Agenda 21? What is Agenda 21?

Most people have never heard of Agenda 21. If they have heard of it, they likely believe it to be a vague United Nations program that will never see the light of day, or they believe it is imagined by conspiracy theorists. Yet, the principles contained in Agenda 21 are at the heart of many of our federal programs since the late 1990s. They reach every corner of the United States and impact millions of Americans who don’t even realize the document exists.

Although Agenda 21 was decades in the making, it was showcased to the world at the 1992 UN “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro. It was there that President George H. Bush, along with leaders from 177 other nations, signed onto this “non-binding” UN action plan that was purportedly designed to assist governments at the local, national and international level implement the principles of so-called “sustainable development.” The “21” in the name refers to the 21st Century.

Agenda 21 made its way into the U.S. the following year when President Clinton quietly established the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). The PCSD codified Agenda 21 into U.S. policy through a program called Sustainable America. Today, nearly all federal programs dealing with land management, education, environment and much more are linked to Agenda 21 through Sustainable America.

Because of grassroots pushback, the federal government today rarely uses the term Agenda 21 or Sustainable America anymore – especially with any program it is promoting. Instead, programs which administer Agenda 21’s sustainable development principles are given warm and fuzzy titles like the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Obama’s Climate Action Plan and many more. Even the newest education fad, Common Core, is linked to Agenda 21, as are the new Next Generation Science Standards.

Google has over 300 million referenUN buildingces to Agenda 21, yet it’s hard for most people to get the truth about Agenda 21 because of the truckloads of smoke and misinformation generated by government bureaucrats and the progressive media. This UN program is indeed real and it is an affront to our personal liberties.\Agenda 21 is supposedly designed to make the world “sustainable” by limiting human activities that environmental extremists believe are harming the planet. That may sound fine to many people – until they understand what it means in practice. In order to protect the environment, Agenda 21 instructs governments to micromanage virtually all human activity – which the governments either severely restrict, or regulate to the point that such activity can be minimalized.

A good case in point took place in California recently, which as has been widely reported, experienced a major three-year drought. In mid-March 2014, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld federal guidelines that guaranteed minimal flow of the Sacramento River to benefit “endangered” Delta Smelt – totally neglecting the needs of local farmers. Most farmers are getting no water even though most of them have long-term contracts guaranteeing it to them.

Delta smeltIronically, the Delta Smelt have survived many severe droughts in the past when farmers got virtually all the available water from the Sacramento River. Yet today the smelt get the water and the farmers don’t – even though many of the farmers will not survive the cutbacks. Seeing the needs of nature as being in conflict with the needs of people is a principle that is at the very heart of Agenda 21.

This is no small matter. Thousands of workers are being put out of work in California, and up to 700,000 acres of prime farmland will be removed from production. Since one-third of America’s fruit and vegetables originate in California’s Central Valley, this means that food prices could jump as much as 3.5%. While that may not seem like much to the more affluent in our society, it could be devastating to seniors and the poor who may no longer be able buy essential fruits and vegetables.

Simply stated, the only way Agenda 21 can work is to deny private citizens their private property rights. This should surprise no one since the UN has maintained that “public control of land use is…indispensable” since the 1976 Habitat I Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Yet, recent research sponsored by the World Bank has shown that legally protected private property rights drastically reduce corruption, while establishing the foundation for wealth creation. This in turn also helps the environment as weathier nations spend more on environmental protection than poorer ones. The research stressed that “since these people do not have access to a comprehensive legal property system, they cannot leverage their assets to produce additional wealth.” The bottom line? “Nearly five billion people are legally and economically disenfranchised by their own governments,” reports the Bank.

The vast bulk of this is occurring, of course, in the developing world – but not all. The same thing is happening in the U.S. as Agenda 21 principles are adopted into policy. It has already had devastating effects. According to the Fraser Economic freedom wordsInstitute and CATO’s Economic Freedom of the World, the legal-system and-private-property-rights ranking for the U.S. plummeted from number one in 1980 to 38th in 2011; which not unsurprisingly has occurred since Agenda 21 principles began to be implemented in the 1990s. The U.S. combined economic ranking in the world from 1980 to 2000 was second or third place behind Hong Kong and Singapore. It plummeted to 19th between 2000 and 2011—mostly due to federal spending, debt, skyrocketing regulations (especially from EPA) and, most importantly, loss of a stable legal system and property rights.

Is it any wonder the current “economic recovery” is so anemic. Certainly not all of the economic woes we have experienced since President Obama’s election can be blamed on Agenda 21 policy. But Agenda 21 is no doubt a big factor in ravaging the U.S. economy. Citizens can begin to restore America’s health by supporting rational candidates at every level of government that are committed to ridding this nation of Agenda 21’s “sustainable development” policy plague.

Mike Coffman

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About the Author: Michael Coffman

Michael Coffman, PhD, is CEO of Sovereignty International and has worked to raise awareness about the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the key goals of Agenda 21

  • brossen99
  • Chuck from Salem

    Isn’t ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Issues) also associated with Agenda 21? There’s been an ongoing debate in our area (Roanoke County, Virginia) about the pros and cons of ICLEI, and the liberals have been saying that it’s a “good” thing, but conservatives (including me) want it OUT of here.

    • Okie Girl

      Yes, ICLEI is under the umbrella of Agenda 21. If your community is paying ICLEI dues, you are paying for Agenda 21. We stopped it here in Edmond and Norman, OK.

  • WHY

    Yes. ICLEI is definitely part of Agenda 21. Do not let ICLEI in by whatever name the group uses whether you live in a town, city or region. Search Rosa Koire. She has a website that explains things well and she provides very useful links to other American anti-Agenda 21 sites.
    I know that Alabama has outlawed Agenda 21. Other states are in the process of doing so.
    The whole idea of ICLEI (as with other aspects of Agenda 21) is to bypass representative democracy. The ‘grassroots’ take their land planning orders from the UN. No kidding. There is little that is ‘local’ about it. Think of it as you would a fast food franchise. Somebody else tell the operator how to do things. Except this time it is your property that is being planned – and often planned right out of your hands.
    If you go to The New American site you can also get help in making your decision. By the way, your city will have to pay membership in ICLEI. That’s out of your taxes. And it is the World Bank that formulates membership fees. How local does that seem?

    • Chuck from Salem

      Yes, the County Board of Supervisors has been paying $1,200 per year for “environmental” software. Hopefully they’re going to drop it, and the libs aren’t happy about it.

  • Waterforfish

    Mr. Coffman was doing fine until he went on a terribly misguided and mostly false rant about the “Delta Smelt” and how damaging its protection is to agriculture. The Delta Smelt is actually the “canary in the coal mine” for all of the Delta’s fisheries, as-it-has-declined-due to removing far to much water from the Delta and the SF Bay estuary, so-has-California’s-Commercial-and-Sport-fishing-Salmon-industries. The Salmon populations have been in precipitous decline ever since they started pumping massive amounts of water to the San Joaquin Valley to grow crops in what is actually a mineral salt laden desert. When the system first went in to service only annual crops were allowed, however over the last 30 years the system has been corrupted by well moneyed influence. The problem started with a few people with large political influence who were able to break the “rules” and started planting Almond orchards in ground that totally depends on imported water. This is due to the fact that Almond trees are very sensitive to some mineral salts in the groundwater where they are planted. Therefore the underground aquifers cannot be tapped for irrigation without killing their trees. Now that we’re in a major drought, this is why you hear all the screaming about “red herring” issues like “Delta Smelt” , period! Never mind that a few greedy folks took a gamble and planted hundreds of thousands of acres of trees that shouldn’t be there and ended up destroying the Salmon fishing industry in the process (which by the way, produced more economic output for the States GDP than their Almond trees do now), they are blaming every thing under the sun for their own gamble that now maybe be a loser for them and rightfully so!

    • Rferris

      Almond trees have a positive economic impact that is 100 times that of salmon. Salmon is a sports fishery and does not have a net positive economic impact.
      Over 100 years of Battle Creek releasing salmon fingerlings into the Sacramento River and there is still no known relationship between size of salmon runs and ANY factor the states biologist have yet discovered.
      The lack of water in the delta is their current THEORY . It is a theory only and is backed up with very little actual evidence.
      The harm done is real and is backed up with ruined lives.
      The farmers that lost water have zero to do with almond growing. They grow field crops.
      The underground aquifer talk is nonsense….there just is not enough underground to supply the need.
      WE are the worlds largest supplier of Almonds. The Salmon fishery operates at the public’s expense. It is a subsidy to fishing fanatics at the expense of everybody else……..

      • Waterforfish

        Only because the Growers have killed off most of the Salmon runs by building dams that cut them off from their spawning areas and taking water away from them. Growing Almonds in the Desert takes 4 times the water that is used when Almonds are grown in the Sacramento Valley..Go do your homework.

        There is no “Theory” about why there is no salmon left, there is a reason and that is the CVP and SWP projects and their pumps suck them out of their natural migratory routes and into the pumps where they are killed or pumped south to fertilize your Almond trees.. Fish Hatcheries cannot reproduce what wild Salmon do.

        You state that “The Salmon fishery operates at the public’s expense. It is a subsidy to
        fishing fanatics at the expense of everybody else……..”

        What arrant BS.Tell us about your Almond operation using subsidized water, pumped with subsidized electricity or talking about field crops, how about the subsidies that some of them get?? All courtesy of taxpayers and ratepayers.. Also what about your most JUNIOR WATER RIGHTS, Like I said before, planting permanent crops when you know you are not going to get any water during droughts was/is a foolish gamble and trying to blame it on everything in world but the real cause doesn’t work, Period!

        • Mick Stephens

          So now we cannot plant trees because they use too much water?? *laugh*…Talk about grasping at straws..*shaking head*

          • waterforfish

            All I can say is reread my reply and understand what I said before you make inane comments. It’s not at all about planting “trees”!!

            It’s about planting specific “trees” where they should NOT be planted (in the desert) and watering them with water that is imported at taxpayer’s expense! If the growers weren’t getting subsidized (courtesy of the best politicians money can buy) they wouldn’t be in business!

            • PithHelmut

              Yeah but that should have been addressed through government policy from the beginning – isn’t that what government is for – to manage common resources properly? But simply cutting off farmers without some kind of trade-off is just bullying.

    • Norman Dillinger

      your full of shit it makes me sick to see tumble weeds rolling around dried up fields of small farms that use to be producing so much food, Now only the Giant GMO monsanto farms get all the water they need to grow their poison

    • Capt. Billy Whizbang

      The aquifers are drying up. That’s why the land in the San Joaquin valley is sinking.

    • E Stoneback

      So, how did this smelt survive before Shasta dam was in place?. My father grew up in the Redding area before the dam. He was pictures of the river before the dam. You could easily walk across it and never go deeper the knee deep. This was in none drought years. The way environmentalist play this game is idiotic. If you payed attention to your own rhetoric it would be amazing. Nature survived before us on this one. So its, this fish or that fish requires 20 to 30 times more water today to survive then before man built the dam. But wait, next you’ll say that the dam has to go because some other fish wont come back until then. Pick an argumentative side FFS. The truth more then likely is its a game played to hopefully force the forfeiture of land that will go into a protected land for a single bland grass ant or some shit like that of the agendas choosing to remove mans use of it.

  • jameshrust

    It appears Agenda 21 is playing out in Nevada when the government is threatening farmer Bundy because his cattle is interfering with the rights of the Desert Tortoise.

  • patricia97954

    Human beings have – largely – done for the planet in no small measure – polluting rivers,mining land,mismanaged waste products, deforestation, greedily running too many animals on inadequate pasture, and most of all – over populating the planet. There are more humans – approx 8 billion -on earth than at any time in history.
    Agenda 21 is just another ‘brick in the wall’ of ongoing lack of vision in those who are supposed to be at the top of the tree initiating responsible measures for the good of our citizens.

    • WHY

      I agree that human beings keep making mistakes about how to care for their natural surroundings. Nowhere is that more evident than in parts of the world where the state has taken over control of the land and its resources. Visit Russia and other eastern European countries and China, for example, and you’ll see the devastation. When the collective takes over, individuals lose not only their rights to proper stewardship of nature’s bounty and beauty but also their incentive to do so. When the state insists, for example, in leaving forests to return to their natural state, owls are no longer able to spot (through the overgrowth) their food scurrying on the floor of the forest. Owls die of starvation or move to more productive hunting grounds in more open spaces. Trees die and the deadwood acts as tinder in a fire which results in thousands of acres of forest burning to the ground and in rains washing the result into streams and rivers. The problem with so many who want to save Earth from Man is that they are not ecologists but merely cultists.

      • PithHelmut

        Fires are natural and we don’t understand them enough. They regenerate new forests quickly spurring massive growth in a short time. First we mis-manage, then we shove people around like it’s their fault. No, government has caused the problems by their mismanagement in the first place, allowing corporations to run amok on the planet, and along with the government, in an orgy of thievery and a relentless decimation of human well-being and dignity.

    • Gnowark

      You seem to have forgotten the advances in science, medicine, and communistic control. Has the desert tortoise ever been to the moon? Has the prairie chicken created a computer for you to sow your wisdom for all of us to see on the PC Internet (I mean Prairie Chicken Internet, not Politically Correct). Karl Marx would have been amazed at the popularity of his ideas currently in the US (as would Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, et al. in an altogether different manner, as they were in favor of the advances of men). If 99% of the world’s land is UNpopulated, and that 1% means, to you,over-populated, I’m wondering if you feel your government over-spending its income to the tune of 150% spending is all right?

    • Gnowark

      You seem to have forgotten the advances in science, medicine, and communistic control. Has the desert tortoise ever been to the moon? Has the prairie chicken created a computer for you to sow your wisdom for all of us to see on the PC Internet (I mean Prairie Chicken Internet, not Politically Correct). Karl Marx would have been amazed at the popularity of his ideas currently in the US (as would Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, et al. in an altogether different manner, as they were in favor of the advances of men). If 99% of the world’s land is UNpopulated, and that 1% means, to you,over-populated, I’m wondering if you feel your government over-spending its income to the tune of 150% spending is all right?

  • Allen Barclay Allen

    This is the Sadistic plan of Agenda 21 But the Red horse is just arriving with Vladimir Putin. His Taking of Crimean Peninsula. The Pale horse of the Apocalypse does not arrive tell the Church is gone.

    Revelation 6:8 KJVA
    And I looked , and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

    • PithHelmut

      Oh cut it with the quotes from an old, out-of-time book will ya? That makes you invested in some kind of Armageddon which is exactly the notion the elite wish to implant into your cranium. And they have the trillions to pull off just the right theater to fulfill the prophesies who their own bloodlines wrote many generations ago.

  • Gnowark

    I believe ‘Agenda for the 21st Century’ is merely a tool for control, not the problem. OUR Constitution was the remedy for the problem of the power-hungry who use weapons such as Ag.21. They seem to be multiplying faster than ever, and without people’s knowledge of our Constitution, it, and its freedoms recognized, are in danger

  • PithHelmut

    Wouldn’t it be better to tackle the “low hanging fruit” like stopping subsidies to fossil fuel companies before attempting “sustainable development” policies that impose yet more restrictions on the godforsaken people again, n’est pa? Rather ridiculous to advocate restraint on citizens when fossil fuel companies are still being subsidized. This is so ridiculous as to be asinine. And what about teaching conservation so and rewarding it instead of penalties and taxes? What about growing hemp? This beneficial and marvelous plant is still prohibited with no sign of change. A sustainable development policy exposes the extent of its disingenuousness when it omits these important factors. This document needs to be challenged vociferously.

    • Bruce9

      As long as it used as rope, or clothing, not for changing mental outlook, incurring health risks, damage.

  • Thoughts

    Could you provide one solid reference to backup your arguments? For example, with the situation in CA, I read the linked article but it does not reference Agenda 21 in any way. Can you provide the specific relationship that proves the federal regulations were a direct result of Agenda 21?