In order to secure an environmentally sustainable future, the world's local governments must begin to restructure social and economic life at the local level.
The problems of solid waste, water pollution, transnational air pollution, climate change, stratospheric ozone
depletion, forest and soil loss, and environmental degradation in the developing world cannot adequately be addressed without a thorough mobilization at the local government
By the end of the 20th century more than half of the world's population will live in urban areas. As the centers of industrialized life, cities are the major sources of garbage, sewage, chemical wastes, greenhouse gases and ozone depleting compounds. Standards for
dealing with these wastes can be set at the national and international government levels, but such standards can only be implemented in an effective and timely way with local government assistance. Globally, local governments are often in the best position to correct unsustainable land use, construction, transportation, energy, agriculture and waste management practices of modern life.
As local government leaders, we gather for a World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, as a first step in exchanging successful local strategies, in alliance with the United Nations for the development and implementation of a global environmental
agenda. We further call for the establishment of an International Secretariat for Local Environmental Initiatives to coordinate, assist and promote local government implementation of sound environmental policy.