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Sustainable development strategies: Tools for policy coherence

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Many different approaches for national sustainable development strategies (NSDS) have been proposed since 1992, with some components common to all. A country's national strategy should be designed to help mainstream environmental concerns into policy. More broadly, it should coordinate local policy with global concerns, as well as integrate scientific knowledge into policy and development planning.

The peer review mechanism for national strategies was piloted by France, and also involved representatives of countries from the North and the South as well as stakeholders. The peer review process allows countries to share their experience and information, and can assist them in identifying their own path to sustainable development.

The business community can also contribute to sustainable development through provision of local and global public goods. Another input to sustainable development could come from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility (ISO 26000), as a coordinating mechanism between voluntary initiatives and binding obligations (such as international conventions). ISO standards and guidelines should therefore be integrated with national sustainable development strategies and local Agenda 21 frameworks.

Keywords: Environmental charter; Experience sharing; Governance; Mainstreaming environment; National sustainable development strategy (NSDS); Peer review; Policy coherence; Policy integration; Social responsibility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Government of France, Paris 2: Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, in the Sustainable Development Unit, Government of France, Paris

Publication date: May 1, 2006


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