Presenting a Methodological Framework for Regional Environmental Assessment and Local-level Implementation of Agenda 21 – a Case Study of Sahand Region in East Azerbaijan Province

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Associate Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University.

2 Assisstant Professor, Environmental Science research Institute University of Shahid Beheshti.

3 M.A Graduate, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University.


The creation of environmental problems in both developing and developed countries has attracted more attention to the question of environmental conservation during the decision making process. Rapid development and its effect on the environment have resulted in impact assessment to become a part of development activities and it has been necessary to assess strategies for selecting the best one. The implementation of sustainable development requires several support instruments of which the main one is environmental impact assessment which places more emphasis on access to sustainable forms in the development process. Recently, Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) has become known as an effective instrument in supporting the local sustainable development process. In this research, effort has been given to analyzing unsustainable socio-economic development patterns by applying REA in Sahand region.In addition some strategies have been created for localizing Agenda 21 and promoting sustainable and multi-sectoral development in this region. These results indicate that most environmental problems in the region are due to unsustainable socio-economic activities and too little attention being paid by the responsible institutions at the regional level. Hence, in order to minimize environmental problems and supporting the local sustainable development, not only is it necessary to propose development actions by considering the environmental parameters at the beginning of plans and policies, but we should also proceed to develop the necessary strategic actions in order to modify the causes of environmental problems due to unsustainable socio-economic development.