Agenda 21 is the agenda for the twenty-first century and that is how it got it's name. It is the action plan for sustainable development but there's nothing sustainable about it.
In truth, it is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and total political control of every aspect of our lives.
The convention on Biological Diversity was the treaty to make Agenda 21 a reality. But it was never ratified in the United States. It was tabled after Dr. Michael Coffman exposed the Wildlands project on the U.S. Senate floor in July of 1994.
Though the treaty was never ratified, Agenda 21 was translated into public policy in the U.S. by the President's Council on Sustainable Development created by EO by President Bill Clinton. Though it is a non-binding agreement, the recommendations are implemented through the EPA and other federal agencies and translated into de facto law via the various agencies' regulations.
DEQ is Virginia's EPA. They continue to be granted more power by the GA. For example, HB2048 to move water quality programs currently administered by the DCR to the DEQ made it's way to the House floor today. The bill provides sweeping new authority over Southwest Virginia.
The DEQ has the authority to acquire by eminent domain any lands, property rights, franchises, rights-of-way, easements, or other property deemed necessary or convenient for the efficient operation of the district.
1500 landowners were driven from their land in Dade County, Florida by Florida's Department of Environmental Resource Management using the same guidelines as the EPA. The land was said to be a wetlands even though testing by the Army Corp. of Engineers revealed there was no wetlands. DEQ would be granted the same authority to use their power to drive people off their rural land most of which is in Southwest Virginia. The Senate version, SB1279, has already passed the full Senate. More than 120 sustainability bills are pushing through this session of the GA alone.
What can't be done legislatively, is covertly pushed into local communities through federal grants and with the assistance of ICLEI, International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives and other NGOs, for the implementation of local “sustainable development” policies.
The Virginia Municipal League, VACo and the Virginia School Board Association partner with ICLEI for the “Go Green Virginia” Initiative which drives the very same policies. It is sold under the guise of protecting the environment and to reduce global warming or climate change.
Though ICLEI now denies any association with the UN or Agenda 21, they published “The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide”. In the forward they say “ICLEI has the “task of mobilizing and technically supporting Local Agenda 21” worldwide. Currently we have 14 localities who are members of ICLEI. 4 others have withdrawn their membership.
Nothing in Agenda 21 is legally binding on any government, until government, at any level, adopts Agenda 21 recommendations as law, through regulation, or via an executive order.
The Federal government paid the American Planning Association more than $5M to create "The Growing Smart: Legislative Guidebook" .
The guidebook provides model legislation and local policy recommendations and strategies to implement Agenda 21. The APA is also the leading organization for the "Planners Network". Their statement of principles is very telling:
“We believe that planning should be a tool for allocating resources and developing the environment to eliminate the great inequalities of wealth and power in our society...”
Chapter 8 of the guidebook recommends the use of “Amortization of non-conforming uses”. The policy states “A local government's zoning ordinance may state a period of time after which nonconforming land uses, structures, and/or signs, ...must terminate.” In other words, for homeowners who live in a community that adopts the Guidebook's vision, the amortization proposal means the extinguishing over time of their right to occupy their houses, and without just compensation for loss of that property. How long they have before they must forfeit their homes would be completely up to the local government.
So far, in Virginia, it has only been used for signs. But we have seen in other parts of the country, people have been forced off their land and their homes dismantled because they no longer conformed to the new zoning codes.
The fear is, that in time, we could see the use of this policy extended to include homes in Virginia, as well. What better tool to use at the local level to avoid compensation as the result of regulations imposed by the DEQ.
Dr. Michael Chandler is a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the American Planning Association. He also serves as the Director of Education for PlanVirginia. PlanVirginia provides the Certified Planning Commissioner's Course. More than 85% of their members are planning commissioners and staff.
“The Virginia Certified Planning Commissioners’ Program...is designed to provide the legal and technical background needed by ...planners and decision makers. A growing number of localities are also requiring their administrative and support staff to complete the course.” I have yet to find one local government that does not require their planning and related staff to take this course.
I have personally spoken with many who have taken the course and they confirm that the course provides the strategies for the implementation of policies taken from Agenda 21.
In 2003, the United Nations declared 2005 through 2014 as “The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).” UNESCO was named the lead agency for this global effort.
The U.S. commitment to UNESCO and their mission mandates that Colleges and Universities across the nation provide education in Sustainable Development principles as called for in Chapter 36 of Agenda 21. It is extended to the K-12 public school system through No Child Left Behind.
Sustainable development was first introduced in Virginia with the adoption of House Joint Resolution 653 in the 1993 session of the General Assembly. In response to the resolution, A Blueprint for Sustainable Development of Virginia was released by the Environmental Law Institute on January 31,1994.
In 1994, The Virginia General Assembly by HJR NO. 291 established a task force to study Agenda 21 for sustainable development. HJR 536 continued the task force in 1995. Their report to the Governor and GA was issued in 1997. In the report, the recommendation is that -
“Virginia should support local community-building by adopting a vision of sustainable development, developing' a statewide information network and resource inventory, and identifying economic incentives for communities to encourage them to adopt sustainable development plans and to make efforts to implement their plans. Virginia's localities should make coordinated efforts to move toward a sustainable future.
Chesterfield County paid the Renaissance Planning Group $870,000 to draft a plan that was found to have the same policies and goals called for in Agenda 21. When that fact became evident by the BoS, the plan was never adopted and a new comp plan is currently being drafted as mandated by the state.
In reviewing countless other local comprehensive plans, we see the very same policies recommended in Agenda 21 are adopted or are proposed to be adopted by local governments across the state. A few have been stopped but most are moving forward.
In the nearly four years I have traveled the state sharing my research on this subject, not one local elected official or local planner can name a single activity on one's own land that does not require permission from government.
The action plan for so-called sustainable development is contrary to the principles of federalism. It threatens property rights; it threatens free enterprise and job growth; and even threatens our sovereignty.
I am not here to tell you that I am against zoning and planning in general. What I am against is the use of power driven by fake science to deny land owners the use of and even drive people off of their land.
This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue. Though the Republican Party of Virginia as well as the Republican National Committee have both adopted resolutions opposing Agenda 21, Rosa Koire, author of Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21, is a liberal Democrat and has a website, Democrats Against UN Agenda 21. She has toured the nation, including Virginia, speaking on this issue.
It is incumbent upon the lawmakers of the Commonwealth of Virginia to choose the vision for so-called sustainable development or to recognize the property rights envisioned by the founders and protected by the 5th amendment. The two cannot co-exist.