Adopting a policy framework incorporating long-term and cross-sectoral approaches

It has been repeatedly shown that sectoral policies taken in isolation do not always yield the desired results. One reason is that sectoral policies can solve one problem while aggravating others, particularly over a long time frame. Although the existence of interlinkages between environmental problems is now better known, we still lack understanding of exactly how the issues are linked, to what degree they interact and what the most effective measures are likely to be.

Sectoral policies conceived in isolation from related sectors do not always yield the desired results - and, indeed, can even have negative impacts, particularly when viewed over a longer time frame. Environmental policies that encompass broad social considerations are the most likely to make a positive and lasting impact. This holds good across the gamut of environmental issues - for example, water, land and other forms of natural resource management, forest conservation, air quality control, and urban and coastal area management.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends adopting a domestically formulated policy framework that reflects a long-term perspective and cross-sectoral approach as the basis for decisions, taking account of the links between and within the various political, economic, social and environmental issues involved in the development process.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions