Local Agenda 21-Santa Cruz
Key points from the twelve Focus Groups
For background information, see Local Agenda 21- The U.N. Plan for Your Community. It explains that
Local Agenda 21-Santa Cruz was birthed in 1993 by the local chapters of the United Nations Association and ACTION (Agenda 21 Community Team Work in Operation). The original stakeholders began to "envision a sustainable future," choose compatible "partners", and organize the twelve Round Tables which evolved into twelve Special Focus Areas (for summaries of each plan, read Local Agenda 21, part 2):
- Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management
- Public Health
- Resources and Recycling
- Social Justice
- Toxic Technology & Waste Management
- Viable Economy
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Everything not in brackets is quoted from the "Sustainable Community Action Plan: Our Agenda for the 21st Century." Most of the bullets are included in the official plan, but some have been added for clarification.
1. Agriculture: Goals for Year 2000 (p. 1)
- Develop alternative crop protection methods to reduce pesticide use.
- Prepare the agricultural community for the probable phase-out of the fumigant, methyl bromide
- Secure land tenure to provide incentives for farmers to conserve natural resources
- Develop local and direct markets
- Facilitate knowledge of organic farming principles and techniques
2. Biodiversity & Ecosystem (p. 6)
Medium-density, single-family housing continues to sprawl and consume much of what remains of the few, relatively undisturbed area...
County residents have introduced new ["invasive"] species from other parts of the world
With our wasteful consumer culture still fundamentally a mechanism for clearing the natural world away, our struggle to save wild places becomes even more critical.
GOALS FOR YEAR 2000
- Structure and install a data base to contain all the applicable information useful in habitat restoration and maintenance. ..
- Initiate a low cost county grass land management program including the widespread use of grazing animals to control weeds and create ecologically necessary soil disturbance
- Develop a master plan to guide land use planning, habitat restoration, education, and management practices.
- Greatly increase the area of pristine ecological preserves for species preservation. "The only fundamental way to preserve life's biological diversity is to make sure all species have appropriate habitat. For many species that means true wilderness."
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE
- UCSC's California Public Interest Research Group launched a Water Watch campaign in 1995. Volunteers, clean up and revitalize waterways through its 3 step program of monitoring pollution, cleaning up debris, and educating the community &SHY; including 1,800 school children in '96 alone.
- Wetlands/River restroration/clean ups
- The Wildlands Restoration Team is continuously removing invasive exotics from the mountain state parks
- Open Space Protection The passage of the Greenbelt initiative in 1979 led to the public acquisition of [list of lands follows]
- The City of Santa Cruz has developed and is proceeding to implement a Greenbelt Master Plan Feasibility Study
- The passage of our county's growth control ordinance by establishing "urban service lines," has discouraged urban sprawl.
- The Open Space Alliance of Santa Cruz was established to permanently protect open space lands.. A Habitat Evaluation Matrix has been created.
SUGGESTED ACTIONS FOR FURTHER PROGRESS
- An Environmental Survey to establish current ecosystem conditions is necessary to set a base-line against which progress and loss can be measured.
- habitat reserve design should contain corridors and buffers and be large enough for the long term sustainability of all indigenous species
- Purchase core habitat reserve areas and corridors
- establish and maintain humanely treated, organic wool and/or dairy-producing, grazing herd for ecosystem management
- Direct housing development into forested areas of low biological diversity, rather than the areas listed above
- Establish and enforce no-cut, no-entry zones around streams, building on guidelines already established for national forests. The most commonly accepted, peer-reviewed study is FEMAT (Federal Ecological Management Assessment Team) which came up with this concept for key watersheds in 1992
- Encourage further discussions and consensus between those who feel the forest is a major natural value and those who see it as a capital resource
- Protect Open Space pioneer programs aimed at preserving whole biosystems in order to bet protect endangered species [includes the Monterey Pine which spreads like a weed]
- compensate for the disappearance of large, high-level predators in certain locations.
- Encourage Citizen Involvement...Political effort must be made to incite "beneficial human activity."...Promote National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program" to encourage everyone to plan their landscaping with the needs of wildlife in mind.
- Utilize all media....
- Promote Ecotourism Arrange periodic "inspiration tours" of well-managed wildands....
3. Education (p. 18)
Most Americans are ill equipped to make the lifstyle changes necessary to turn the degradation around. However, our collective experience over time has shown that knowledge alone does not necessarily change behavior and incite people to action. support structures and incentives are also needed. (19)
Educational programs assist and allow learners of diverse age groups and cultures to discover their full potential while helping them to be aware of their responsibility for and impact on all life.
Educational systems encourage relevant, experiential learning and promote a sustainable, healthy life for all beings. Students embrace. Global interdependence and the need to adopt fully sustainable practices locally and globally.. Focus is placed on teaching how to learn and how to enjoy learning. This involves:
- 1) Cooperative learning in groups which is learner-directed, empowering and participatory
- 2) Development of an integrated core curriculum at all levels which emphasized the theme of unity and interdependence of humanity, all species and the Earth.
- 3) Student participation in developing their own curriculum
- 4) Mixed age groups in the learning process
- 5) Learning activities through the arts and recreational opportunities focus on personal and social growth
- 6) Learning that occurs through the experience of participating in the actual activity itself.
4. Energy (p. 30)
GOALS FOR THE YEAR 2000
- Decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 20%
- Reduce home energy use by 30%, industrial and commercial energy use by 35%, & transportation energy use by 40%.
- Increase the energy input by solar energy to 10% of total building energy consumption.
4. Housing (p. 34)
GOALS FOR YEAR 2000
- Affordable housing for all SCC residents seniors, students, farm workers, single parents homeless
- New Housing linked to existing and proposed transportation centers and corridors
- Mixed use and high density developments to minimize dependence on transportation systems
- The funding processes need to be simplified and more sympathetic toward the long term cost benefits of sustainable housing development
- Community education that addresses resistance to housing projects and better understanding of non-traditional households
- Economic development and programs that encourage a livable wage scales
- Balance housing needs with observing agricultural lands, environmental values, and infrastructure restraints.
ENVISION A FUTURE IN WHICH---
- people of all nations understand and take personal responsibility for the connection between reproductive decisions and world population pressures
- all individuals have full access tot he information and services they need to achieve reproductive choice
- research into human reproduction and social psychology improves the effectiveness of voluntary family planning efforts.
- population stabilization and access to reproductive choice become priority issues for national and international leaders
7. Public Health (p. 42)
GOALS FOR THE YEAR 2000
- Educate people of all ages, especially students and teachers, about the health, environmental and economic benefits of low-fat, plant based meals.
- Organic, plant-based, unprocessed food choices are abundantly available
- County & municipal water supplies are free of human-induced sediments & chemicals
- The air in all areas of Santa Cruz County exceeds US EPA standards
- Use safe, natural solvents and cleaning materials, and pest eradication by natural means
- Alternative health care practices are legitimized [and] funded
8. Resources and Recycling (p. 48)
- Provide water conservation programs to redirect the need for additional water resource development
- Fossil fuel use will be almost eliminated
- No garbage being put into landfills-a Zero Waste Vision
- The flow of materials will be localized, while still linked to the larger material economy by "import and export."
- Organic, compostable materials will be processed nearly entirely within five miles of where it is generated.
- Packaging volume will be precipitously reduced by bulk distribution of goods.
- The first priority in the manufacture of goods will be directing the goods' component to a useful purpose, avoiding disposal by landfilling or incineration completely.
- Production of hazardous materials will be essentially non-existent
9. Social Justice (p. 54)
- A community dedicated to fairness
- Address the underlying social issues that lead to and perpetuate poverty: adequate education, affordable housing, living wage employment opportunities, child care, and health care for all.
- A true full employment policy and guaranteed income for those who are unable to work due to injury, raising young children, or taking care of relatives
- A healthy, non-toxic environment for all
10. Toxic Technology & Waste Management (p. 67)
- A bio-safe world-free of synthetic toxic products
- the eventual halt in production of toxic products and the end of all technologies which are inherently toxic
- Education of all public officials, health professionals, industry and agricultural leaders, as well as the general public in the use of safe alternatives
Transportation (p. 74)
GOALS FOR THE YEAR 2000
- Increase public awareness about personal and societal transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, rail and bus use, car pooling and telecommuting.
- Enact legislation requiring car drivers to pay a higher percentage of the true cost of driving ["road construction", "car parking", "traffic accidents", "highway police", "health problems", "environmental degradation"]
- Fund and phase in the transition to energy efficient modes of transportation that tare based on renewable resources.
12. Viable Economy (p. 80)
In many ways the national and international economic system is unhealthy and not sustainable. .. Advertising promotes over-consumption, and much of the focus of our economy is on sales and consumption rather than on meeting basic needs and providing well-being and basic services.
The challenge at the present time is the need to preserve and strengthen a local and sustainable economy while reducing unemployment and maintaining adequate revenues for support services. This challenge requires creative thinking and a faith in our own collective vision of a desirable future for our community.
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