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Zehra Aydin
on Sat, February 23, 2013 at 09.07 pm

Week 4 (Feb 25- Mar 3) : What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed?

Details:

Welcome to our fourth and last e-discussion! 

In this final week, we will wrap up the conversation by bringing previous e-discussion threads together, identifying areas where you feel there is evolving consensus and also areas where you see the need for further dialogue. 

If you missed previous weeks, you can still add your comments by visiting the following links:
E-discussion 1 (4- 10 Feb)Capitalizing on MDGs and MDG7 Achievements and Addressing the Gaps;
E-discussion 2 (11 -17 Feb)Addressing Development Challenges in a Changing World;
E-discussion 3 (18- 24 Feb)Framing Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Agenda;

You can participate in your preferred language (click here for instructions on how to use Google translate) and take a look at the background information prepared to help you get through this week's question:

In your opinion, what are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed? 

Français

4ième semaine : Consensus et divergence

  1. Quels sont les domaines pour lesquels un consensus apparait, et pour quels domaines un dialogue plus approfondi parait encore nécessaire ?

Español:
4ta Semana: El consenso y divergencia

La última semana marcará el final de la discusión electrónica mediante la identificación de áreas de consenso, así como la identificación de áreas donde se necesita más diálogo. Los moderadores platearan una serie de preguntas para la última semana en base a los resultados de las primeras 3 semanas.

第四周:一致性和分歧
 
为了达成一致和进行进一步对话,有哪些方面或领域需要商讨?

الأسبوع الرابع: التوافق والاختلاف

ماهي المواضيع التي من المتوقع أن يتم التوصل فيها لإتفاق؟ وما المواضيع التي تحتاج إلى مناقشة مُتعمقه؟
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 Disclaimer: The moderator's views are their own and don't represent those of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
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Alfredo Arturo Corredor Becerra Coordinador
Mon, October 20, 2014 at 02.11 am

En mi concepto es fundamental hablar sobre un cronogra,a para aplicar un modelo Sostenible para cada país y compromisos globales.

Alfredo Arturo Corredor Becerra Coordinador
Mon, October 20, 2014 at 02.11 am

En mi concepto es fundamental hablar sobre un cronogra,a para aplicar un modelo Sostenible para cada país y compromisos globales.

Alfredo Arturo Corredor Becerra Coordinador
Mon, October 20, 2014 at 02.09 am

En mi concepto es fundamental hablar sobre un cronogra,a para aplicar un modelo Sostenible para cada país y compromisos globales.

Michel Boulos from Egypt
Tue, April 9, 2013 at 05.28 am

I am very haappy that we have lot of people and experts thinking for the future of the world, 

The decisions which have been issued by the leaders, responsibles and managers, young or old carry inside injustice and justice and therefore we should have a big role with the laws and decisions,and procedures, the capacity of each country to implement and control will put it in the suitable level of decelopment.
The communities are still not welcome the weak,disabled and the poor people, which means that the communities need much awareness and faith by jutice, equality and all people have the right for quality life

Ade Olaiya Chairman from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Sun, April 7, 2013 at 02.27 pm

Merci World We Want 2015 ... Universal Human Rights  for All  ... Social Inclusion  and Equality for Minorities ... Less Corruption of National & World Leaders ... More Accountability to the Citizens of the World ... Dignity & Social Justice  ...

Peace n Love Y'all! 

Pricilla Nakyazze Social scientist from Uganda
Sun, April 7, 2013 at 01.45 pm

Accountability and transparency should be integrated in all goals that is the only way we are going to be able to meet all development goals . Let's start with these incorporated into health,education,governance,education and all services that are basic and by 2030 we will not have a third world. Even with the little resources we have when corruption and misuse of funds is eliminated we shall be on a fast track to development

Lal Manavado from
Mon, April 8, 2013 at 07.20 am
I think the logical priorities have remained unnoticed:
 
In the series of discussion on 11 themes so far, their logical priorities have not received the attention they merit. Of course, the successful achievement of a goal requires a certain degree of accountability at lower level, for accountability presumes that one has already determined who is responsible for doing  something. Unless who is responsible is clearly established, it is impossible to hold anyone accountable.
 
Turning back to the importance of logical priority, governance has the highest priority, for it defines not only the ends to be achieved, but also the means that may be used to gain that objective.
 
Hence, formulation of a general development governance entails identification of generic goals, but also a frame of reference within which they are to be identified. It would be reasonable to suggest that preservation of our environment ought to furnish such a framework, for environmental degradation  would threaten our existence.
 
Once these general principles are accepted, it would be possible to identify a hierarchy of logically linked generic goals whose attainment can be considered in detail.
 
Obviously, education, nutrition, security and health are essential for one to improve one's life. Hence, equitable means of achieving them are of prime importance.
 
The possibility of achieving those four goals depends on having sufficient access to communications and supply of energy.
 
Achievement of these six goals requires the possession of certain financial resources.
 
Successful achievement of any goal depends on one's willingness to undertake the required actions with sufficient skill.
 
One's lack of willingness to do so when one is able to undertake such actions and one is required to do it, represents an evasion of one's responsibility. This unwillingness may be motivated by corruption, indifference or incompetence.
 
Accountability then, is concerned with such evations of responsibility, or to use a better phrase, dereliction of duty.
 
Manavado.
 


From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 07 April 2013 06:50
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Pricilla Nakyazze Social scientist from Uganda commented on the Discussion "Week 4 (Feb 25- Mar 3) : What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed? "

kabasele Muboyayi kalonji from South Africa
Sun, April 7, 2013 at 04.10 pm

I strongly agree with Pricilla. Accountability and transparency should be included in the post 2015 targeted goals. That is why monitoring and evaluation should be integrated in all programmes. Accountability and transparency should also rhyme with countries ownership of their programmes, with respect to "The Declaration of Paris" and "The Three Ones Principles". 

Margaret Gadd from Australia
Fri, April 5, 2013 at 03.10 am

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this global conversation.  It is exciting to see many common themes and ideas - particularly in relation to the topic of disability-inclusive sustainable development.   We wish to add some brief comments from an Australian perspective and experience.  

National Disability Services is Australia’s peak body for non-government disability services.  Through the provision of information, representation and policy advice, NDS promotes and advances services which support people with all forms of disability to participate in all domains of life.   

Workability International is the world's largest body representing providers of work and employment services to people with disabilities. More than three million people with disabilities are engaged in work programmes; accessing employment and work, delivered by more than 130 member organisations in more than 40 countries.

NDS and Workability International strongly support the consensus that is evolving in relation to disability issues in international development discourse.  

We recognise the inter-relationships between all aspects of sustainable development, and agree with the need to adopt a holistic systems-based approach to the Post 2015 agenda.      

A comprehensive Sustainable Development Framework, supported by sufficient funding, with goals and indicators which are inclusive of people with disabilities - along with an approach to all development which is based on human rights and strengths - are all critical factors to Post 2015 effectiveness.  

 

National Disability Services and Workability International have been built upon the collective strengths of members, working in partnership with governments, civil society and all major stakeholders.  Working together, nationally and internationally, achieves results.  

 

A comprehensive global Framework for Sustainable Development, based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, and clearly articulating the inter-relationships between poverty, disability and all other topics, will guide developed and developing nations in setting priorities and meeting targets for 2016 - 2030.      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The MDGs[U1]  will not be achieved without a sustained and comprehensive approach to the inclusion of people with disabilities in development programs The poor are disproportionately disabled and people with disabilities are disproportionately poor. Reducing poverty is therefore unlikely to be achieved unless the rights and priorities of people with disabilities are addressed.

There are many strengths in the disability context that Australia has the opportunity to build upon.  There are already many organisations and individuals with a great deal of knowledge, skill and experience in this sector with whom Australia can work.  There is much good work that can be extended and supported.  Much more can be achieved through building on what is already working well and working with those who are already doing it, than starting with the idea that there is an impossibly huge leap to make to be able to improve the lives of people with disabilities.  This is why a strengths based approach is critical, not just to the disability inclusive agenda, but for the whole aid program.

 

 


 [U1]As above

Dossè SOSSOUGA from Togo
Fri, April 5, 2013 at 03.31 pm

Merci pour les étoiles qui brilleront pour les personnes handicapées . Au Togo les personnes handicapées ont les mèmes problèmes. Il faut que la communauté internationale fasse son devoir avec suivi. Que les Etats aussi intègrent les personnes handicapées dans ses priorités en soutenant  la société civile qui s'engagera  dans les sensibilisations, les créativités d'emploi pour personnes handicapées pour l'inclusion. C'est un processus de chaine continue.

Rob Wheeler
Wed, March 6, 2013 at 11.22 am

Here are the priorities that I think are most important for Framing the Environmental Sustainability elements of the Post 2015 process. I believe that they mirror many of the suggestions that have come out of the dialogue and ought to be discussed further during Part 2 of this consultation and included in the recommendations to the UN Member States and international community.

 

  • We need a comprehensive framework for the 2016-2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Targets and Indicators.
  • This should thus include and focus on achieving all of the goals that have already been set along with putting in place sufficient funding to be able to do so
  • We should strive to achieve full sustainability as rapidly as possible, including by defining and focusing on the pre-requisites for achieving full sustainability
  • Include the full participation of civil society and the major groups in the negotiations and decision making processes
  • Involve and support (including financially) the participation of all peoples in achieving a sustainable future
  • Fulfill the Rio Declaration and Principles beginning with the Precautionary Principle and the mandate and obligation to first "Do No Harm"
  • Develop integrated comprehensive approaches to implementing sustainable development

 

Many discussion participants have written about the need to educate the general public and to raise awareness about the oneness of humanity, inter-relationships between all  aspects of sustainable development, and the need to adopt a holistic systems based approach to the Post 2015 and sustainable development processes. During the run up to the Rio+20 Conference I worked with a team of people and two Film Production Companies to develop a proposal for a TV program series on Sustainable Development that could go out to hundreds of millions of people around the world. 

 

This is still very much possible through Rocket Media, which has produced and distributed the Energy Globe Awards program for the past 10 years. I thus think that this consultation should continue to focus on how we can educate, inform, and involve the public through such means as this. 

 

In addition i want to support the suggestions from Geoff Holland:

 

We need to begin to talk about funding. Clearly there was inadequate funding for the MDGs. There is likely to be inadequate funding for the SDGs 2016-2030. Most DAC nations cannot even achieve their 0.7% GNI for ODI commitments made back in 1970 and recommitted to many times since, for God's sake.

 

I am sure many people have already pointed out that for many of the MDGs, the goals were not clearly defined and there were no precise indicators to measure progress in achieving those goals - eg Goals 7.1 and 7.2 mentioned above.

 

We also need to scrutinise indicator methodologies to make sure they reflect reality and are working. We also need to adequately fund countries, particularly developing countries and LDCs, to be able to collect accurate data.

 

We must look at the estimated 500 internationally agreed commitments we have already (UNEP - GEO 5), where there is little or no progress in 95% of them. We must ask - why is there no discussion (at least that I have seen) of including the 20 Aichi Targets already agreed to if we are concerned about biodiversity? Biodiversity was the target of MDG 7.2 (which was pre-Aichi targets), so presumably biodiversity - at least one goal! - will be included in the SDGs.

 

Speaking of the academic sector, it amazes me how little university students of Environmental Science (for example) know about international negotiations on environmental protection and international environmental agreements, as if we need to quarantine science from anything that smacks of politics. This must change! Environmental Science students should be highly exposed and informed about the upcoming 2016-2030 SDGs, the Aichi Targets and others. 

 

And I think that the comments by Kishan KHODAY of UNDP also deserve further discussion:

 

In measuring progress under MDG 7A on the integration of Sustainable Development Principles into national policy, a key trend has been expanded use of rights-based approaches to sustainable development. Specifically, with regards the goal of expanding citizen access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters (Rio Principle 10), recent years have seen the global expansion of national Constitutions and new institutions expressing citizen environmental rights. 

 

At the time of the first Rio Summit in 1992, only about 60 countries had such provisions. By 2012, this has more than doubled, with about 140 Constitutions today with sustainable development principles. (http://www.ipc-undp.org/pub/IPCPolicyResearchBrief19.pdf). There are also over 350 specialized environmental courts and tribunals established across 40 countries providing greater citizen access to environmental justice. 

 

Recent years have seen a surge of social accountability movements around issues of social and environmental justice, with citizens calling the State and private sector to account for trends of environmental degradation and the impacts on the poor in particular. 

 

Principles of citizen access to information, participation and justice could be integrated into the core of the emerging post-MDG 7 framework, based on normative and institutional trends in countries around the world, and an elaboration of clear indicators for measuring progress with models designed in recent years by the World Resources Institute, The Access Initiative (TAI) and others. In an effort to bolster these efforts at the global level, at its 19th Session in March 2012 the UN Human Rights Council passed a Resolution on Human Rights and the Environment, establishing an independent expert on the right to a “safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” which can bolster civil society’s drive for a more rights-based approach to sustainable development in the post-Rio+20, post-2015 era.

 

And then there are the comments on the need to strengthen the measurement of Targets and Indicators and to adequately address and fulfill Population goals:

 

Harpinder Sandhu

Fri, February 8

 

As noted in the review paper, there are gaps in data that is available to measure MDGs. So my first suggestion is to carry out primary studies involving researchers and scientific community in partnership with local groups, policy makers to draw a benchmark and then short list measurable indicators which can be followed through the time frame of new MDGs for improvements. Countries where data is not available should be made priority target countries. Ministries responsible for rural development, agriculture, environment, forest and finance should be involved in those countries. 

 

Sarah Fisher

Sun, February 10, 2013 at 07.16 pm

The absence of population dynamics from the MDGs: a lesson that must be learnt and incorporated into the post-2015 agenda, including through advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 

By Population and Sustainability Network

 

Humanity’s impact on the environment is determined by population size and the influence of other population dynamics, consumption levels and technologies. Population dynamics, including growth, urbanisation, age structures and migration, interact with the environment to influence consumption and availability of natural resources, including land and water. Yet population dynamics, including population size, growth, urbanization, ageing and migration were entirely absent from the MDG framework, meaning that the MDGs were formulated with no thought to the scale and scope of the development challenges faced. In 2000 the global population was 6.1 and it is projected to reach 7.3 billion in 2015. 

 

By failing to take into account projected population growth, the MDG framework failed to consider how many people needed to be lifted out of poverty, how many people needed food and water security. World population growth has undermined progress towards the MDGs, outpacing investments in education and health and undermining poverty alleviation, job creation and food and water security. Between now and 2050 the world’s population is projected to increase from 7 to 9.3 billion, with the vast majority of this growth expected in developing countries where water shortages are severe and hunger most prevalent. 

 

Alongside consumption patterns, demographic change will be a key influence of environmental sustainability and the achievement of wider sustainable development, and therefore must be taken into account by the new framework. This must include investment in sexual and reproductive health programmes, including voluntary family planning. 222 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception, meaning there are real opportunities to reduce population growth and associated pressures, by preventing unplanned pregnancies, at the same time as improving health and other sustainable development objectives. Investment in family planning is extremely cost-effective. For every dollar spent in family planning, 2- 6 US dollars can be saved for other development interventions,

Rob Wheeler
Wed, March 6, 2013 at 10.57 am

Here are the attachments that I wanted to include with my comments on Supporting Sustainable Rural and Impoverished Urban Development through the Post 2015 Process which I was not able to post before. I guess I wasn't logged in then even though it included my name as though I was. Anyway here are the attachments now. 

Thanks, Rob Wheeler

Global Ecovillage Network

Commons Action for the UN

Anonymous
Wed, March 6, 2013 at 10.19 am

Hi,

I am wanting to add the attachments to the last input that I submitted on Rural Development. I see that others have done this and I did it during the January discussions; but I cannot see how to do it now. Can you please tell me how I can do this or send me an email address that I can send them to so that you can add them. 

Thank you, 

Rob Wheeler

Zehra Aydin from
Tue, March 5, 2013 at 08.03 pm

Dear Colleagues,

Week 4 is now closed. There were nearly 5000 views and 112 comments! Thank you all for contributing and making this week great fun! We are working on a summary of the comments which we will upload soon.

Next in the process is the Leadership Meeting (see the concept note about the consultations for info), after which we will start Phase II of the on-line consultations. I hope you will continue to engage very actively in Phase II as well.

Thanks again!

Anonymous from
Tue, March 5, 2013 at 11.26 am

Supporting Sustainable Rural and Impoverished Urban Development through the Post 2015 Process

 

During the Consultation on Environmental Sustainability a number of participants have focused on the need to address Rural Development, particularly as regards both the dependency of and impact upon the natural environment by rural people and communities. 

 

The Global Ecovillage Network and the EcoEarth Alliance UN Partnership Initiative on Sustainable Rural and Impoverished Urban Communities submitted a paper during the first part of this consultation in January focusing on and calling for the development of an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach to sustainable rural and impoverished urban development as a central element in the Post 2015 process. Our submission, entitled GEN Submission_Post 2015_Env Sustainability, is attached. (I cannot see now how to attach these files and have to go to work now. I will have to add them later. Rob)

 

More specifically we are calling on the United Nations to support the development of a global network of resource and service centers which could be established in various regions around the world to support the development of this approach. Each resource and service center would work with some fifty villages in the region and provide access to knowledge, information, technologies, best practices, basic supplies, equipment, and training programs. 

 

Maury Albertson, who designed the US Peace Corps program under Sargent Shriver, and the Village Earth Institute have developed a proposal for how such a global network could be established and what it would look like. It is described in various levels of detail in several papers that are attached. 

 

We are urging the UN to establish such a global network of grassroots support organizations, resource and service centers, and training programs to develop local capacity building and assist villages and rural communities in eradicating poverty and meeting basic human needs. There is a great need to stem the flow of rural to urban migration, while investing in environmental sustainability, as was mentioned by Harpinder Sandhu during Week 2 when he wrote: 

 

"Most of the emerging economies are following the growth model which developed countries have successfully implemented. However, in emerging and developing economies there are large populations based in rural areas. Forcing this population out of farming and into industrialisation often leads to mass migrations, poverty, food shortages and degradation of ecosystems and other services."

 

The Global Ecovillage Network, along with many others, have already demonstrated how we can stem rural migration, reduce the impact of rural and impoverished urban communities on the natural environment, and take the steps needed to reduce poverty if sufficient resources can be provided to invest in sustainable rural and impoverished urban development. 

 

Several groups within UNDP also submittted a paper entitled: An Argument  for Anchoring  the  Post-­‐2015  Sustainable  Development  Framework  

in  Community-­‐Based  Action,  Innovation  and  Empowerment during the first phase of this consultation. That paper is also attached. 

 

The paper states that: "environment  and  development  policies,  targets, and metrics  will   need  to  work  with  and  through  local  groups  to  be effective. At  the  same  time,  a  next-­‐generation  development  framework must  recognize  and  foster  the  viability  of   community-­‐based   management   of   local   ecosystem   assets   as   a   source   of   employment,   social   empowerment,   good   governance   and   inclusion,   and   cultural   preservation.   Local   ecosystem-­‐based   initiatives  help national  governments  advance  people-­‐centered  development  solutions,  add tremendous   value  to  the  rural  development  model,  and  have  proven  to be highly  scalable."

 

The conclusions of these UNDP groups mirrors the findings of the Global Ecovillage Network, ie "Local   civil   society   groups   working   on   ecosystems   and   natural   resource   management   tend   to   deliver   development   benefits   well   beyond   environment   and   conservation.   These   initiatives   often   evolve   organically   to   fill   gaps   in   service   provision   and   deliver   benefits   in   the   areas   of   health,   education,   energy   and   water   access,   livelihoods,   food   security,   governance,   conflict   resolution,   disaster   recovery,   risk   management   and  more."

 

"When   properly   empowered   and   enabled,   local   best   practice   can   lead   to   the   kind   of   scaling   that   creates   landscape-­‐level   change   and   transforms   economies.   Many   local   initiatives   successfully   scale-­‐up   to   become   the   predominant   governing   bodies   for   entire   ecosystems,  wildlife  corridors,  and  agricultural  landscapes.  This  scaling phenomenon  refutes  the   common   but   mistaken   view   that   local   solutions  invariably   remain   small   in   scope   and   impact. They  are often the foundation  on  which  national  progress  towards  development goals is built."

 

The development of a global program to support local communities through regional networks of resource and service centers and training programs could go a long ways towards ensuring that all peoples basic human rights and needs are met, while the environment is protected and restored, in both rural and impoverished urban communities. 

 

Indeed as the UNDP submission goes on to say, "Our   experience  at  UNDP suggests  that  when  designing  the  next  generation  of  development  goals, local  civil   society  groups  and  community-­‐based  organizations  working at  the  environment-­‐development  interface   must  be  positioned  as drivers  of  development." The paper goes on to state that "UNDP   progress   reports   and   case   studies   offer   compelling   evidence   that   community-­‐based   sustainable   development   efforts   can   be   both   scaled   up     that   is   expanded   in   scope   and   reach24     and   scaled   out     successfully   replicated   in   another   setting25."

 

In conclusion the paper states that, "For  local  organisations  to  thrive, however, they  require  an  enabling  environment.  UNDP  experience  has   highlighted   a  number   of   critical   variables   for   creating   empowered   local   ecosystem-­‐based   initiatives.   Among  other  factors,  these  include: enforceable resource rights,  creating  incentives  for  collective  action;   a   favorable   regulatory   environment,   simplifying   permitting   and   planning   procedures   for   community-­‐ based   initiatives;   adequate   and dependable   finance,   giving   local   organizations   access   to   transformative funding   at   their   inception   and   in   scaling-­‐up;   and   appropriate   support   services,   incorporating   capacity   building, resource  analysis  and forecasting,  and enforcement,  among others35."

 

In short these are all things that could be provided through the adoption of an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach to sustainable rural and impoverished urban development as a key element in the Post 2015 Framework, along with the establishment of a global program to support the development of regional networks of resource and service centers and training programs that will provide support and work with local villages and communities around the world. 

 

During Week 2 of this consultation Dio Nkuru spoke about the need to deal with energy issues in poor communities in order to protect the natural environment. He wrote, "The current practices to respond to energy needs in “poor” communities have at least two major weaknesses:  Collection of waste wood by so many on a continual basis leads to the destruction of otherwise healthy plants/trees and threatens limited forest lands and low combustion efficiency of the wood leads to incomplete burning and the need for even more material to burn." 

 

This is certainly true, but this is only one piece of a much larger problem and puzzle. The lack of access to renewable energy options also leads to desertification, undermines sustainable agricultural practices, leads to dropping water tables, and causes indoor air pollution which kills millions of people, particularly women and children, each year. Again a holistic integrated approach can solve multiple problems at the same time, while also addressing and leading to multiple opportunities - a true win-win. 

 

Asutosh Satpathy, President of the Resource Development Centre, addressed many important points dealing with rural development in his submission entitled, Sustainable Inclusive Framework For Development and calling for Rural Renewal. 

 

He began by stating that, "The issue is how we are going to redress, on the one side, inequitable distributions of environmental burdens, i.e. pollution of air, water and soil; unchecked urbanization and industrialization; societal norms; crimes; etc., and on the other, efficient access to environmental goods, i.e. clean air & water; decent living with food, shelter, health care, education and income earning sources; recreation, transportation; etc., in a variety of situations. 

 

The concern that arises here is about prioritization for a sustainable inclusive framework for development. The concern is about unchecked commercialization that is pushing agricultural farming and farm practices to an increasingly low priority level in developing countries…" 

 

He certainly pinpoints the need to address the environmental impacts associated with both rural and urban development and in an integrated manner as a central element within the Post 2015 process. And in addition he points out how the low level of priority on agriculture as well as other aspects of rural development are undermining environmental sustainability. 

 

Asutosh Satpathy goes on to examine the need to support rural as well as urban development:

 

"iii. Public policy on rural urban continuum and not towards making a dichotomous of the two. There is a need for developmental investment policy priorities from centre (urban/city centres) to peripheries (rural areas). Further, Metropolitan / Urban area centre (e.g. National Capital Region) development programme priorities need to be changed in favour of rural areas or clusters for equitable distribution of national resources. Consequently, more investment in metropolitan/urban area centre means more migration of population to such areas for income and employment leading to pressure on land, water, energy resources, etc." 

 

"Rural renewal is to refocus on improving agricultural farm practices as well as habitat conservation and development. Food basket of a nation is intertwined with agricultural farm practices that are interlinked with rural development. Focus on development should always be a continual process along with urbanization. Urbanization is fine but should not be an extracting venture through encroachment."

 

I hope that one of the primary recommendations coming out of this consultation will thus be that Rural Development be recognized and supported as being just as important as Urban or City Development and that it too must be developed with an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach and manner. 

 

Finally, I want to mention what Loretta De Luca, Coordinator, Rural Employment and Decent Work Programme, International Labour Organization (ILO said in a recent article about rural development. "Rural areas – home to 75% of the world’s poor – have actually a considerable potential to drive growth, job creation, equitable and balanced development and crisis resilience."

 

"We need to abandon the urban/rural dichotomy that sees cities as places that drive growth and progress, through a concentration of industry and services, and rural areas as the providers of cheap labour, natural resources and agricultural products."

"Rather than conceiving of rural development work only in terms of increasing agricultural productivity, alleviating poverty and promoting out-migration, we should refocus on “rural” as a fully-fledged economy in its own right. This means working to construct a rural transformation based on a combination of agriculture, industry and targeted economic and social services."

"There is a compelling argument for the need to think, and act, outside the traditional urban/rural box. We need to take a strategic step, and make sure that the rural economy is on the global agenda. In particular, it should be a focus of economic reconstruction, as one possible solution to the current jobs crisis."

If we truly want to solve our most urgent global challenges and meet the various sustainable development goals that have and still are being met, then it is essential that rural and impoverished urban development be included as a primary focus in the Post 2015 process and that support is given for an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach to development. 

Jeanette Lee from
Tue, March 5, 2013 at 05.20 am

In my opinion, water conservation is an issue where consensus is evolving.  The basic need to provide people with clean water as considered by the UN through the millennium development goals, is one that many people consider as an obvious right. This right is often overlooked in many developing nations as most of these countries are lacking in proper infrastructure to provide clean water and sanitation system. Much of the water becomes polluted because of inadequate sewage systems, agricultural runoff, or chemical waste dumping. In many developed countries, clean water is a commodity, an item that people can easily buy bottled or turned on through tap. Since these countries have the infrastructure that can support a clean water system, they do not seem to worry as much as people in developing countries. As sources of water—snow, ground and precipitation—are seemingly being depleted or reduced, people will have to concern themselves in the near future in regards to recycling or conserving water. This will require changing the mindset of people in developed countries to reconsider dwindling water resources when taking long showers and encouraging people in developed countries to invest in advanced technologies that will provide them with clean water resources. Current scientific research has shown that water supplies a decreasing at a rapid rate, a fact that could trigger multiple wars between countries that share streams or rivers. Many countries especially in the Middle East and Africa are feeling the pressures of finding safe and clean water resources. Further dialogues on a grassroots, national and international level need to focus on the future of water resources. Heads of states, non-governmental organizations, politicians and figure heads need to come together to agree on what steps need to be taken that will allow for  future generations’ basic right to water. 

Consultation Team from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 04.46 pm
Consultation Team from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 04.46 pm

From Twitter @environment2015

Question:
What's missing? +++=

 
 

All those things can lead some people to have decent life, but some other cannot afford them.

Dorine van Norren from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 02.20 pm

Thank you all for this discussion, I made a visual (attached) demonstrating the interlinkage of MDGs and SDGs, global social floor and planetary boundaries, and global values, taking the original MDGs 1 to 8 as a starting point. Hope it is helpful. See also my earlier article in Third World Quarterly (attached).


Dorine van Norren

Anonymous from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 11.14 am

Dear Zehra and associates, 

 

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading all of the messages that came in and highlighting what I thought were important points. I am now working on a couple of submissions that respond to and summarize these important points. It has been challenging for me to do this as I am working full time as a teacher; and we are currently interviewing multiple applicants for the Farmer position in the Ecovillage where I live. In any case, I am headed off to work now and hope to complete these summary submissions by this evening and then submit them; but here is now the first of them below. 

 

Thank you, 

 

Rob Wheeler

Global Ecovillage Network

Commons Action for the UN

robwheeler22  @  gmail.com

 

-----------------------

 

Achieving Sustainable Development in a Comprehensive and Integrated Manner

 

The UN agreed in Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 that all communities should develop and implement Local Sustainability Strategies and that they should be integrated with the National Strategies as well. In addition, the international community agreed to support and fund the development of such plans and implementation efforts at the local level. Unfortunately, such funding has not been forthcoming and the Secretary General's reports indicate that there has been almost no integration between the local and national strategies and their implementation. 

 

Similarly, the excellent UNDP program called Capacity 21 that supported developing countries in developing and implementing their national strategies was phased out around 2000; and the Capacity 2015 program that was supposed to replace it was never funded nor implemented, which was a great loss to the world community. 

 

Efforts to develop and implement Local and National Strategies, along with the Local and National Action Plans on Sustainable Consumption and Production, must thus be supported and included as essential elements of the Post 2015 process; and efforts must be made to ensure that all countries and communities develop them and in a fully integrated manner, with the local efforts and programs supporting the national efforts and vice versa. 

 

These strategies and action plans will then provide an excellent means for involving family and community units in adopting more sustainable practices and achieving environmental sustainability. The obligations that were made in Rio in 1992 and more recently must finally be fulfilled; and we all need to insist that the governments take such responsible action as a part of the Post 2015 process. 

 

There seemed to be quite a bit of support for such an approach among the forum participants. For example, Emily wrote on February 5, 2013, "I think it is important to recognize that different countries have different needs when it comes to environmental sustainability. That is to say, some countries are in need of more basic reforms (ie- clean water) and others are in a place where they can focus on more complex issues (ie- clean energy). That said, one thing that may be useful would be if countries and private organizations both could focus on small changes that each citizen can make in their life. Countries will only be able to work sustainably if smaller family and community units are supportive of this initiative, and ideally if they are already making sustainable choices on the local level."

 

One of the best means of engaging people at both the local and national level, to determine what each country and community needs, and for achieving environmental sustainability is developing and implementing these local and national sustainability strategies and Action Plans on SCP. In the 1990s some 7000 communities developed sustainability plans and now perhaps something like 20,000 have done so; but that is just a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of communities that exist around the earth and that still need to develop and implement them. Thus a huge effort and new local to global programs are needed to ensure that all countries and communities finally develop and implement their local and national strategies and action plans and in an integrated manner. 

On February 5 ivaylo avramov then quoted from a speech by M. Nicolas Sarkozy at 40th WEF Davos saying that "...Such reflections must not be the exclusive province of experts and statisticians. We have to leave behind the culture of experts who talk only among themselves, each in their own field. We have to learn to think things through together, to discuss together problems which, whatever their technical specifics, are the concern of all..." 

 

He then noted that a group of British economists explaining the genesis of financial crisis said, "Everyone seemed to be doing their own job properly on its own merit. And according to standard measures of success, they were often doing it well. The failure was to see how collectively this added up to a series of interconnected imbalances over which no single authority had jurisdiction." 

 

These national strategies and SCP Action Plans must thus be used to provide a solid framework through which the SDGs, Targets, and Indicators can and well be met; and this must be done in a fully integrated manner. Only in this way can the comprehensive, integrated approach that is so urgently needed and has so often been called for in this consultation be realized. 

 

Jessie Henshaw noted on February 6 that our approach to the MDG's is partly causing the existing gaps. "Everyone is pursuing competing solutions, and not looking at how to make the world work as a whole. So we need to make that the purpose instead, getting the world to work as a whole, and adopting **The commons approach** to sustainable development. 

 

It's about learning to be creatively responsive to others that share your environment, capitalizing on differences to collaborate rater than destabilizing each other by excessive competition. It's a really credible approach, to work toward every part's common interest in having the earth work as a whole. That needs to be our prime objective." Again, the local and national strategies and action plans can provide an excellent means for doing this, if we will use and develop them accordingly. 

 

The NCD Alliance: International Diabetes Federation then contributed the following on February 8:

 

• Further, the MDGs did not address connected issues of inequalities, food security and agriculture, demographic dynamics and epidemiological threats such as the growing burden of diabetes and related non-communicable diseases which are together the world’s leading cause of death. 

 

• While the simple narrative power of goals for child mortality, communicable diseases and education has generated unprecedented political support, the failure to frame environmental sustainability as a poverty issue – which shares synergies to all dimensions of development – is arguably a critical factor in subsequent failures in MDG 7 monitoring, reporting and results.

 

Power of Health and Wellbeing:

 

• There is an urgent need to ensure the post-2015 development agenda ends the siloes of the MDG era and advances an integrated, people-centered, equitable and sustainable development agenda. 

 

• The linkages between environmental sustainability, human health and wellbeing and poverty reduction must be explicitly articulated and supported by clear goals, targets and indicators in the post-2015 development framework. 

 

• Recognising the synergies between development issues will increase policy coherence and shared solutions to drive progress in a healthy future for people and planet. 

 

Again, it is thus essential that the international community develop a process to ensure that the new SDGs are pursued in a holistic integrated manner through the further development and implementation of the Local and National Strategies along with the Actions Plans on SCPs; and this should be done through the development of a global program and efforts that link and combine the Sustainability Strategies with the 10 Year Framework of Programmes and the SCP Action Plans. And these should then be linked with further efforts following up on the UN Decade on Education on Sustainable Development; and all again pursued in a comprehensive, integrated manner.  

 

Many people in this forum also pointed to population as a pre-eminent challenge that must be more adequately met. 

 

Indeed Simon Ross of www.populationmatters.org wrote, "Population growth is one of the fundamental drivers of human consumption and thus of environmental sustainability. The MDGs entirely failed to address fertility rates and performed poorly on family planning provision and women's employment. The world population is forecast by the UN to increase by around 40% - another 3 billion people. If we are serious about environmental sustainability, we must call for measures to accelerate population stabilization." 

 

This is certainly true and it is essential that the UN take the steps needed to meet all of the goals that have been set to deal with our population challenges; and this too should be included as a primary focus of the Sustainable Development Goals, Targets and Indicators. Given that humanity is already exceeding a growing number of planetary boundaries and the carrying capacity of the earth, it is essential that we achieve population stabilization while also reducing our per capita levels of consumption. 

 

And once again one of the best ways of doing these things, and in the integrated manner called for, would be through the Sustainability Strategies, the Action Plans, and the Partnership Initiatives on Education for Sustainable Development. A framework must thus be developed as a fundamental basis for the Post 2015 process to ensure that these various processes are developing in all countries and communities, that they support and are integrated with one another, and that sufficient resources are provided to ensure that all of the existing along with the new sustainable development goals, targets and indicators can finally be fully achieved and in a timely manner. 

 

In regards to including Education for Sustainable Development as an essential element in this Post 2015 Framework and Implementation Process, the UNICEF Climate Change Adaptation Team, Education Sector suggested on February 23 that we need to:

 

Mainstream the integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) by all countries’ education sectors with a strengthened focus on key sustainable development issues  (such as climate change, biodiversity, disaster risk preparedness, sustainable consumption and production, gender equality, equity and tolerance), skills for resilience and dealing with complexity, innovation, creativity as well as participation and cooperation.

  1. Reinforce support for and facilitation of cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder ESD initiatives at all levels (in particular at the sub-national level), as a means not only to develop locally relevant learning systems but also as a mechanism to upscale and mainstream sustainable practices.
  2. Focusing on vulnerable populations, including youth, rural and urban poor, migrant workers, immigrants and marginalised minorities, and their learning needs through formal , non-formal and informal education through all their lives and strengthening their abilities for life and their capacity to succeed and to break the cycle of poverty, hunger and illiteracy.
  3. Further develop ESD initiatives beyond the 2015 target of the MDGs by mobilizing capacities and resources of all the relevant governmental agencies in particular Ministries of Education as a key actor.
  4. Again the best way to do all of these things and to ensure that ESD contributes significantly to fully achieving environmental sustainability would be to fully integrate these efforts with those to develop Local and National Sustainability Strategies along with the 10 YFPs and Action Plans on SCP. These should then be developed and seen as the primary means and vehicles for implementing the SDGs, Targets and Indicators and ensuring that they are all met in a timely manner as fundamental requirement of the Post 2015 process. 

 

Finally and in conclusion, the World Wildlife Fund contributed the following during Week Three, thus laying out many of the fundamental elements and requirements that must be included in the Post 2015 Framework:

To deliver sustainable development that benefits all people and does not compromise the Earth’s ability to support us, it is necessary to adopt a radically different approach to growth and development in the post-2015 period. WWF has identified a number of barriers and enablers to gradually achieving environmental sustainability. This post will focus specifically on key drivers of environmentally sustainable and socially and economically inclusive growth within planetary boundaries.

 

Drivers of environmentally sustainable development:

  • equitable and sustainable management of natural capital within the Earth’s ecological limits
  • good governance and strong policy frameworks
  • sustainable development policy coherence, both nationally and globally
  • principle of common but differentiated responsibility
  • engaged and informed civil society
  • human rights approach to development
  • protection and conservation of natural capital – biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services
  • changing unsustainable and wasteful food, energy and water production and consumption patterns

 

The framework should include proposed financial means for implementation.

 

Key enablers to environmental sustainability include redesigning laws, policies and institutions to introduce an equitable and sustainable system for managing natural capital within the Earth’s ecological limits. In order to achieve long term sustainability, it is essential for the post-2015 framework to recognise and capture the value of the natural capital and services in delivering lasting progress, and to embed it in public and private decision-making to ensure sustainable use and fair distribution of the value of natural resources. To deliver that, the future development agenda must focus on stimulating better governance and establishing strong legal, regulatory and planning frameworks and effective financial mechanisms. Ensuring equitable resource governance is a critical enabling condition for inclusive green growth and structural transformation of the development and financial sectors. Governance systems that mandate open, transparent and accountable decision-making can help fight corruption and ensure that decisions are based on sound science, take into account the interests of all stakeholders and the environment, and effectively allocate resources for current and future uses. Realigning economic and market incentives and governance frameworks will ensure that future development leads to poverty eradication in our time while safeguarding ecosystem services.

To drive a global, inclusive sustainable development it is necessary to ensure policy coherence, both on a national level and internationally. In order to make sure that different sectors of national governments share environmentally sustainable priorities, and lack of coherence between multiple decision centres does not undermine development progress, it is vital to establish strong cross-sectoral coordination that promotes integrated decision making. On a national level, this means integrated planning frameworks that adequately account for the value of natural resources and the services they provide. On a global level, the future development framework should be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, to support an effective cooperation between countries over the sustainable management, use and protection of shared natural resources, and ensure that net global consumption of natural resources, waste production and GHG emissions stay within planetary boundaries. An environmentally sustainable future in the developing world will also depend on support through financial and technology transfers and the adoption of modern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize the risk of natural disasters and enhance ecological resilience.

And once again the best way to ensure that all of these things are done would be to develop a Local to Global Process to make sure that they are carried out through the further development and implementation of the Local and National Sustainability Strategies, along with the 10 YFPs and Action Plans on SCP and initiatives on Education for Sustainable Development in all countries and communities. These must then serve and provide a primary basis for the Post 2015 Framework and be sufficient to ensure that all of the Goals, Targets and Indicators can and will finally be met. 

Anonymous from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 09.38 am

(I submitted the two messages below to this discussion on Environmental Sustainability a couple of weeks ago. However I am not sure that they were ever posted. I am thus submitting them again as they are relevant to the conclusions of the discussion in any case. Similarly, I submitted a comment on Saturday, March 2 that was never posted; so I have just submitted it again. This time it worked immediately. I believe that you can see that for some reason messages do not always post right away as some people have posted messages multiple times, trying to make sure that there message gets posted.)

 

 

Achieving Existing Commitments & Full Sustainability

Zehra and friends, 

 

You ask, how can we make sure that in the next global development agenda environmental sustainability is not an afterthought but is well linked with all the other relevant and important goals?

 

One of the problems that we have is that the United Nations and its Member States seldom focus on what would really be required to actually achieve the many agreements and commitments that have already been made. If we look realistically at what it would take to fulfill these commitments and to provide all peoples with the basic human rights and needs that are mandated and included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Charter, then we would realize that we have to quit depleting and instead restore the natural environment, while also making a complete transition to full sustainability as rapidly as possible. 

 

Similarly, the best way to "make sure that in the next global development agenda environmental sustainability is not an afterthought but is well linked with all the other relevant and important goals" would be to set a goal of making such a complete transition, to set the targets and indicators accordingly, and at the same time to focus particularly on what would actually be needed to make such a rapid transition to full sustainability. 

 

If we can agree on such ambitious goals as this, then it will soon become obvious that we cannot do it without ensuring that environmental sustainability is linked and integrated with all of the other relevant and important goals at the same time. For indeed the natural environment provides the very fabric upon which all of life depends. 

 

Rob Wheeler,

Global Ecovillage Network 

Commons Action for the UN

 

==========================================

 

UN Decision Making Processes

Dear Richard and friends,

 

While I agree completely with everything you have said about Climate Change in regards to the negotiations (see his comments below), we are seeing that it is getting extremely difficult for the developing countries to get the developed countries to take full responsibility for both the problems they have and are causing and to meet the obligations that even they have agreed to. 

 

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges in this regard is that the governments agreed early on to use a full consensus process to make decisions in the climate negotiations. This has meant that just a handful of countries can block the will of the majority, and indeed this has happened over and over again. The greater challenge is that they agreed that they would even need a consensus to change the decision making process; and the developing countries are reluctant to try to change this because they don't want to take the risk of throwing out the Kyoto agreement and protocol. 

 

It would seem to me that we first need to point out that a sufficient climate agreement is likely to be all but impossible to reach unless and until the governments can agree to quit insisting on using a 100% consensus decision making process and that it needs to be replaced by some type of a qualified majority voting process instead, such as is stipulated under Article 18 of the UN Charter where is says that important matters in the General Assembly will be decided by a two thirds vote. 

 

Indeed it would be extremely helpful if all of the decisions of the new High Level Political Forum and other UN sustainable development processes are made from now on using such a qualified majority rather than a consensus decision making process. And a motion ought to be made in both the HLPF negotiations as well as the UN General Assembly to change the decision making processes during negotiations accordingly. 

 

The question is how can the UN and its Member States change the provision requiring that they make all of their decisions in the climate negotiations by consensus? I believe that they can and should continue to honor the existing agreements, as the developing countries want, but then in addition they should undertake to develop a new process. 

 

The new process could or should be just the same as the old or very close to it. A group of countries could table a motion to start with the existing agreements, only without the requirement that they have to achieve full consensus; and then go from there. This can be based on the understanding that the UN Member States are currently failing to meet many of their obligations and commitments, including that of common but differentiated responsibilities along with other principles from the Rio Declaration and the provisions of Agenda 21 etc, specifically because of the consensus requirement - which even goes against Article 18 of the UN Charter. 

 

If such a proposal is put forward then the governments could start either a new or an additional process with either a simple majority or a two thirds vote of the UN General Assembly based upon the provisions of Article 18 of the Charter. 

 

Thanks for your considerations,

 

Rob Wheeler,

Global Ecovillage Network 

Commons Action for the UN

robwheeler22  @  gmail.com

 

(For 15 years I have participated in and witnessed many of the failures of UN Sustainable Development processes.) 

 

Richard wrote:

 

Climate change disproportionately affect the socioeconomic development of the least developed countries, as they have contributed least to the problem, and threatens also destroy some of their achievements in this area. Some of these countries have been forced to divert resources that would serve development goals to address the adverse effects of climate change. The least developed countries need technical and financial support additional, predictable and adequate to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects in accordance with international commitments. Progress has been made in this regard in the context of the Framework Convention of the United Nations on climate change through the adoption of decisions at the sixteenth Conference of the Parties held in Cancun (Mexico) in 2010. 

 

In carrying implementation of this section of the Programme of Action, it is important to keep in mind the provisions of the Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change, including the fact that the global nature of climate change calls for all countries to cooperate as much as possible and participate in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic situation.

Anonymous from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 09.23 am

Dear Zehra, support team, and friends,

 

You have a very difficult but also incredibly important task. Somehow you must summarize and include these crucially important thoughts and ideas during this consultation and in a way that our governmental representatives will hopefully take them seriously. Perhaps you noticed the comment by Kara Lincoln and addressed in part to President Obama. It was a bit difficult to read but incredibly important. Many of us have experienced the same type of frustrating situation and experience  that she has. We have written and written and tried in every way we have known how to tell our representatives something that is incredibly important and we have been ignored. 

 

Meanwhile they have asked over and over again for our money and support and told us how much they have valued this, along with our opinions and ideas, which they then again so often ignore. I have also experienced the same thing over and over again at the UN. 

 

So, my/our concern and fear is that this process will end in the same way. We are thus entrusting those of you that are working on this report to do the best job you can for those of us that have participated in this forum and have dedicated so much of our lives to these efforts for so long, often without even being paid and instead incurring major expenses, even when we have given so much to the effort just because we care. 

 

But then we wonder what will happen even if a great report is written and delivered to our governments? Will they once again ignore or let other governments defeat many of the best ideas and proposals that are put forward? I do not believe I have read even one comment suggesting that the SDGs should be limited in number and scope so as to be easier to understand or more achievable or what have you. It is only the governments that say such things or that say that goals that address and meet the needs of only half of the people that need help are good enough. 

 

Those of us participating in this forum have instead said that the goals, targets and indicators must be comprehensive in scope, they must be as ambitious as possible and focus on regeneration and restoration, they need to take a whole systems approach that starts by defining and agreeing on the pre-requisites for transitioning to full sustainability. They need to ensure that all people's basic human rights and needs are fully met such as is required and mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And we need to develop a process, from the local to the global level that integrates and includes everything. 

 

So, for the past 6 years I have tried in many different ways to convince President Obama and his campaign and Administration that he ought to fulfill the global commitment to lead the American people in developing and implementing a National and Local Strategies for Sustainable Development. I did the same with the Bush Administration and even encouraged the Clinton Administration to do much more to promote and encourage the American people to participate in and support the development of such a strategy; but to little or no avail. 

 

The first President Bush and his Administration agreed to this commitment back in 1992. We all know that it would be incredibly good for our country and the world if we would follow up on it. But I can't even get a response from the Administration to my repeated inquiries, petition campaigns, reports, fact sheets and other efforts to get their attention. What kind of a government is it that doesn't take such important commitments seriously and that fails to show real leadership in this regards?

 

My country spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year supposedly on ensuring our country's defense and security; but then spends so little on ensuring that we have an environmental secure planet to live on and does so little to support and encourage the global community to do everything that it can to do so. Why would the Obama Administration block efforts to state that we are overstepping planetary boundaries and exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth, when it is so obvious that this is becoming a huge problem for humanity and for the well-being of those facing extreme poverty or living in environmentally challenged situations. 

 

Similarly any one that has followed the Rio+20 process knows that some of the very best proposals coming from civil society were not supported or included in the outcome document. But I am not about to give up - the well being of our people and planet are too important for that. Instead I will continue to try to give a message to our elected officials and their representatives. We cannot continue to allow things to go on as they have been. They all have to take the ideas and recommendations of civil society seriously and insist that the rest of the governments do as well. 

 

They can not continue to pretend that agreements that only go a small way towards what is really needed are good enough. This is a message that I hope will be included in the report on this dialogue and consultation. The number one priority has to be to fulfill all of the agreements and commitments that have already been made to date; and the SDGs, Targets and Indicators must be comprehensive and sufficiently ambitious to ensure that this will be done. 

 

And the number two priority must be to determine what it would take to achieve full sustainability and to fully restore and protect the natural environment as all countries agreed to do when approving the Rio Principles and Declaration. This then would require the full consideration, inclusion and achievement of all of the many recommendations and ideas that have been put forward during this past month in this forum, including those on population, biodiversity, restoration, changing consumption patterns, green tax policies and on and on. 

 

We wish it to be clear, if the governments do not do this then they are continuing to fail us while also threatening the well-being of their children and all future generations. 

 

A number of people have spoken about the need to restore the natural environment. During the run up to the 2002 World Summit Conference I represented a Campaign to Restore the Earth. We called for the UN to declare this the Decade and Century for Restoring the Earth. We held conferences; brought together all kinds of groups and initiatives that were already taking action to work on restoring the earth; and published lots of proposals and ideas for how we could all go about doing this. 

 

Unfortunately, I do not believe that even one country championed these ideas; and it was basically ignored by the world's governments in 2002. Fortunately, we now have the Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, the Aichii BioDiversity Accords and other initiatives. But still no real effort and campaign to restore the earth. Why not?? Isn't it obvious that it has to happen? It is certainly obvious to many of us that have participated in this forum. 

 

I thus believe it is incredibly important that the message that Randolph Fenner put out a couple of days ago is fully communicated to the governments. 10% goals are not nearly good enough. As he said, "Since all life on earth, together with civilization and humankind itself are entirely dependent upon on earth's biospheric life-support machinery (even for  each day's oxygen that we breathe) , speaking biologically we should almost certainly save almost the entirety of its ecological systems - and to the extent that the above analogies hold, even 50-60-or-70% conservation goals may not be enough." 

 

His analogies were incredible. Thank you Randolph. No we wouldn't expect a car to run if we jettisoned much of its basic operating systems nor the human body, so why do we think that we can do the same with the earth? And why would we think that it is acceptable for us to use up so much of the precious gifts that nature, earth and God have given us in a couple of decades or centuries when they are the heritage of all living creatures and all of humanity for eternity? 

 

Are we really that blind as a species? Are our political leaders really so greedy, stupid or selfish as to think that it is okay to continue to do so? 

 

Please, these are the types of questions and issues that must be included in the report coming out of this consultation. We cannot continue to undermine life on this planet and the well being of future generations. And all of our political leaders and their staff must do everything possible to ensure that we change course as a global community and as rapidly and completely as possible. 

 

Thank you everyone for your work and contributions on and to this consultation and forum. 

 

Rob Wheeler

Commons Action for the UN

Global Ecovillage Network 

etc.

eliana oropeza from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 08.03 am

My name is Eliana, I am a public health science major from the university of california, Irvine.

 I believe the biggest issue that needs more diaglogue is water. I have done research in groudwater depletion in India and I feel that this topic has not had the adequate amount of attention that it needs. In India, the depletion of the water basin, is causing multiple health defects such as fluoride poisoning. Water is an issue not only in India but also in the United States. Specifically in California, where the agricuture business relies heavily on water to irrigate crops. It is predicted that water will become scarce due to depleting natural resources in the upcoming years. Every creature on the planet is dependent on water and yet the consensus is not aware of the scarcity of water in the near future.  Sustainable solutions must be researched in order give the next generations a better chance of survival. The steps that should be used to begin combating the water crisis should include more funding for water research. The next step would be to raise public awareness of water depletion so that citizens can be more consciously aware of the amount of water they are using. Many people are unaware of their impact on the earth and changes must start first in the homes of our citizens. Programs to encourage better water awareness and usage should help people be more mentally of their water usage.More public policies should be implemented to regulate water usage such as the one in Irvine, CA where a certain amount of water is allocated to every household.  In areas where water is needed for a livilhood such as the agriculture business, other sustainable solutions must be explored since usage of water cannot and should not be cut back. 

Jinson Varghese from
Fri, October 17, 2014 at 09.58 am

What to do when Bluestacks market not found error message show? Any one please help to resolve this issue.

eliana oropeza from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 08.03 am

My name is Eliana, I am a public health science major from the university of california, Irvine.

 I believe the biggest issue that needs more diaglogue is water. I have done research in groudwater depletion in India and I feel that this topic has not had the adequate amount of attention that it needs. In India, the depletion of the water basin, is causing multiple health defects such as fluoride poisoning. Water is an issue not only in India but also in the United States. Specifically in California, where the agricuture business relies heavily on water to irrigate crops. It is predicted that water will become scarce due to depleting natural resources in the upcoming years. Every creature on the planet is dependent on water and yet the consensus is not aware of the scarcity of water in the near future.  Sustainable solutions must be researched in order give the next generations a better chance of survival. The steps that should be used to begin combating the water crisis should include more funding for water research. The next step would be to raise public awareness of water depletion so that citizens can be more consciously aware of the amount of water they are using. Many people are unaware of their impact on the earth and changes must start first in the homes of our citizens. Programs to encourage better water awareness and usage should help people be more mentally of their water usage.More public policies should be implemented to regulate water usage such as the one in Irvine, CA where a certain amount of water is allocated to every household.  In areas where water is needed for a livilhood such as the agriculture business, other sustainable solutions must be explored since usage of water cannot and should not be cut back. 

eliana oropeza from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 08.03 am

My name is Eliana, I am a public health science major from the university of california, Irvine.

 I believe the biggest issue that needs more diaglogue is water. I have done research in groudwater depletion in India and I feel that this topic has not had the adequate amount of attention that it needs. In India, the depletion of the water basin, is causing multiple health defects such as fluoride poisoning. Water is an issue not only in India but also in the United States. Specifically in California, where the agricuture business relies heavily on water to irrigate crops. It is predicted that water will become scarce due to depleting natural resources in the upcoming years. Every creature on the planet is dependent on water and yet the consensus is not aware of the scarcity of water in the near future.  Sustainable solutions must be researched in order give the next generations a better chance of survival. The steps that should be used to begin combating the water crisis should include more funding for water research. The next step would be to raise public awareness of water depletion so that citizens can be more consciously aware of the amount of water they are using. Many people are unaware of their impact on the earth and changes must start first in the homes of our citizens. Programs to encourage better water awareness and usage should help people be more mentally of their water usage.More public policies should be implemented to regulate water usage such as the one in Irvine, CA where a certain amount of water is allocated to every household.  In areas where water is needed for a livilhood such as the agriculture business, other sustainable solutions must be explored since usage of water cannot and should not be cut back. 

Lal Manavado from
Thu, March 7, 2013 at 12.26 pm
Aquaphor depletion in US
 
I have heard that mechanised agriculture in southern states has lead to the same problem in the US, and water is being pumped into the earth to replenish the aquaphor. But, the result of this endeavour is not only rather doubtful, but it is very energy intensive.
 
Cheers!
 
Manavado.
 



From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 5:41 AM
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] eliana oropeza commented on the Discussion "Week 4 (Feb 25- Mar 3) : What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed? "

Manmeet Sandhu from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 04.12 am

Dear Colleagues,

Caring for the environment begins at home - this is where the United Nations and all the subsidiaries can spend a concerted effort examining their in-house policies and procedures to make sure they are sustainable, equitable, and eco-conscious. Where a gap exists between theoretical and actual practices - the gap needs to be closed. 

Allow me to offer an example:

The World Health Organization currently posts the only "official" Handwashing procedure in the world. This golden standard is known as the, Handwashing Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals. Designed to be used in a health care setting, this procedure keeps patients safe and healthcare providers safe. 

However, if done correctly from beginning to end with a normal running tap (not a sensor or pedal tap), did you know the procedure consumes about 13 L of water per handwash? Maybe this is achievable by water rich countries, but how is this optimal for countries where water is scarce? Furthermore, is this water-use sustainable, equitable or eco-conscious?

The WHO also promotes water as a basic need but states that “the reality is that 1.1 billion people around the world do not have access to improved water sources and delivering safe water will not be available to all people in the near term” (World Health Organization, 2012). So how is it that a basic procedure designed by the WHO is also wasteful of a precious resource? Unintentional, surely, but it is time to revamp this age-old procedure.

Over consumption of water in one region of the world produces increased energy consumption, increases use of fossil fuels (to clean and deliver this water), and increased toxicants emissions. It is already known that pollution impacts the poor and marginalized populations more, which happens to be the same areas where handwashing with 13 L of water is not even fathomable. The handwashing procedure is an important life saving practice, that has the capacity to save lives - but inadvertantly it is also hurting them.

In the time leading up to and beyond 2015 it would make sense to re-think the current procedure, and others like it that heavily use natural resources. The next Millenium Development Goals should not be about increasing consumption across the planet to match that of the wealthy countries. Instead it should be to reduce consumption from our current ways and learn from the conservative ways practiced around the world. 

Through this example, dear reader, I want to elicit that there is room for improved efficiency in all of our procedures - and 2015 is a time when we should be reviewing these policies and practices and finding a way to take age-old practices and make them relevant to a fragile environment. In addition to thinking regionally and globally, don't forget to look at home for ways to make your own policies and procedures sustainable, equitable or eco-conscious.

Sincerely, 

Manmeet Poonam Sandhu, RN

 

Lal Manavado from
Thu, March 7, 2013 at 12.26 pm
Unsuitability of universal standards
 
It is precisely to avoid this type of problem i suggested the adoption of a hierarchical health governance and support for its implementation as a post 2015 UN efforts.
 
WHO's attempt to lay down universal norms was based on an inexcusable disregard for what is possible and appropriate. Some believe it resulted from mixing politics with Medicine, while the others think it simply represents  certain person's attempt to get publicity.
 
Be that as it may, it is a truism that no norm  could benefit one unless it can be applied.
 
I agree with you that the environmental activities should begin at home. It is interesting that if we quitted drinking fizzy drinks, we can easily cut down the release of millions of liters of Carbond dioxide every day.
 
Cheers!
 
Manavado.
 


From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 5:41 AM
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Manmeet Sandhu commented on the Discussion "Week 4 (Feb 25- Mar 3) : What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed? "

Samuel Lee from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 03.52 am

There are certain topic areas where a consensus is evolving. These topics are currently an issue that is not too much of a concern but will soon become an important matter to dwell upon. Some of these topics of concern is that of our growing population, the ability to feed all these people, the development of countries, and the education necessary for these developing countries. The world is becoming ever more populated and the ability to be able to feed these people will judge the success of being a sustainable global effort. Standard of living has increased, increasing lifespan and the health of the general population. Countries will develop and as they develop, there will be an increase in the population of these countries lading to unsustainable practices to support the economy. We can only hope that the future wil be prepared for this increase in population but technology will surely be able to provide. Technology can only advance and become more environmentally sustainable and plentiful to be able to support the huge projected population. 

Educating the future developing nations will become very important. Properly educating countries of sustainable methods will be one of the best and cheapest methods. Informing these nations that actually maintaining and taking care of their resources in a sustinable method is more economically beneficial in the long run. There can many ways that we could educate people in these developing countries. We could provide incentives to graduated students and others to travel to these countries. Training these young folks to go other countries is lucrative because of the low costs and the oppurtuntities provided. The world is developing very quickly and we need to attend to these matters as quickly as possible. We do not have the luxury to think we are not apporaching a very serious issue. We must prepare now and give incentives to the younger generation to enter into sustainable methods and fields. A shift in perspective in a global scale will be the tipping point. 

Fredericka Ong from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 03.18 am

There are many environmental topics that are controversial and debatable. Proponents of science feel that the Earth is evolving in a way that is unchangeable and may lead to disaster. Others argue that environmental change has occured before, in more extreme scales than this. They argue, therefore, that there is nothing to worry about. However, I feel the people most concerned about the world are those involved in academia. I am a university student. From my observations of four years of higher education, it is clear that the most educated individuals are the same ones who care most about whether all people in the world's population can be fairly fed, clothed, and housed--even if that means the rich sacrificing their consumption of goods. 

In the world of academia, it is clear that people have reached a consensus that education is the key to fixing the future. Many educators see themselves as responsible for teaching the next generation to act in sustainable ways. As younger people are added to the academic world, more passion for preserving the world will be taught to succeeding generations. It is important to understand the world we all want is only attainable through proactive change, which will only be garnered using collective action. 

Further dialogue is needed to address how exactly to implement this educational change. The likelihood it will spread to future generations in developed generations is bright. However, it is just as important to solve how educators will appear in other developing countries. Perhaps implementing programs to teach abroad will be necessary, or international pressure to hold countries to certain standards in education could work. Other solutions may include foreign seminars. To elaborate, other countries can come into foreign lands to hold educational seminars for the generations that will decide the future. 

Urszula Marchlewicz from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 11.46 pm

I think that questions related with sustainable development or sustainability could be solved definitively only through identification of rules defined at establishing the World and their reference to the rules which we use.

We have now described the rules in separate not holistic manner therefore our  way of development meets troubles.

So identification the rules or mechanism of development should be of the first priority for Post-2015 Development Agenda.  

The rules or mechanism cannot be agreed but verified by interdisciplinary experts, on correctness of identification. Agreeing could and should be necessary later, for detailed executive questions and first of all for agreeing possibility and way of solving questions of inequalities, overconsumption etc., but not for the rules themselves.

There are quite a lot of people which deal with explaining and modeling of development including myself. In discussions on Rio+20 I proposed organizing an overview of such works to be gathered through a call for proposals.

I think that such a call and/or overview could be organized under Environment discussion forum.

I present below a trial of my approach to the subject - an abstract on referring rules and model of development identified from the Earth order mechanism to the existing human organization, sent to the Call for discussion notes on Inequalities 2012, referred to that subject but universal, and enclose the link to the core model of development which I identified earlier http://www.tu.koszalin.pl/files/monet/materialy2.pdf, page 11.  

 

Kind regards,

Urszula Marchlewicz

Marchlewicz Agencja Marketingowa

Poland

 

Solving human inequality through human equality.

Human equality and its necessity arising from the Earth order – explained and measured by the single Earth order mechanism and model and referred to existing human organization and measurement methods

Urszula Marchlewicz

Marchlewicz Marketing Management Agency

Koszalin, Poland

20 July, 2012

Because human inequality is recognized as incorrect for human existence and development and human equality as correct due to human rights and justice but it is not enough explained and measured I identified it from the roots to justify it and to solve inequality. 

I considered human equality in human existential environment – the Earth. There are recognized close relations of human being with it also regularity and logic of the Earth  so I assumed that the human being and its equality belong to the Earth order.   

Because the Earth order is not described in holistic way I analyzed and identified it as a single mechanism and model which explain and measure human equality, and referred them to existing organization of human being and measurements methods.

I identified the following mechanism. The Earth is established as pre-given and pre-planned coherent system in equilibrium however with embedded development potential designed for continuous development so building more excellent internal structure, driven and managed by human being.

I illustrated the mechanism in the model to allow to keep it in practice at raising density of interrelations with the time. The model having closed X-Y form illustrates and measure human and Earth system development through human life and generations. It allows to precise human rights, obligations and justice.

I referred the model to existing human organization by countries and corporate and national accounts methods. I analyzed development threats and demonstrated that further development is possible only at keeping balanced order of the Earth system, global coordination and use of the model.”

Hanan El-Amin from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 10.49 pm

I think there is a consensus in most issues, but deeply concern a further dialogue should be bias to:


  • Poverty alleviation and social justice.

  • Agro-forestation mechanisms.

  • Water Harvesting and Water cooperation.

  • Energy consumption & Clean Development Mechanisms.

  • Habitat and Biodiversity and Urban Planning.

  • No charges for Primary education.

  • Labour marketing,

  • Health care.

  • Building Training and capacities.

 


Thank you


Hanan El-Amin


Environmental Initiative Organization for Sustainable Development - Sudan

TI from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 10.26 pm

By: Stephanie Hodge

Defining a post 2015 agenda is urgent. What about the need for a focus on learning for sustainable development? It is about the nature of learning for sustainable development for adaptation/survival, for equity, and development rights - promoting local technologies vs. leapfrogging irrelevant technologies etc.  It is also timely and overdue to consider a global learning and assessment framework that incorporates indigenous 'local' knowledge (not necessarily influenced by modern ideals) and a focus on multi-stakeholder ownership in education planning and implementation, teacher certification and teacher professional empowerment and a principle based, yet flexible local curriculum. The modern ideal of knowledge for education is reflecting critical structural power imbalances behind persistent neo-colonial values of classism and racism. The idea that indigenous knowledge is old, antiquated and less than ideal for a modern education is a problem for education for sustainable development (ESD)!! A missing link for sustainable development is above all - fairness in and through quality education for all and in general access to quality education.  Education has a duel role in today’s governance agenda. It includes the role of education to support an overdue paradigm shift about education and a need to transform society towards a more sustainable pathway. The current ideals in education and the global testing framework reflects a predominantly capitalist oriented society view - and possibly is controlling work to maintain the status quo from older times! A key message concerning Equity and Good Governance.


Key message


Traditional knowledge is important for equity in a through education and learning systems. This gap is hidden and not well discussed and therefore largely outside the mainstream. The dominate view on learning is perpetuated by mainstream learning policies and a global definition of learning and assessments informed by mainstream learning linked to a capitalist ideology.  The UNU work shows that in Asia as an example - traditional knowledge guides 80 % of the population. The policies on traditional knowledge show extreme views - many countries believe traditional knowledge is either 1) romantic, 2) utilitarian or have a 3) pluralistic understanding.


The UNU collection of case studies analysis finds three dominant approaches.


 1. Institutional focused on medical systems. The finding is that there is not much bridging of traditional medicine with modern science.


2. Ex situ approach looks at modern and traditional bridging needs.


3. Social learning approach - taken up by NGOs etc...work with community members etc.


Common challenges


  • ·         Lack of social legitimacy

  • ·         Lack of recognition of indigenous or local practice

  • ·         Erosion of knowledge, lack of successors

  • ·         Self-determination, rights to resources, traditional land

  • ·         Incompatibility with mainstream knowledge

  • ·         Peaceful existence and preservation of diversity


The major questions for us are: How are we defining the new learning for SD informed by this gap?  What is an epistemological sensitive method to identify and integrate appropriate in learning? What mechanisms drive social and institutional traditional knowledge systems?


  • ·         Inter-generational, lifelong learning

  • ·         Collective social learning 

  • ·         Learning in totality

  • ·         Appropriate integration in mainstream learning

    KEY REFERNCES

Laszlo, E. (2010, May 5). The Dis-Ease of the Western Mind.The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ervin-laszlo/the-dis-ease-of-the-weste_b_561280.html.


Laszlo, E. (2012, July 10). Akasha Thinking. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ervin-laszlo/akasha-think_b_1654078.html.


Quijano, A. & Ennis, M. (2000). Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla: Views from South, 1(3), 533-580. Duke University Press. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from Project MUSE database.


Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.


Said, E. W. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).(2012). Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Education Sector Resource Manual. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/education/files/UNICEF-ClimateChange-ResourceManual-lores-c.pdf.


United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). (2013). Innovation in Local and Global Learning Systems for Sustainability: Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity: Learning contributions of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. U. Payyappallimana and Z. Fadeeva. (Eds.). Yokohama: UNU-IAS. Retrieved from http://www.ias.unu.edu/resource_centre/TKB%20Book%20FINAL%20Jan%202013_1.pdf

Lal Manavado from
Thu, March 7, 2013 at 12.26 pm
Epistemological justification of learning.
 
Even though education is a trifle 'off topic' here, I would like to mention that an approach to a tenable epistemological justification of a given education can be derived from the notions embodied in Malinowsky's "A Scientific Theory of Culture'.
 
If we accept his thesis that in all societies 'culture' evolved for the same reason, viz., to enable man to continue to live in a manner as felicitous to him as possible,  the logical implication is that culture represents a means of enabling one to live. How felicitous one's life is, would be reflected by its quality as perceived by his particular society.
 
If this is correct, culture qua a means would manifest itself as a certain set of actions one undertakes with a view to attaining  a variety of goals. The reason for attaining them is the belief that it is necessary to lead live a life of certain quality.
 
Malinowsky recognised that the basic goals involved here are universal, and making a slight change to his terminology, they are nutrition, security, and procreation. Security involved here covers sheltering from inclemencies of weather as well as dealing with other threats.
 
As evolution replaced the hard-wired means of achieving the above objectives by conscious goal-directed behaviour, A necessity arose to make up for the accompanying loss of hard-wired knowledge.
 
This knowledge has to be acquired through learning. Hence, the possibility of living a life thought to be felicitous by the society to which one belongs, depends on one's acquisition of it. It is acquired by education.
 
Each of the principal Malinowskian goals subsume a variety of secondary ones. For instance, nutrition necessitates searching for food, securing it, etc. Thus, the main goal of existence subsumes a hierarchy of goals, where the achievement of a subsuming goal may depend on the achievement of more than one subsumed goals. for instance, one may have to go to a certain place, and ensure one has money before one can secure food.
 
This hierarchy of goals begins to display a great diversity as one moves down it. It is this diversity that is reflected as cultural differences. If it is felt necessary, it is not difficult to include esthetic goals in the same hierarchy, for in most societies, some form of esthetic enjoyment is regarded as something that enriches life.
 
Of course,  the Malinowskian perception of culture is holistic as it is able to subsume every reasonable human activity as a manifestation of culture in a justifiable manner. Cultural diversity then, can be seen as an adaptation to variations in one's immediate habitat.
 
This then, is a somewhat brief epistemological justification of education. However, human cognitive evolution  has not always followed a 'path of reason'.
 
As a result, many of our ethical values which are essential for a peaceful co-existence in a society have been accorded a spurious value on account of the belief that they would enhance one's existence after death. A corollary of that belief is that the goal of human cognitive evolution became an eternal residence in some supernatural environment, and a lamentable disregard for adapting to our physical environment that sustains us.
 
One would have thought that the advent of rational age would have helped us to be a trifle more realistic. Unfortunately, it restricted itself to debunking various superstitions, but made no effort to replace the discredited values with more sound ones.
 
The inevitable result of that was the ethical merits valued for the wrong reason were made subservient to grossest of secular values arising from ambition and greed.
 
'...shall inherit the earth,' '...and multiply,' and such dictums are now replaced by the odious striving for profit and publicity.
 
So, an education worthy of a sentient being ought to be very clear as to the values upon which it is based. Elsewhere, I have commented on cultural diversity,  but it is cruicial that everyone should be helped to understand the obvious, the notion of human rights is logically inseperable from that of human obligations; and nobody seems to pay even lip-service to the latter.
 
Thanks very much.
 
Lal Manavado.
 
 

From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 5:41 AM
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] T I commented on the Discussion "Week 4 (Feb 25- Mar 3) : What are the topic areas where a consensus is evolving and where further dialogue is needed? "

TI from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 10.26 pm

By: Stephanie Hodge

Defining a post 2015 agenda is urgent. What about the need for a focus on learning for sustainable development? It is about the nature of learning for sustainable development for adaptation/survival, for equity, and development rights - promoting local technologies vs. leapfrogging irrelevant technologies etc.  It is also timely and overdue to consider a global learning and assessment framework that incorporates indigenous 'local' knowledge (not necessarily influenced by modern ideals) and a focus on multi-stakeholder ownership in education planning and implementation, teacher certification and teacher professional empowerment and a principle based, yet flexible local curriculum. The modern ideal of knowledge for education is reflecting critical structural power imbalances behind persistent neo-colonial values of classism and racism. The idea that indigenous knowledge is old, antiquated and less than ideal for a modern education is a problem for education for sustainable development (ESD)!! A missing link for sustainable development is above all - fairness in and through quality education for all and in general access to quality education.  Education has a duel role in today’s governance agenda. It includes the role of education to support an overdue paradigm shift about education and a need to transform society towards a more sustainable pathway. The current ideals in education and the global testing framework reflects a predominantly capitalist oriented society view - and possibly is controlling work to maintain the status quo from older times! A key message concerning Equity and Good Governance.


Key message


Traditional knowledge is important for equity in a through education and learning systems. This gap is hidden and not well discussed and therefore largely outside the mainstream. The dominate view on learning is perpetuated by mainstream learning policies and a global definition of learning and assessments informed by mainstream learning linked to a capitalist ideology.  The UNU work shows that in Asia as an example - traditional knowledge guides 80 % of the population. The policies on traditional knowledge show extreme views - many countries believe traditional knowledge is either 1) romantic, 2) utilitarian or have a 3) pluralistic understanding.


The UNU collection of case studies analysis finds three dominant approaches.


 1. Institutional focused on medical systems. The finding is that there is not much bridging of traditional medicine with modern science.


2. Ex situ approach looks at modern and traditional bridging needs.


3. Social learning approach - taken up by NGOs etc...work with community members etc.


Common challenges


  • ·         Lack of social legitimacy

  • ·         Lack of recognition of indigenous or local practice

  • ·         Erosion of knowledge, lack of successors

  • ·         Self-determination, rights to resources, traditional land

  • ·         Incompatibility with mainstream knowledge

  • ·         Peaceful existence and preservation of diversity


The major questions for us are: How are we defining the new learning for SD informed by this gap?  What is an epistemological sensitive method to identify and integrate appropriate in learning? What mechanisms drive social and institutional traditional knowledge systems?


  • ·         Inter-generational, lifelong learning

  • ·         Collective social learning 

  • ·         Learning in totality

  • ·         Appropriate integration in mainstream learning

    KEY REFERNCES

Laszlo, E. (2010, May 5). The Dis-Ease of the Western Mind.The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ervin-laszlo/the-dis-ease-of-the-weste_b_561280.html.


Laszlo, E. (2012, July 10). Akasha Thinking. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ervin-laszlo/akasha-think_b_1654078.html.


Quijano, A. & Ennis, M. (2000). Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla: Views from South, 1(3), 533-580. Duke University Press. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from Project MUSE database.


Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.


Said, E. W. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).(2012). Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Education Sector Resource Manual. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/education/files/UNICEF-ClimateChange-ResourceManual-lores-c.pdf.


United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). (2013). Innovation in Local and Global Learning Systems for Sustainability: Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity: Learning contributions of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. U. Payyappallimana and Z. Fadeeva. (Eds.). Yokohama: UNU-IAS. Retrieved from http://www.ias.unu.edu/resource_centre/TKB%20Book%20FINAL%20Jan%202013_1.pdf

TI from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 09.33 pm

The following is a submission on behalf of the Regional Centres of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs) of the Americas.  The RCEs of the Americas include cities and regions in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and the United States. The RCE members represent a wide variety of community sustainability stakeholders including the private and public sector, youth, indigenous, educators and administration of public and private schools, higher education, faith-based groups and a wide range of environmental and social NGOs.


This brief submission captures but a part of the discussion at the four events held in Lima, Peru during the meetings and concert, exposition and side events associated with the gathering of the RCEs of the Americas. One focus of the gathering was on strategically aligning the important sustainable development tools included in education for sustainable development (ESD) in the post 2015 realignment of the development goals and initiatives. The second focus was learning from and avoiding the mistakes of the twenty nearly lost years of the post-Rio decades.


ESD is the collective contribution of the world’s education systems including preschool to higher education, the world’s public awareness and information sharing systems, and the world’s public and private sector’s training systems.


ESD focuses on concerted activities in four major spheres.


(1)    Access and retention in quality education.  This is supportive of but not limited to the traditional approach of the Education for All activities.  This thrust addresses the millions of under-educated youth and adults in the developed world who are unemployable or in need of continuing education.


(2)    Reorienting the current formal education systems.  There is an immediate need to shift our education systems from their underlying focus on traditional development to one of sustainable development. It is often our most highly educated citizens who also leave very deep ecological and social footprints.  Simply replicating the current education systems complete with their embedded aspirations and goals in other regions of the developing world will not necessarily serve the quest for a sustainable future.  This reorientation includes the engagement of higher education in particular as it is these graduates who will shape the future of the planet in a disproportionate manner.


(3)    Engaging and building public awareness and understanding. In democracies both the public and private sectors need the political and purchasing support of a knowledgeable and informed public in order to reorient policy and/or launch more sustainable products. There remains a need for worldviews that address future generations and the inclusion of “others”. We need to engage all the community messengers in formal, non-formal and informal education systems to build an informed, society that will be both understanding of the need for wise reform but also recognizing current or emerging unsustainable policy and practice. ESD is about strengthening global citizenship rather than indoctrination of sustainable development. 


(4)    Training and reorienting current practice in all sectors of society. There are several aspects to the need for training.  One aspect is recognizing that new technology is rapidly emerging but there is a need to not only purchase the equipment but to also retrain the operators.  Beyond the usual sustainable production focus there are also new practices in most sectors including the extractives such as mining and forestry, the food industries such as agriculture and fisheries, and even the administrative sectors such as accounting and reporting. Public health and even the retraining of the world’s 60,000,000 teachers is a massive yet crucial undertaking.


Yet training is not only about the simple change of practice. It is also about addressing deep-seated attitudes and perspectives to social, economic and environmental issues to facilitate future training, professional growth and becoming an important part of a learning organization.


 


A Widespread ESD Concern


There are warnings in many cultures about ignoring the past. Those who do ignore the past are likely destined to relive past calamities. We must learn from previous poor decisions.


The ESD community recalls the difficulties in embedding these three wonderful tools of education, public awareness and training in Agenda 21.  In the first round of negotiations in 1989 these potential tools were ignored but thanks to a few countries they were later included as Chapter 36 under the section of Means of Implementation. Under closer reading they were not only mentioned in this chapter but also addressed in all 39 other chapters and the Conventions. In 1996 as one of the forty issues of Agenda 21, Chapter 36 (ESD), along with three others chapters on Financing, Technology Transfer, and Indicators of Success were singled out by the UN CSD as warranting separate work programs. Of these four only ESD has been given a UN Decade status.


Yet post – Rio ESD and these three tools have not been featured as valuable assets in the discussion.  It is as though they are taken for granted.  Even Ministries of Education and Higher Education were not engaged. We have learned from the post-Rio years that governments cannot expect these systems to be there without engaging them from the beginning as integral stakeholders and partners.  Developing new capacity and reorienting existing ESD systems are difficult tasks for resource challenged institutions/organizations and means redeployment of resources.  While there have been some marked reorientations to the betterment of the institutions and the communities they serve, this widespread redeployment of human and financial resources has not happened to date. Leaders at all levels need to be engaged, trained and armed with fundamental policy change to allow and encourage them to undertake this new or additional work.


We, the broad-based community of stakeholders from the Americas united with others in the global ESD community are concerned that the failure to take full advantage of these three valuable assets is about to be repeated in the post 2015 planning. This oversight can be avoided by broadening the discussion, specifying ESD in Post-2015 documents, and specifically bringing educators and trainers to the table now so they clearly see themselves as needed and welcomed partners of this emerging strategy.


 ESD Suggestions for the Consultation


The following are but a few examples of messages we wish to share with your consultation process.


Equity and social justice


  • Education must be inclusive and work in the service of those facing poverty and inequality. Today’s world is adapted to a dependency on growth.  However there is a need to refocus on an understanding between unsustainable growth and sustainable development with a focus on equity is what is most needed. There is widespread confusion between growth and development.

Education Governance


  • Achieving multi-sector planning around education for sustainable development is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Education planning for sustainable development goes beyond a single ministry and so planning for ESD must be inter - sectoral and must be high on the political agenda of nations. In countries where power and resources are highly centralized, education for sustainable development must be a priority for the highest members of government. In countries where local governance is key, ministries must join hands with municipal and local leaders to provide joint and institutionalized support. Preferably both these approaches would work in synergy

  • Contributions of education for sustainable development to good governance include building community capacity that demands transparency, accountability and broad participation (horizontal and vertical) in planning a sustainable, equitable future for all.  

Youth


  • Youth who in many countries represent fifty percent of the population are not effectively involved in education planning and therefore should be ensured a seat as a partner at the table as a first step towards rectifying this lack of empowerment. ESD research is currently underway to discover the relationship between ESD curricular content, student engagement and a focus on sustainability issues as a methodology of improving the quality of education for indigenous and marginalized youth.

  • However, all youth are facing challenges regarding the rapid societal changes and hardships. Basic skills in language and mathematics, while useful, are not sufficient or engaging enough for youth to successfully take responsibility for their preparation for successful citizens in the world they are about to inherit.  This is a key aspect of ESD.

Relevant education for all


  • Education must be planned to ensure the wide participation of all and must be grounded in local and indigenous knowledge with flexible principled curricula for dynamic and participatory planning and learning outcomes. Local and indigenous communities should have a say in what is taught in national, regional and school-based curricula development. Additionally, teachers themselves should also be included in those processes.  
  • Schools and institutions of higher education must be constructed to model sustainable practices but education for sustainable development must go further, beyond changes to infrastructure to address vision, policy, curricular delivery, assessment, and community engagement.


Role of Higher education


  • Promoting the development of teacher training modules and certification of teachers in education for sustainable development would also be a key action.

  • Higher Education institutions must embed core concepts of sustainability in all disciplines. To address the emerging global need to address issues such as adaptation and resilience to climate change, these efforts should not only engage the current focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) but also engage the social sciences to better understand individual and social behaviour change.

  • Courses on indigenous education must be included in mainstream curricula.  Couses on ways of knowing and philosophy are also crucial as we need to rethink who we are and where are we going?


ESD and Innovation for sustainability 


  • Relevant learning has been the driver of smart innovation and adaptation has been the propeller of sustainable human advancement - the most pressing problems of today including accelerated climate change require relevant learning for all. We need education for adaptation which is ESD.

  • Education must focus on multi-stakeholder participation in planning and innovation and should therefore start with the investigation and monitoring of natural life systems. A rethinking of education for sustainable development and the governance of education would be necessary and would need to recognize the oneness of the world.

  • Education must provide instrumental support to climate change adaptation and resilience in particular through its focus on relevant technologies informed by local education and learning processes that build upon local knowledge and practices.   

  • At the heart of the vision of ESD is a focus on exploring and embracing global, regional and local values and ethics in and through education. 

  • Education for sustainable development has characteristics for the engagement and professional growth of leaders in the new economy.  These elements are derived from the professional associations themselves working within and across sectors

  • The very goal of education should be focused on sustainable future and individual well being - Education for Sustainable Development ESD is a pathway.

  • ESD is concerned with the ethical foundation of innovation and entrpreneurship.


Good news


In spite of many lost years and opportunities where leaders were not engaged or help misunderstandings of ESD there has been enough success to give hope and a strong foundation to build upon. The recent report on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) complied by UNESCO has thousands of ESD initiatives being reported by countries worldwide.


 Even simple ESD actions and initiatives such as planting trees or recycling have proven valuable and useful. However, those countries, regions, cities, and institutional systems that have launched major systemic ESD change have found marked improvement in the quality of their program.  New research is underway in the high-scoring Performance Indicators of Student Achievement (PISA) countries as well as several developing/emerging countries to further explore the synergy between ESD and perceived “quality education”.

The Bonn Conference on ESD in 2009 was a major turning point for ministries of education to understand ESD and to recognize their role and responsibility in using the world’s education systems in a concerted manner to seek a more sustainable future.

Higher education is proceeding rapidly from “Greening the Campus” to “Greening the Mind” as they embed sustainability in the curricula.

Ngo’s as working in collaboration with not only other NGOs but other sectors of society in the UN University Regional Centres of Expertise in ESD program.  There are nor approximately 120 of the cities and regions researching and implementing ESD through multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Hundreds of teacher education institutions in 76 countries are currently working together in a UNESCO Chair project on reorienting teacher education to address sustainability.

Academies such as the Sustainability and Education Academy in Canada (SEdA) are forming to look at the reorienting of entire education systems by involving ministry officials, faculties of education and local school trustees and senior administrators.


Conclusion


The major elements inherent in ESD (Education, Public Awareness and Training) are enormous potential agents of capacity building and societal change.  While they have been working largely in isolation to address sustainability much more could be done.


The current leadership in many countries of Ministries of Environment can be problematic in the Post 2015 action. To date this leadership has sent a message that the core focus is largely on environmental sustainability.  Those in the field understand that has not been particularly helpful as there is a need for widespread systemic engagement of all ministries, a broad spectrum of civil society and the private sector.  This is especially apparent in the work at the city and community levels. We suggest that responsibility for sustainable development actions converge at such levels as head of state, cabinet, major and CEO levels.


We hope this brief communique is useful and we remain hopeful that the Post 2015 process will lead to hastening all of humanity down the path to a more sustainable future. In closing we repeat our main concern:


We, the broad-based community of stakeholders from the Americas united with others in the global ESD community are concerned that the failure to take full advantage of these three valuable assets is about to be repeated in the post 2015 planning. This oversight can be avoided by broadening the discussion, specifying ESD in Post-2015 documents, and specifically bringing educators and trainers to the table now so they clearly see themselves as needed and welcomed partners of this emerging strategy.


Sincerely


The Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs) based in the Americas*.


-RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014)**, by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate
-RCE is a flagship initiative of the UNU-IAS Education for Sustainable Development programme



* Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE)- THE AMERICAS


Argentina


Brazil


Canada


Colombia


Guatemala


Mexico


Peru


United States of America

**UN Inter-Agency Committee for the DESD (IAC)
The UN Inter-Agency Committee for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (IAC) seeks to ensure harmonious international coordination of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) within the UN system, to embed the ESD agenda into the work of UN agencies in a coherent and timely manner, and to emphasize the role of ESD and its implications for all forms, levels and settings of education. It is a forum for open-ended collaboration towards the effective implementation of the Decade.


The IAC is composed of representatives of UNESCO, FAO, ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UN Global Compact, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN-ISDR, UNITAR, UNU, WFP, WHO, World Bank, WTO, UNCCD, UNCBD, UNFCCC and UNDESA.

Dulce Maria PEREIRA from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 09.52 pm

 Adding a few remarks, considering the debates:
 1.       The different conferences have not been able to successfully present the interlinkages of gender, diversity and traditional communities and vulnerable peoples due to poverty   with environmental sustainability. The post 2015 agenda  needs to focus on such issues.
  2.       It is necessary to provide skills and knowledge, in the process of mainstreaming education,  with concepts , values, philosophical references  to improve the possibilities and  global capacity of promoting  for environmental sustainability
  3.       However there seems to be consensus on the fact that education is critical to achieve environmental sustainability, it is demanding to clarify the different needed   approaches to education,  at different levels. Beyond consciousness and awareness it is needed  investment  in  scientific production, pedagogical methodology  and material and access to  technological knowledge   dedicated to the reduction of the use of biosistems.  The curriculum  of  courses such as pedagogy, architecture, different engineering areas, geology and earth science,   administration and law must include specific, according to each area, environmental studies and procedures for the reduction of the use of natural resources.  
  4.           Considering the 3 weeks of discussion, more than  identifying the items of consensus it seems to be possible to indicate a few areas where more debate and  perhaps   more reflexion on strategy and actors. Community capacity  for advocacy is another key  issue to be further discussed. 
  5.      Among the most critical issues are: the understanding in some developing countries that environment commitments inhibits the possibilities of development; the practices of exploring the commodities, in processes such as aggressive mining, using the argument that the developed countries have grown without limits on the exploration of their natural resources and now want to control the developing of such nations: the make up in environmental policies  and certifications, weakening the implementation and results  of treaties and environmental agendas .  
  6.  Among the strategies there is the demand of policies, education and investments in sustainable industrial patterns, including the building construction industry. Technical and educational cooperation in this area will promote meaningful advances in achieving goals of environmental sustainability.

June Gorman from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 08.44 pm

Education we like to think, is fundamentally about the transference of human values within a society or culture that best sustain and support the longevity of that culture.  But as paradigm shifts and worldwide value and cultural shifts happen on a much grander scale, when the preservation of ones culture’s environment demands the understanding and preservation of all intertwined cultures and environments, the educational demands of understanding those shifts become much bigger, grander and far more complex:  one must teach values that have both local and international logic – values that sustain in the personal as well as the grand political scale.  Education then, must clearly and explicitly redefine and explain these universal values it assumes, to translate well across diversity and international boundaries and “state” lines.

 

This becomes especially true in this new digitalized world of “connection” that actually abstracts the natural environment we all still depend on for sustenance and real sustainability.  The confusion is not minor and it is a “confusion” reinforced by the technology and media “education” of the developed world that has most moved towards this unsustainable paradigm of what defines valuable and natural life or harmonious  living, away from each other and the planet that most defines that “living”.

 

The result of that “education” in those dominant countries particularly, is an increasingly only left-brain linear and narrow education, often technologically reinforced, that separates our humanity – our natural emotional empathy, deeper moral values and compassion for one another and all living things on our planet. This is supplanted by a “work” only and “productivity” ethic using “obscene-profit-for-the-few-economics” as the ultimate value system and result.  It’s an educational paradigm that actually goes against new neuroscience about how the human child best learns those more compassionate, connected and interdependent value systems that lead to actual, rather than plastic, cosmetic “sustainability” on our shared planet, together.  It is an “advertised” education of consumerism and waste, that confuses these emotionally-based issues, while the result is exactly as intended for those that gain the most in that model by creating actual cognitive dissonance between the words used and the values actually promoted and achieved.

 

Economics must thus be restrained back into its role in supporting social values not usurping and shaping them as a way to subvert equality, equal access and empowerment of the many by the few.  To the end education has been used to reinforce these economically accepted justifications for inequity it needs to be rethought in terms of actual Post-2015 realities.  What world do we want to educate for – the one we currently have or one with explicitly different values for our societies, economically, politically and socially?  So central is this underlying need for explicit values and definitions clarifications, that any critical and necessary shift in this discussion demands rethinking of what kind of transformative educational paradigm best suits long-term sustainability for all and in any possibility for real SDG’s in a Post-2015 world?  Not deconstructing and understanding how the new (and sometimes “old” and even indigenous understanding) of transformative neuroscience that argues for how the human child actually learns best -- across both brains spheres and diverse and innovative forms of human intelligence – is to try for new understanding in a continuing “mis-educated” world.  Transformative education (Transformative Education Forum – tef.globalchallgengesforum.org) and the human rights Principles that form its base, then becomes critical.  Otherwise, not understanding these value definitions and making them explicit, we will continue to be distracted by “playing in the noise” while the world declines.  And learn instead just to feel it less.

Dulce Maria PEREIRA from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 07.08 pm
Patricia Pimentel from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 03.51 pm

Prezados(as),


Observando as contribuições e reflexões dos participantes nesse “ambiente de diálogos”, acredito que já há consensos significativos sobre os principais temas ligados à sustentabilidade (educação - ambiental ou para sustentabilidade; matriz energética; desigualdades sociais; aspectos econômicos - que interferem direta e indiretamente sobre os mais diversos setores da sociedade; redução da pobreza; uso dos recursos naturais e os serviços ambientais; modelos de produção e consumo; respeito à cultura e aos modos de vida tradicionais; a contribuição da ciência e da tecnologia para minimizar ou reverter problemas ambientais, ou ainda para aprimorar a eficiência no uso de tais recursos; etc...). Acredito que nas últimas décadas houve uma grande evolução em algumas dessas discussões. Entretanto, penso que o diálogo ainda é necessário em todas as áreas temáticas!


Minha percepção (que deve ser o da maioria das pessoas que atuam na área ambiental), é que muito se discute, mas pouco se coloca em prática (pelos menos não é tão divulgado ou socializado nessas salas)! É como se as conferências fossem “divisores de águas” entre a teoria e a prática. E aguardamos ansiosos os resultados, as práticas e as experiências (para reproduzir ou aprimorar!!!)...


O meu sentimento é que vamos chegar a novos consensos e continuar dialogando sobre as áreas onde ainda há lacunas, mas 2015 chegará e um novo prazo será dado para novos consensos e diálogos (o que creio que não deve parar em hipótese nenhuma)!  


Deixo uma ideia que creio que seja importante (re)pensarmos: “tempo é um recurso não renovável”!


Obrigada!


 

Shubha Kayastha from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 01.56 pm

The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) is a non-profit women’s NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that has been working since 1993 to advance women’s health, affirmative sexuality and rights, and empower women through information and knowledge, monitoring of international commitments, engagement, advocacy and mobilisation. We work with national partners across the Asia-Pacific region and with regional partners from the Global South as well as allies from the Global North.

The Asia and Pacific region has some of the world’s most vulnerable zones to environmental degradation.  The region is considered particularly vulnerable as it features many small island states, arid and high mountain zones and densely populated coastal areas with unique ecosystems which are now experiencing increasing deforestation, desertification, floods and land loss. Apart from the general population facing new risks, the many indigenous peoples who call these areas their home are more vulnerable due to their greater dependence on forests and other natural resources to meet their subsistence and livelihood needs. Mobility or migration of human being, migration either by push or pull factors, plays a large part in environmental degradation. Urbanization is rampant in all developing and developed countries which has an impact on per capita resource consumption and impacting the environment. Changing technologies, and quality and pace of life in general has had consequences on how we are changing our environmental landscape on a daily basis.

It is crucial now to understand the risks brought by changes in the environment and put in place policies, processes and programmes to reduce them. Changes in the environment have social consequences—it exacerbates the underlying causes and intensifiers of inequalities, including poverty, gender power imbalances, HIV and AIDS and food insecurity. It magnifies inequities between rich and poor countries and between rich and poor people within countries.

 All policies, processes and programmes need to recognize the glaring gender inequalities that exist in the region. Men and women are differently impacted by these changes, because their roles and responsibilities are differently constructed. Women in much of the developing world depend on natural resources to meet the livelihood needs of their families, and are natural resource managers and leaders in grassroots environmental struggles. Their needs, ideas and experiences need to be considered at the forefront of all discussions on environmental sustainability.

However what we see is contrary to this as whenever ‘environmental sustainability’ is discussed, women are seen as targets of environment conservation policies and programmes. Conversations mostly centre on the basis of how population growth is impacting the environment and how it is leading to environmental degradation and climate change. Population control becomes a strategy, targeting women in their reproductive age and providing them with family planning options. Singling out birth rates as the problem means that the solution is deemed to be ineffective.

Instead of examining the underlying causes of inequalities, simplistic links between environmental degradation and population growth, asserting that more people result in more environment damage is dangerous. A narrow focus on reducing population through family planning to address issues of environmental degradation and climate change could undermine women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and foil efforts to attain a comprehensive approach to promote environmental sustainability and reduce climate change. Most of the population control programmes measures its effectiveness on the basis of coverage and reach, neglecting the aspect of quality care and service. Here women and girls would be taken just as beneficiaries and ignoring the right to choice for their own sexual and reproductive health (SRH). In addition, women’s bodies are used for scientific experiments of contraceptives, especially in the developing world which is totally against human rights principles.

Different conferences that have happened recently like- the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, etc. but they have not been able to successfully present the interlinkages of gender with environmental sustainability. Some recommendations for further discussion on how we can move ahead with planning for environmental sustainability along with being gender sensitive include the following:

  1. Further develop the evidence base regarding the linkages between environmental degradation, climate change, gender, and SRH.
  2. Environmental sustainability policies and programmes to integrate both climate justice and reproductive justice. This includes accounting for reproductive rights of women and girls by not using their body as means of climate change solution and making them capable to decide on their fertility.
  3. Appropriate environmental sustainability and climate change strategies are to be initiated and developed which incorporates the effects of climate change on social life and health of women.
  4. Family planning programmes to respect women’s rights focusing mainly on enabling couple and individual to make informed choices and decisions, freely and responsibly on the number, spacing and timing of child birth.
  5. All national plans addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation plans must include the provision of SRH services, delivered in the context of primary health care, accessible to marginalised women and youth, and not just narrowly targeting family planning, and with the required allocation of resources and investments.
  6. The +20 review processes for ICPD and Beijing, the MDG review process, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the new post-2015 development agenda must recognise the importance of women’s rights, including their SRHR, as critical to sustainable development; and set goals and targets to reach universal access to SRH and advance sexual and reproductive rights, within a wider frame that addresses poverty, gender inequality and environmental concerns and ensures social justice.

 

References:

Silliman, J.M. (2012). “Climate Change and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Young people in Asia- Pacific Region: Affirming Rights, Refuting Dubious Linkages.” In Thematic Papers Presented at Beyond ICPD and the MDGs: NGOs Strategising for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Asia-Pacific Region and Opportunities for NGOs at National, Regional and International Levels in the Lead-Up to 2014: NGO-UNFPA Dialogue for Strategic Engagement. Kuala Lumpur: ARROW.  www.arrow.org.my/uploads/Thematic_Papers_Beyond_ICPD_&_the_MDGs.pdf

ARROW. (2009). In Search of Climate Justice: Refuting Dubious Linkages, Affairmative rights. ARROWs For Change, 14(3). http://arrow.org.my/publications/AFC/V15n1.pdf

ARROW. (2012). Youth SRHR movements: Claiming the post 2015 Development Agenda. ARROWs For Change. http://www.arrow.org.my/uploads/20121130071740_v18n2.pdf

For more information, please email:

Shubha Kayastha (Programme Officer WHRAP- South Asia) &

Nalini Singh (Programme Manager for Advocacy & Capacity Building)

Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Emails: shubha@arrow.org.my & Nalini@arrow.org.my
Website: www.arrow.org.my

 

Barbara Rogers from
Mon, March 4, 2013 at 12.29 pm

Dear Shubha and colleague,

You have raised some very crucial concerns, and ones which I feel need thorough discussion in women's forum as welll as environment (although this is a key environmental issue - but likely to be dropped like a hot potato by some environmentalists).

I don't believe that any family planning programmes are talking about "population control". (True, the government of China is using State policy to reduce births, but this is an exceptional case and nothing to do with current international policy and programmes.) Nor are they using poor women as guinea-pigs for new methods. The emphasis is on women's rights, gender equality, and avoiding the many injuries and deaths that arise from too many, often unwanted pregnancies and inadequate health care - not to mention the many abortions that women resort to, often at great risk to their own lives and health.

One problem is that the family planning organisations have been silenced, by a combination of ferocious attack and religious conservatism - I have read accounts of the Cairo conference which show how strongly the Holy See fought to block not only any mention of abortion, but the right to contraception as well (they partially succeeded, with the result that family planning programmes have lost funding and many women cannot be reached). I think that there needs to be a full and frank discussion of what national and international family planning programmes are doing, whether they could do more or better, and how women's organisations could be tackling this very important issue in the forthcoming international conferences.

In sisterhood,

Barbara

Sandeep Goswami from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 05.23 am

The most important lesson all governments need to learn is to truly believe in the IWR-2012, the SREX Report.

With the Indian budget 2013 -2014, tabled at the parliament just 2 days ago. emphasis to renew the stalled coal blocks, and speed up the process of environmental clearances for National Highways only belies to the fact that innovation is not a priority to any governments. 

As long as we keep using the flawed Economic system, whose past success since the industrial revolution has brought about the climate mess we are in, not much can be done. 

The gaps are simple if one is focused at the solution -

1. Automobiles: The entire life-cycle is detrimental to the environment. Yet world over, we allow individuals to buy and use large/small passenger vehicles. Mostly these congest the roads carrying only one person. In retrospect it is increasing the foot-print of a person many times over. Both in terms of GHG and space consumed. Governments have to be bold enough to regulate the use and purchase of passenger vehicles and allowing only those which do not directly use fossil fuel. (The production of even wind/solar requires fossil fuel, in its life-cycle and cannot be wished away)  At the same time confidence must be built and solutions provided to manufacturers in term of financial support to convert from fossil to e-vehicles.

Although there is consensus even amongst automobile manufacturers that the environment needs to be protected; manufacturing the next fuel guzzling SUV, and governments allowing them to still manufacture cars which run on outdated technology of fossil fuel; is a serious gap which needs to be addressed.

And most importantly the idea of physical travel should also be discouraged, when in the 21st century many things can be achieved via the virtual world. 

2. While every country harps on its right to develop, and thus build roads to connect the country, innovation to create elevated road structures, without cutting down trees and minimizing the foot-print of damage to fragile eco-system, gets caught up in cost vs environment safety analysis.Once the environment is declared to be the most costly asset, the economics of calculations of profit vs loss would change.

 

It is common knowledge that governments can always raise the money for the environment, which is a paltry sum compared to any respectable countries defense budget. All that is required is the will.

 

3. There are many Green Business Ideas, which can be found in my blog  (The Earth Patriot http://wp.me/1xbzq) which addresses the gaps and also suggests solutions. A collective thought by those who are better informed and have the band-width to create the change that is required is needed.

 

One such is the UN and its bodies.

 

Thanks for the opportunity,

 

Sandeep Goswami

Kathleen I. O'Halleran from
Sat, March 2, 2013 at 09.57 am

Dear Colleagues--

As we approach these questions of identifying evolving consensus as well as where further dialog is needed, I would like to add a few observations and insights from what I have absorbed here, integrated with my own thoughts. There seems to be a general consensus on the need to couple development to equity, if sustainability is to be an achievable goal. Inherent in this discussion and talked "around" also appears to be a growing awareness of and concern over the flaws of an economic system that requires consistent and expansive consumption in order to operate, which has contributed to the root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation within and between countries. With primary, raw materials exported from least developed countries, low-cost labor and regulatory-poor less developed countries housing manufacturing facilities for goods that are then piece-finished and sold in wealthy developed countries, the very structure of the global economy has been anything but equitable.

Yet, today as even the wealthy countries of the world and their consumers continue to grapple with the reverberations of the global economic crisis of 2007-2008, from which many have not recovered, there emerges an opportunity for rethinking and reframing development, and what development should mean on a global scale. Adjusting to the economic crisis for many in the developed United States, at least, has meant the downsizing of livelihoods and lifestyles, reduced consumption, and the need to reconsider what is and is not essential. Making deliberate decisions for a sustainable "retreat" has been more the mindset and the emergent practice for millions of people who have been seriously and chronically impacted by the economic downturn.

And, in all honesty, in a closed ecological system such as our planet, it is simply not possible for all of the countries of the world to attain the level of consumption and utilize the same rate of resources that the United States and other wealthy nations have been consuming, as any ecological footprint calculator will attest to. Thus, for some, such as those in the United States, less may become more sustainable. Perhaps we do need to rethink what development means, overall--and how sustainability fits into that paradigm.

I think we need further dialog and exploration of that. In fact, I think we need to consider that criteria preserving, improving and sustaining human development must become vital a priori components that define what we mean by sustainable development as much as economic and environmental aspects do; for, without at the very least the equitable preservation of basic human needs and rights, economic and environmental sustainability becomes a luxury that the poor and disenfranchised cannot afford to consider. This is a dialog whose time has come, and whose time is right--for everyone in every type of country--developed, less developed and least developed. I do not know whether as nations that economic systems will shift--but I do think that people, themselves, across the board, understand both ideologically and practically, the need for reforming development practices and consumption patterns. This is the time to craft bold, forward-thinking goals--and definitions--for sustainable development. I would suggest that it is through people, themselves that global targets will best become relevant--in the immediate and near future, and that nations and regions will respond to this popular movement with appropriate policies, if they hope to remain politically relevant and/or economically solvent.  In addition, though varying by degree and intensity, around the globe, people face many of the same types of sustainability issues and challenges--such as social injustice and inequality, poverty, hunger, and poor health, climate change, loss of biodiversity and its global impacts, and deterioration of water quantity and quality. These are issues and challenges that therefore supersede the boundaries of nation-states. A bold move would be to take these issues and relevant MDG target goals to the people, and let them task their governments, bureaucrats, scientific/academic experts, and businesses for the policies needed.

. There also seems to be general consensus in this discussion that the MDG "silo" approach adopted to address specific issues actually stymied and perhaps disassociated the linkages and interactions between the environmental, social and economic (e.g., human) aspects of development and their complex, interrelated challenges to sustainability. When environmentalists faced with limited resources and accelerating losses of species on a global scale were confronted with these realities, they recognized that their conventional, "save the species" approach had similar limits that failed to address the complexities involved in loss of biodiversity. So, they changed their approach to a "save the habitat" response, and in turn began to not only save more species, but to also address some of the specific, root causes of accelerated (and expanded) species loss. Perhaps dialog is needed on changing the MDG's "silo" approach, as well, to one that simultaneously considers both the environmental and human dimensions of sustainable development in different types or classifications of human/environmental interface and/or community setting. There is already much consensus on the need to more directly address the issues of accelerating urbanization and the global expansion of the urban poor. Perhaps reframing the MDG approach in this manner could address this

In an earlier posting, I also addressed the need for inclusion of social sustainability indicators that are capable of incorporating and measuring specific, cultural and (local) community contexts. As has been noted by others as well in this discussion, the social (e.g., human) dimensions of sustainability are often mentioned or referenced, without any qualification/quantification of exactly what the ingredients or "adequate" measurements of social sustainability are. General indicators, goals and targets can be identified, (and need to be). Local populations can and should be involved in determining the weight/value they attach to each specific indicator as it relates to sustainability, according to their own community/cultural norms, beliefs, values, traditions, and mores. The data will be something of value then, to all concerned.

While this posting has seemed to include so many different issues, they are all intertwined into a desire here for effective and meaningful, authentic and responsive input into this process that so many here have also shared.

 

Alfredo Arturo Corredor Becerra from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 10.01 am

Buenos días Kathleen su resumen contiene muchos de los elementos que personalmente considero importantes para llegar a un estado que garantice el desarrollo socioeconomico de las naciones, porque algo que debemos entender que el mundo es una unidad organica aquí no hay ganadores o vencedores todos podemos construir el bienestar general debemos reconocer la importancia de cada ser humano y de su conocimiento . Quiero compartir un documento que elaboré y aunque en cuanto a su forma tiene aspectos por ajustar presenta una propuesta de desarrollo sustentable que reconoce el valor y la importancia del capital natural y el capital humano que tiene el conocimiento ancestral del cuidado de los recursos naturales. Como observará la bibliografia en su mayoría proviene de trabajos realizados por organismos multilaterales como Naciones Unidas,  la bibliografia que menciono se enfoca en temas individuales ya sea la pobreza, los problemas de urbanización desmedida, o la seguridad alimentaria, sin embargo lo que se propone es un enfoque transversal que da respuesta a la problematica tratada este es  el uso adecuado de los ecosistemas, la formalización del trabajo rural,  la construccion de ciudades sostenibles como medio para devolver la dignidad y generar el bienestar de los má necesitados que a la vez por lomenos como ocurre en Latinoamerica y gran parte de Africa tienen una mano de obra calificada para ayudar a reconstruir el equilibrio natural de los ecosistemas. Presento a continuación el prefacio del documento y los invito a revisar el documento anexo.

PREFACIO

Una propuesta de Empleo y economía ambiental sostenible para alcanzar el desarrollo económico en Colombia

Este documento presenta una propuesta de desarrollo sostenible que puede aplicarse a muchos países que poseen recursos naturales y a la vez una gran cantidad de pobres. Juntos son la respuesta a la demanda global de bienes básicos y la herramienta necesaria para mitigar el cambio climático más ahora que existe conciencia mundial acerca de la necesidad de proteger los recursos naturales para garantizar el futuro de la humanidad.  

El documento parten  de la hipótesis de que el origen de los problemas en los países del tercer mundo nace de la subvaloración del capital natural y el humano de las zonas rurales, lo que está causando un deterioro diario de los ecosistemas y con ello se está poniendo en riesgo: la seguridad alimentaria, la adaptación al cambio climático y disminuyendo la posibilidad de desarrollo de estos países, por tal motivo se propone estructurar un modelo que permita romper los ciclos viciosos existentes .  Se parte  de un escenario en el que el mercado laboral valora  los saberes de su mano de obra rural y  el incalculable valor de nuestro capital natural diverso, que paulatinamente muestra su importancia estratégica para el presente y futuro mundial, a través de estos elementos se propone alcanzar el desarrollo sostenible y atender demandas globales de bienes básicos.

La propuesta promueve la  generación de ciclos virtuosos que provean cadenas de valor sustentables, procurando el mayor bienestar de la comunidad,  apoyados en el respeto y buen uso de los recursos naturales, la valoración del conocimiento ancestral y el desarrollo de esquemas de investigación, especialización del trabajo e innovación para alcanzar el desarrollo sostenible de nuestra economía.

El principal requisito es romper el paradigma de creer que únicamente se alcanzará el desarrollo siguiendo los pasos de la industrialización a ultranza y el uso de los recursos naturales no renovables explotados hasta agotar existencias[1].  Pero la decisión del cambio de enfoque debe ser tomada por el gobierno nacional [2] como política alternativa viable de desarrollo. 

El reto es hacer prospección del futuro global buscando un modelo de desarrollo en donde las ventajas competitivas de Colombia se hacen valer,  ya que puede proveer elementos indispensables para la vida como agua, oxígeno, elementos que mitigan el  calentamiento global a través de la retención de CO2 y la producción sustentable de alimento, para los cuales existen recursos   disponibles de organizaciones multilaterales dispuestas a financiar estos procesos por los beneficios que se prestan a nivel global.

Este documento muestra como el sistema de producción actual está afectando el futuro del país y terminará por colapsar en corto plazo, localmente los síntomas son: situación crítica de los habitantes de las zonas rurales caracterizado por la falta de servicios básicos de calidad en salud, educación y vivienda, las escazas oportunidades laborales para las nuevas generaciones y relaciones laborales y remunerativas injustas.  Todo lo anterior genera inconformidad social,  economías del rebusque, ciclos de miseria y la violencia. Estas situaciones promueven migraciones a los centros urbanos en donde se traslada la problemática y por la dinámica existente multiplican los  procesos de inequidad, desintegración y fraccionamiento social que se desarrollan en las zonas marginadas  inadecuadas para vivir. De otro lado las zonas propicias para la producción de alimento y los ecosistemas frágiles estratégicos están a la deriva y se están instaurando cultivos intensivos industrializados diferentes a los alimentos, grandes zonas ganaderas  con baja demanda de mano de obra y la explotación de minerales sin licencias y como consecuencia la eliminación de los recursos naturales renovables como el agua que son la materia prima para todas las actividades humanas.    

 

La propuesta indica quelos ciclos viciosos que generan desigualdades e inequidad pueden ser rotos para iniciar un proceso inverso que se gesta desde dar el valor real a nuestro capital natural y humano, promoviendo las actividades rurales basadas en proteger nuestros ecosistemas naturales a cargo de quienes desde hace cientos de años han realizado estas actividades. Considera el retorno al campo de la población en condiciones de bienestar y dignidad que permitirán recomponer el tejido social rural y porque no la mitigación del origen del conflicto armado. 

 

Se plantea la construcción de un modelo que articule la planeación técnica y estratégica del uso de los recursos, pero buscando el desarrollo  socioeconómico  y la equidad general, en donde es fundamental  la formalización del trabajo rural y la dignidad humana,  el reconocimiento de condiciones laborales justas y la prestación de servicios básicos de calidad. Este es complementado por una política urbana encaminada a crear centros de desarrollo en ciudades planificadas de tamaño mediano, teniendo en cuenta que sean: económicamente sustentables,  haciendo caso a los aspectos de planeación urbana y  mitigación de los riesgos naturales, en donde prima el bienestar de la comunidad y la ecología. Al respecto otra de las metas es promover que todas aquellas personas que hoy viven en los extramuros de las megaciudades y que viven con déficit de servicios básicos tengan la alternativa de reubicarse en las nuevas ciudades para garantizarles posibilidades de calidad de vida y futuro económico,  en primera instancia laborando en la protección de los ecosistemas naturales y complementariamente se encargarían de producir alimento con el fin de recuperar la seguridad alimentaria en donde las familias que viven dignamente son  la fuente primaria de mano de obra.  

 

 

 

En lo económico se busca organizar actividades eslabonadas que van desde el reconocimiento de la familia como unidad productiva encargada de la protección de los ecosistemas, valorando su conocimiento ancestral pero revitalizada por el apoyo técnico de instituciones especializadas en el tema como las universidades e instituciones técnicas; se contemplan actividades como la producción de material biológico para la restauración de los ecosistemas afectados por el hombre e impactados por el cambio climático. Se preparan grupos de tecnólogos y técnicos dedicados al registro de información y  evaluación de impactos existentes sobre los ecosistemas para protegerlos y restaurar los afectados y grupos de investigación e innovación sobre el uso medicinal e industrial de las plantas y material genético proveniente de los recursos naturales. Estas personas además demandan servicios y bienes por lo que se generan empleos en la producción de bienes y servicios con estándares de “calidad” para estas ciudades., a la vez la promoción de dos sectores que son demandantes de mano de obra como son las labores agrarias y la construcción e infraestructura.

 

Este documento muestra la una visión personal de la articulación de varios elementos socioeconómicos y ambientales  que durante su construcción se convirtió en una recopilación bibliográfica y que en razón a la profundidad de los estudios consultados, los recursos invertidos y valor multidisciplinario se consideró necesario registrar citas textuales por apoyar de manera amplia y suficiente argumentos presentados, se resaltan en negrilla las citas que resultan fundamentales en la estructuración de la tesis presentada.

 

Lo anterior también permite considerar que existe evidencia que indica que “Colombia” por su gran riqueza natural puede no solo solucionar su problema de empleo y crecimiento, sino mejor aún tiene una oportunidad de alcanzar el desarrollo sostenible y el  bienestar de su población y de igual manera  puede convertirse en la despensa para muchos pobladores del mundo ya que así lo indican investigaciones como los documentos TEEB [3], que explica porque la organización de Naciones Unidas avala las de desarrollo sustentable y las ven como la única alternativa para el futuro global viable.



[1] AMÉRICA LATINA Y EL CARIBE: UNA SUPERPOTENCIA DE BIODIVERSIDAD. UN DOCUMENTO DE POLÍTICA. 2010. Página 4,  El actual modelo productivo de la mayoría de los países de la región descansa sobre el uso no sostenible de los recursos naturales y resulta cada vez más gravoso para las economías nacionales y locales. Es necesario actuar inmediatamente si queremos evitar el colapso y la alteración irreversible de los ecosistemas.

[2] A nuestro juicio, la agricultura como salida de la pobreza necesita un estado fuerte con mecanismos que regulen las imperfecciones del mercado del trabajo. Esta fue otra de las situaciones comprobadas por el estudio: si el boom agropecuario genera empleo, el impacto es positivo en la reducción de la pobreza rural. La actual crisis ha generado oportunidades importantes en este sentido, sobre todo lo que podríamos llamar “una revalorización y cuestionamiento del rol estatal. BOOM AGRÍCOLA y persistencia de la pobreza rural, Estudio de ocho casos. Editores José Graziano da Silva, Sergio Gómez E.Rodrigo Castañeda S. Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO). 2009.  Página 335.

 

[3] Estudio auspiciado por el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente y está financiado por la Comisión Europea, el Ministerio Federal de Medio Ambiente de Alemania, el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Alimentación y Asuntos Rurales del Reino Unido, a los que se ha unido recientemente el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Noruega, y el Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenación Territorial y Medio Ambiente de los Países Bajos, entre otros publicaciones desde 2008 a 2010. El estudio sobre la economía de los ecosistemas y la biodiversidad fue emprendido por Alemania y la Comisión Europea para responder a una propuesta de los Ministros de Medio Ambiente del G8+5 (Postdam, Alemania, 2007) de realizar un estudio a escala mundial con objeto de analizar los aspectos económicos de la pérdida de la biodiversidad. Este estudio independiente, dirigido por Pavan Sukhdev.

 

 

Kathleen I. O'Halleran from
Tue, March 5, 2013 at 09.23 am

Buenos Dias, Alfredo Arturo Corredor Becerra,

I am so thankful that you took the effort to post your paper/recommendations along with the footnotes you provided here. Columbia and Guatemala are very close to my heart-and to my scholarly work on Sustainability and the complex, interrelated barriers that have hampered it, It is good to see that we are of like mind on these issues, and to potential  solutions for them. You provide significant insight and detail, and I look forward to continuing dialog with you in this venue, or any other.

All the best, Kathleen

Randolph Femmer from
Sat, March 2, 2013 at 11.29 am

Thank you to Kathleen for her insightful observations above.  Before we close these discussions perhaps we should further consider the points that she raises pertaining to the losses of biodiversity.  Will the final 2015 reports actually enunciate biodiversity and conservation?  And more importantly than that, perhaps, there may be some prevailing policy suppositions that envision "saving" representative 10% samplings of various species and ecosystems.  The question we suggest is this: 
 
                                     Are prevailing "10%" conservation goals ENOUGH?
                        Or do such 10% conservation goals actually risk - or invite - collapse?



(1) Think of the functioning aspects of other complex and interacting systems that we know, for example, such as a space vehicle, an automobile, an aircraft, or the human body. In the case of a space vehicle, no rational astronauts would remove, destroy, damage, or eradicate 82% of their navigation systems, 91% of their vehicle's electrical systems, 87% of its heat shields, 78% of its CO2 scrubbers and life-support systems, and 94% of their propulsion and re-entry systems.

(2) In a similar way, envision a new and pristine automobile whose owner begins to eliminate 75% of its tires, 80% of its axles, removes its carburetor and most of its spark plugs, and then destroys 91% of its electrical system, 84% of its steering system, 90% of its brakes and brake shoes, and 92% of its transmission, while at the same time, each day he ceaselessly adds ever more quantities of contaminants to its gasoline, oil, battery water, engine coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. (Does this sound familiar yet?) (And in the meantime, at night others in his neighborhood are also removing its components and selling them for a profit at the flea market.) And then he can't understand why his automobile "which has always worked in the past" doesn't function anymore. - (Not so bright, is he?)

(3) What if a member of your family finds it necessary to visit local health care providers, and during their visit the providers promise your family member that their goals and aims (subject to various political and funding contingencies) seek to ensure that they attempt to save, conserve, and/or otherwise preserve at least a 10% representative sampling of each patient's cells, tissues, and organs - such as 10% of their elbow joints, 9% of their eyelids, 7% of their brain and hypothalamus, 5% of their endocrine glands, 8% of their lungs and pancreas, 47% of their kidneys, between 2 and 3% of their spinal cord, and 15% of their ear lobes. (Notice that the error in such a formula of "10% preservation" of component parts does nothing whatsoever to ensure the survival of the complex interacting system that characterizes the actual patient as a living entity.)

                 Do we know anyone who treats the only planetary life-support machinery
                     so far known to exist anywhere in the universe in a similar way
?

Since all life on earth, together with civilization and humankind itself are entirely dependent upon on earth's biospheric life-support machinery (even for  each day's oxygen that we breathe) , speaking biologically we should almost certainly save almost the entirety of its ecological systems - and to the extent that the above analogies hold, even 50-60-or-70% conservation goals may not be enough.


 

Kathleen I. O'Halleran from
Tue, March 5, 2013 at 09.33 am

Randolph--

Your examples and methods for explaining the illogic of a piecemeal, sampling approach to mitigating species loss and the resultant impact on biodiversity is very effective! I would imagine that teachers in public school systems could greatly benefit from curriculum that addresses these practical realities that you have explained so thoroughly here. As many others have posted, the need for better educational tools that are integrated into the curriculum is needed, if we are to ocntinue to raise consiousness and understanding about environmental sustainability.. It would be nice to see ecological literacy as a standard for learning in social sciences in K-5 classes, and in upper level classes in courses such as geography.

Corey Trevor from
Sat, March 2, 2013 at 02.38 am

A topic where further dialouge is needed is money and people's reliance on it rather than their own/family/community skills. Money is not essential to life in any way shape or form yet the only way of life many people see (at least in developed countries such as the US) is do one thing all day every day (job) to make money to basically buy your survival needs and a huge amount of stuff that no one needs for any reason. It has been shown that as the average amount of work hours increases (which has been happening here in the US at least becuase all people want is more money for more stuff they think they need mostly due to advertising and a sense of competition with peers) peoples overall happiness decreases. A solution for this is work way less, and spend more time doing things like producing your own sustainable food/water/energy/waste systems/etc (all been proven to be possible to do self sufficiently in places in all parts of the world and even in big cities). Basically sustainable lifestyles and housing that facilitates more sustainable and self sufficient lifestyles is what I believe needs to be talked about more (and not just talk but be put into practice). 

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