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Discover new ways to tackle sustainability concerns through local decision making.

Since the 1990s UK Governments have been taking measures to empower localities.

The main aim of this site is to help localities use these measures to tackle sustainability concerns more effectively.


“Believe it or not, all the building blocks are now in place to help deliver sustainability at the local level - both official and grassroots, and Sustainability Links is there to help people make those connections and in the process empower real change on the ground."

Jonathon Porritt Founder & Director of Forum For The Future.

"A quick look at the diversity of these publications' subject matter must persuade even the most staid individual and conventional third sector organisation of the need for cultural change."

INK- in an email to Sustainability Links on the Helpful Magazines listing.

"Bridging the gap between UN circles and local communities can be a daunting task, but that is exactly what Sustainability Links does. The perfect entry point for those organized in local communities with a wider interest in sustainable development ."

Leida Rijnhout, Chief Executive, ANPED Northern Alliance for Sustainability


 If you’re already working on sustainability concerns find out more about the new ways you can bring these to the fore in local decision making:

Have a look at the other pages on this website.

o Send for Links’ FREE guides.

o Check out what your local participation processes are doing about sustainability concerns and learn how you can help them embrace a credible approach.

o Raise this year’s United Nations Earth Summit with those involved in local SCS and LSP processes.

o Contact other local organisations working on sustainability to consider how you can make a strategic input.

o Stay in touch with developments elsewhere with sustainabilitylinks.org


UK Local Level Support for 2012’s UN Earth Summit

In the run up to Rio+20 Sustainability Links had 'working in partnership with the UNSD' status

Links' subsequent Report was submitted to the UN and based on research in the Coventry and Warwickshire case study catchment. It asks whether it's possible for the lack of credible international commitment to be countered by grassoots action.

With the failings of economic globalisation now exposed - and its decline increasingly impacting on localities across the UK and around the world - this is surely one of today's most imperative questions.

Will the answers surprise you?


“Society, governments and international bodies should develop mechanisms to allow non-governmental organisations to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively in the process of environmentally sound and sustainable development.”

Paragraph 27.5. United Nations Agenda 21 1992.

“We underscore that broad public participation and access to information and judicial and administrative proceedings are essential to the promotion of sustainable development. Sustainable development requires the meaningful involvement and active participation of regional, national and sub-national legislatures and judiciaries, and all Major Groups: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers, as well as other stakeholders, including local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants, families as well as older persons and persons with disabilities. In this regard, we agree to work more closely with Major Groups and other stakeholders and encourage their active participation, as appropriate, in processes that contribute to decision making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development at all levels.”

Paragraph 43, United Nations Rio Declaration, 2012.


Some key issues being addressed by Links

Overlooked – or excluded?  1

Many VCOs will simply not be represented in local Strategy and Partnership related work – even though they will have members and supporters living locally, if not active local contacts or groups. Perhaps VCS representatives already involved in LSP and locality working should be more actively encouraging and supporting input from those colleagues working on sustainability concerns?

Just how successful can local lobbying be?

How will those currently responsible for decision and policy making be judged by future generations? Site visitors will soon be able to refer to our Logs to see the ways local processes can respond to the challenges of global unsustainability. Initiatives Sustainability Links has promoted over the years include the Nottingham Declaration, the Sustainable Communities Bill, fair trade, the Earth Charter and the damage caused local public service provisions by economic globalisation.

Why not help Links help you network?

Please help Links help you to network your events news – send information to:


Also, please could you send Links copies of any sustainability-related practices, policy and resolutions to enable them to be seen and perhaps used by other organisations?

Participation opportunity

Why not make an ongoing record of your own approaches and responses and see just who's doing what – and who isn't – in the age of stupid?

Overlooked – or excluded? 2

Are sustainability groups being actively excluded from local processes? Or simply marginalised? See what you think when you use the Comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy (CCES) guidelines.


Important terms


Many process participants will agree that it's important for their organisations and their work to be 'sustainable', and may often use the word to bring a vague sense of social responsibility to their endeavours.

It is, however, a common and dangerous misconception that the sum total of such sustainabilities can somehow address our global unsustainability: it spectacularly misses the significance of the "think global, act local" maxim.

For more details see this site’s Glossary file, which is situated in the Dictionary guide.


S&P is sustainability and participation – Agenda 21 recognised that sustainability work has to be addressed through an unprecedented community involvement in local decision making.


Support for Links

This site “will be useful to teachers and others working with schools”.

Ben Ballin

Teachers in Development Education.

“This is a great project.”

Chris Church

Writer, developmental community worker and sustainability consultant.


Sustainability Links is the national information service linking sustainability, communities and local democracy…

…so tell your friends & colleagues about this site


Please contact us with any information or feed back: