More and more local communities are rising up to oppose local comprehensive land use plans and local ordinances because they claim the policies contained in the documents reflect the recommendations found in the U.N.’s Agenda 21, which result in the loss of property rights and individual freedom. Consequently, proponents of professional planning and sustainable development increase their criticism of the opposition, often resorting to ridicule and personal attacks. So who’s right about Agenda 21?

All the history and information you need to know about Agenda 21 can be found here. The fact is that many people who speak on both sides of this issue are wrong. For example, the American Political Action Committee recently sent an email that said:

  • Wipe private property off the face of the earth.
  • Force you and your family to live in a single-family energy efficient home.
  • Confiscate private farms and farmland.
  • Snatch away private landholdings.
  • Ban individual ownership of cars.

Well, not exactly. Agenda 21 has no enforcement power at all. It is a non-binding document that offers nearly 300 pages of very specific recommendations that may be adopted by nations, states or local governments. Agenda 21 has no power until a government body incorporates the recommendations into a law, rule or ordinance. Then, and only then, does the recommendation have legal enforcement authority.

It is true that the official policy of the U.N. is for government to control the use of all land. It is also true that Chapter 7 of Agenda 21 recommends ways for government to take control of land use:

7.30. Subsequently, all countries should consider developing national land-resource management plans to guide land-resource development and utilization and, to that end, should:

(a) Establish, as appropriate, national legislation to guide the implementation of public policies for environmentally sound urban development, land utilization, housing and for the improved management of urban expansion;

(c) Develop fiscal incentives and land-use control measures, including land-use planning solutions for a more rational and environmentally sound use of limited land resources;

This email, however, is designed to scare people into sending a fax to every senator, a service which the email sender provides for a reasonable fee. Unfortunately, the Senate has nothing to do with the implementation of Agenda 21. It is not a treaty and therefore, does not have to be ratified. No bills come before the Senate requesting funds for Agenda 21. Appropriation bills contain vast sums for “challenge grants,” to be awarded by the EPA and other agencies. Few, if any, senators recognize these appropriations as funding for Agenda 21. Faxes sent in response to this email are wasted, and worse. For those who may know that Agenda 21 does not need to be ratified, the fax reveals the lack of knowledge of the sender.

Moore County North Carolina’s newspaper, The Pilot, published an article by Joe McDonald that presents a good example of the view held by advocates of Agenda 21. He says: “The document bends over backward to make it clear that the sovereignty of each member country is to be respected.” This is quite true – because the document has no power until its recommendations become local law. McDonald also says:

Agenda 21 was largely put aside and forgotten about until a gentleman out in California named Michael Shaw, with his Freedom 21 organization, decided that the concept of sustainable development is actually a cover for a communist plot to abolish private property rights and to take over the world.

Not true. President Bill Clinton created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in 1993. Until 1999, all federal agencies worked diligently through the PCSD to implement the recommendations in Agenda 21, by rule where possible, and with new legislation when necessary.

Michael Shaw made no claim that Agenda 21 was a “communist plot.” These are Joe McDonald’s words used in a deliberate attempt to ridicule and denigrate a great American patriot. Michael Shaw is not spreading conspiracy theories; he is working to inform his neighbors and fellow Americans that Agenda 21 contains recommendations that, when adopted, will result in the loss of private property rights. A few examples may be seen here (17:34) of how Agenda 21, where it has been adopted into local ordinances, is removing people from their land without compensation and is destroying private property rights.

The recommendations in Agenda 21 lead inevitably to more government control over virtually every facet of human life. Those who champion individual liberty and private property rights should learn as much as possible about Agenda 21 and how to confront it. Join a local tea-party, property-rights, or 9/12 group, and help save your community and this great nation.


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