The paper presents a knowledge representation formalism, in the form of a high-level Action Description Language (ADL) for multi-agent systems, where autonomous agents reason and act in a shared environment. Agents are autonomously pursuing individual goals, but are capable of interacting through a shared knowledge repository. In their interactions through shared portions of the world, the agents deal with problems of synchronization and concurrency; the action language allows the description of strategies to ensure a consistent global execution of the agents' autonomously derived plans. A distributed planning problem is formalized by providing the declarative specifications of the portion of the problem pertaining to a single agent. Each of these specifications is executable by a stand-alone CLP-based planner. The coordination among agents exploits a Linda infrastructure. The proposal is validated in a prototype implementation developed in SICStus Prolog. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.