Four small- to medium-sized municipalities in the south-east of Sweden were chosen for a 5-year study of their Local Agenda 21 (LA21) processes. The study shows that the LA21 processes have instigated many new ideas, brought fields together and introduced new subjects into the municipal world. In the decisions of the local governments environmental considerations are treated seriously. There are signs of an extended dialogue and of public influence, especially within fields where citizens are directly involved. LA21 does not seem to have great influence on which natural resources are dealt with, but does on how they are dealt with. New stakeholders within and outside the municipal organization have been identified through the LA21 processes, and more comprehensive ways of solving problems and a positive climate for testing new ideas have been created. In these respects LA21 has been and will be a significant support to the development of appropriate natural resource management at the local level.