An LA 21 project was launched by UNDP – The National Centre for Sustainable Development (NCSD). The National Centre for Sustainable Development was established in 1997 under the aegis of the Romanian Academy, as an agency of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its aim was to translate the strategic goals and objectives of the NSDS down to the local level by encouraging communities to create their own Local Sustainable Development Strategies. One of the main goals achieved in the pilot phase was the establishment of a methodology, according to which the Local Agendas were drafted in all of the participating cities. By gaining this important know-how, the effectiveness of the LA21 process was enhanced, contributing to the strengthening of the local authorities’ capacity to adopt the principles of sustainable development in their local strategies. The project covered the following stages:
Pilot phase: 2000-2003 The LA21 project started with the introduction of a pilot phase in 9 locations, which completed their respective Local Plans for Sustainable Development.
• Creating the local LA 21 structure: Local Steering Committee, Local LA 21 Office, and Working Groups;
• Elaboration of a Local Sustainable Development Strategy and a Local Action Plan, followed by a wide consultation process in order to secure additional inputs before finalizing the documents;
• Identification and development of the priority projects;
• Support for the implementation of selected priority projects, with due consideration of the need to ensuring synergies with other UNDP projects in the same locations
Second phase: 2003-2004 After the successful implementation of the LA21 pilot phase, the project expanded to 13 further locations, in which the local authorities agreed to draft their Local Action Plans for Sustainable Development. The second phase of the project also brought several innovative elements to the process, such as the new approach of diversifying the project area through the inclusion of smaller localities.
Third phase: 2004-2005 The LA21 project continued in 3 cities and 1 county, to prepare their Local Plans for Sustainable Development. The main innovation in that phase was the further expansion of the project to county level through cooperation with the Mureş County Prefecture. Furthermore, the NCSD added a new dimension to the project, in 2005, through its partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the purpose of introducing the Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) practice in Romania.
Fourth phase: 2005-2006 The goal of the Local Agenda 21 Fourth Phase was to further strengthen the institutional capacity and raise the awareness of the authorities and the public regarding the implementation of the principles of sustainable development in the local and county development strategies and action plans in 3 cities and 1 county.
Fifth phase: 2006-2008 Continuing the established procedures for the introduction of the principles of sustainable development in the work of local municipalities, the LA21 project was further expanded to 4 cities, 3 counties, the 2nd District of Bucharest and 2 communes in Romania.
Follow up: 2009-2010 - Support for the implementation of priority projects under Local Agenda 21.
During the years of 2009-2010, the National Centre for Sustainable Development offered consultancy to local administrations engaged in the implementation Local Agenda 21. The aim was to help start the actual realization of the priority projects that had been identified as eligible for public-private partnerships.
- National Environmental Action Plan. The National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), drawn up in 1995 (latest version 1999), was updated in compliance with the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis Communitaire in order to provide a key instrument for setting the measures within the European integration process. In August 1998, by Governmental Decision, an Inter-Ministerial Committee has come into existence in order to implement the NEAP which requires the integration of environmental policies within those of other sectors (industry, agriculture, transport, physical planning and health). The NEAP-the updated version authorized by Government Decision in late 1999, includes 286 projects, out of which 233 priority projects on the list for short term and 53 on the list for medium term. The total value priority projects included on the list for short term are estimated at 2276.5 million EURO. The Romanian Government is expecting to provide some of the finances for these priority projects, and is indeed in the process of establishing a National Environmental Fund as a co-financing facility. However it will be necessary for international sources of funds to play an important part in their implementation. ISPA is recognized as a key funding source, and all projects selected to apply for ISPA funding are incorporated within the NEAP. The latest version of the National Environmental Action Plan was elaborated in 2011.
- The regional and local environment action plans. The aim of the Regional and Local Environmental Action Plans is to update the planning tools on the regional and local level in the field of environmental protection. Thus it contributes to the definition of a regional and local strategy of sustainable development.
This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 27 May 2013
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