Philippine Agenda 21 is the nation’s blueprint for sustainable development. In concreting the vision, it describes a path for individuals, families, households and communities; an action plan for each ecosystem (coastal/marine, freshwater, upland, lowland, and urban); and across ecosystems in consideration of the interaction of the various lifescapes and landscapes found therein. The path is grounded on respect and active advocacy for the empowerment of the various social groupings of society to manage the economy, critical resources, society and culture, politics and governance and in the arena of foreign relations.

Philippine Agenda 21 advocates a fundamental shift in development thinking and approach. It departs from traditional conceptual frameworks that emphasize sector-based and macro concerns. Philippine Agenda 21 promotes harmony and achieves sustainability by emphasizing.

  • A scale of intervention that is primarily area-based. The national and global policy environment builds upon and supports area-based initiatives.
  • Integrated island development approaches where applicable. This recognizes the archipelagic character of the Philippines which includes many small island provinces.
  • People and integrity of nature at the center of development initiatives. This implies the strengthening of roles, relationships, and interactions between and among stakeholders in government, civil society, labor and business. Basic sectors have an important role to play in achieving equity and managing the ecosystems that sustain life.

PA 21 envisions a better quality of life for all Filipinos through the development of a just, moral and creative, spiritual, economically vibrant, caring, diverse yet cohesive society characterized by appropriate productivity, participatory and democratic processes, and living in harmony and within the limits of the carrying capacity of nature and the integrity of creation.

PA 21 was adopted on 26 September 1996, with the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 399 by then President Fidel V. Ramos which identified the roles of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and each sector in the operationalization of PA 21. The action agenda is based on the imperatives of the current national situation and emerging landscape for sustainable development.

PA 21 is a dynamic document that will continue to evolve as new challenges and opportunities emerge, as the level of consensus continue to deepen in the Philippine society, as the Filipinos attempt to solidify the framework, as the government continue to refine the processes, and as the Filipinos strive to widen and enrich their understanding of each other to pave the way for new modes of collaboration.

PCSD Partners