations in Austria.
The potential users of the project results (TRAIN to LA 21 products) are trainers from vocational training schools or other education institutions who are willing to address LA 21 and regional sustainability in their training offers.
keywords Sustainable Development, Local Agenda 21, further education
partner The project is led by the Centre for Sustainable Business Development from INETI (Portugal). The partnership includes other 14 organizations from six European countries (Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain–Basque Country and Switzerland), in such an arrangement where in each country content development partners co-operate with testing partners to ensure the maximum relevance and applicability of the TRAIN to LA21 products. In each participating country will be established National Advisory Groups (NAG) and at international level will also be settled the International Advisory Group. The NAG’s and the IAG’s involve people from regional development agencies, municipalities and municipal associations, training institutions, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders in the LA21 and regional sustainability spheres. Their main role to this project is to give feedback on the development of TRAIN to LA21.
type applied research project
status completed
start of project 2004
end of project 2007
principal Europäische Union, LEONARDO / SBF (Staatssekretariat für Bildung und Forschung)
additional informations
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contact Simone Vonaesch