Today in France, each scale of local authorities is involved in sustanaible development (SD): regions, departments, municipalities and their groupings.
This number seems to be very weak relative to the exceptional numbers of municipalities in France (more than 36 000). But a significant number of the municipalities are certainly covered by an Agenda 21 at the intercommunal level.
However, they cover most of the urban areas, and consequently a big part of the French population. According to the indicator of the French Ministry of SD, more than 40% of the French population is covered by an Agenda 21.
Launched in 2004, the Agenda 21 of the Conseil general de la Gironde department is currently living its Act II. It sets the strategic framework for sustainable development for public policies, and the services decline it in their “Agenda 21 de direction”. In compliance with the national framework, the Conseil general continues to support sustainable development strategies of the local actors: colleges, local authorities, and new associations and business partners. It leads the Conseil départemental des Agenda 21 de la Gironde (CDA21) composed of 61 municipalities and groupments. To mobilize other local actors, the Conseil general launched the Agenda 21 Trophies that promote and provide financial support to citizens, companies, associations, local authorities, public institutions, schools and universities in 2006. Each year, 21 projects are awarded. To mobilize schools, the Department has set up a request for proposals for Education for Sustainable Development: 17 colleges are now engaged in Agenda 21 (11,160 students).
The “Charte de pays” and “Charte de parc naturel regional” are recognized as local Agenda 21, because their elaboration follows the principle of sustainable processes: participation of local actors, common project for local actors around objectives, attention paid to social cohesion, economic development and protection of the environment.The Agenda 21 encompasses or coexists with the Agenda 21 of the municipalities. The articulation of the scale is a key-stake.