National Strategy for a Sustainable America

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The United States agreed, along with all of the other UN Member States, to develop and implement a National Strategy for Sustainability first during the Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and then again during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. President Bill Clinton established a President's Council on Sustainable Development that met for six years during the 1990s and developed a series of reports and recommendations for creating a more sustainable America.[1] As of 2010, a Director of Sustainable Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a mission of advancing the principles and goals of sustainable development through partnerships, collaboration, and outreach.[2]

Most of the recommendations that were made have still not been implemented. A number of working groups have thus written to the Obama Administration urging it to develop and implement such a National Strategy for Sustainability.[3] Many recommendations and guidelines have been developed and published for how such a strategy ought to be developed, including by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),[4] IUCN, and the United Nations.[5][6][7]

The Citizens Network for Sustainable Development also submitted a Proposal to Change.org’s Ideas for Creating Change in America web voting competition in December 2008 again urging the Obama Administration to lead the country and people in developing and implementing a National Strategy for Sustainability. This proposal came in the Top Ten out of more than 7700 ideas and 600,000 votes cast overall and was featured in Change.org’s National Advocacy Campaign. The Citizens Network for Sustainable Development (CitNet) is encouraging people and organizations to contribute their ideas for how such a National Strategy could be developed and implemented, along with the types of things that could and should be included in it.

If a consensus builds, ideas and a framework will be posted here to provide information about what the American people believe should be included in a National Strategy and how the process should be carried out and implemented. It will be based upon a solid foundation, building on the guidelines and recommendations that have been developed by national and international organizations and the primary stakeholder groups in the US, along with sustainability experts, practitioners, and concerned Americans from across this great land of ours.

The United States has also agreed to participate in the development of a Ten Year Framework on Sustainable Production and Consumption.[8] A network has been developed in North America to support the efforts of our federal government in this regards.[9] The focus on Sustainable Production and Consumption will also be featured as a major component in the development and implementation of the National Strategy for a Sustainable America.

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