Title: Local sustainable development: local Agenda 21 for Egypt and the Arab countries

Authors: Suzanna El Massah

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, Egypt; College of Business, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Campus, Khalifa City, 144534 Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract: Evidence suggests that a growing number of countries are becoming more environmentally aware through adopting sustainable development (SD). Many are focusing on bottom-up methodology in targeting SD by forming LA21. The study identifies the challenges and potentials facing the Arab states in LA21 activation using SWOT analysis. Additionally, the study tests the local communities' readiness to apply bottom-up SD in Egypt, by adopting lack-gap-mismatch (LGM). The paper concludes some policies to help Arab countries moving forward such as: launching a national campaign for LA21, enhancing decentralisation, working on capacity building, more engagement in the international organisations, adopting decentralised environmental management, more vertical and horizontal communication and supporting the role of education in changing citizens' behaviour. The Egyptian case shows some internal strength points that enable LA21 development if the prerequisites are fulfilled, through applying three categories of actions; exogenous to local authority, within the interaction between local authority and local citizens and internal to the local authority.

Keywords: local sustainable development; sustainability; Egypt; local Agenda 21; Arab countries; SWOT analysis; LGM analysis; bottom up approach; environmental awareness; decentralisation; capacity building; international organisations; environmental management; environmental education; citizen behaviour; behavioural change.

DOI: 10.1504/WRSTSD.2016.078413

World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 2016 Vol.12 No.3, pp.219 - 243

Received: 04 Oct 2014
Accepted: 26 Oct 2015

Published online: 16 Aug 2016 *

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