Abstracts: March 9th, 2005

The Government’s newly published strategy for sustainable development aims to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations. The strategy sets out principles for sustainable development and new shared priorities agreed across the UK, including the Devolved Administrations. It describes a new integrated vision building on the 1999 strategy – with stronger international and societal dimensions.The Government proposes a new approach to influencing behaviours based on recent research on what determines current patterns. It will focus on measures to enable and encourage behaviour change and to engage people, and ways in which the Government can lead by example. Where these are not sufficient to change entrenched habits, ways will be sought to catalyse changes.

The key commitments in the strategy include producing an integrated policy approach for protecting and enhancing natural resources with stakeholders in 2005, researching environmental limits and environmental inequalities and taking account of natural systems as a whole, through the use of an ecosystems approach.

The Government will promote joined-up solutions to locally identified problems, working in partnership to tackle economic, social and environmental issues. At the local level, there will be a package of measures to realise the vision of sustainable communities across England, in both urban and rural areas, which will catalyse the delivery of sustainable development. Key commitments include joining up effectively at the local level around the vision of sustainable communities with Sustainable Community Strategies and Local Area Agreements linked to planning through Local Development Frameworks. Sustainable development will be put at the heart of the land use planning system and at the core of new planning guidance.

An Academy for Sustainable Communities will be established and a new ‘How To’ programme will be launched to promote the take up and use of new and existing powers to transform the local environment. The Audit Commission will strengthen the Comprehensive Performance Assessment of local authorities to take more account of sustainable development and the local environment.

The strategy is available at: