Municipal environmental management and incentive scheme for Agenda 21 implementation in BriÌgida Sub-Basin, Brazil
The implementation of sustainable development may seem a simple concept when written on paper. However to balance environmental conservation with traditional social-economic development represents one of the main challenges for current and future generations. The present PhD study discusses global sustainable development concepts and the critical role of the local Agenda 21 (AG21) implementation process, in the developing region of the Brígida sub-basin, located in the Brazilian hinterland. The case study indicates that this will be a challenge in many other localities around the world as municipal governments in general do not have the capacity to effectively implement the process. The thesis argues that in order to achieve sustainable development it is necessary not only to promote sustainable actions but also to correct environmental problems due to past unsustainable social-economic development. Recent studies indicate that regional environmental assessment (REA) has been effective in supporting sustainable development. However traditional plan and project planning even though subjected to an environmental assessment, and financed by national and/or international funds may not be sustainable in the long-term because they become dependent on external funding. Additionally research findings demonstrate that relying solely on control strategies through environmental laws has not reduced degradation or supported permanent sustainability. The provision of incentives (educational and financial) to protect the environment rather than penalising society for causing degradation can be shown to be effective and can support the sustainable development process. Society can gradually be motivated through incentives to participate co-operatively in permanent sustainable development actions to achieve a better world. The research analyses various approaches such as stakeholders participatory events, modern municipal management instruments, corporate compensation systems and ecotax incentive and disincentive schemes to formulate a comprehensive and original municipal environmental management and incentive scheme (MEMS-MIS). The MEMS-MIS scheme seeks to improve municipal institutional capabilities to implement AG21’s using permanent funding from ecotax revenue.