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Capacity Building for Social-Ecological Resilience

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Philip Tedeschi, University of Denver, Denver, USA

Philip Tedeschi, University of Denver, Denver, USA

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  • Good afternoon I am Philip Tedeschi Clinical Professor at the University of Denver in the Graduate School of Social Work and the Director of The Institute for Human-Animal Connection. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of my colleague Dr. Sarah Bexell, A faculty member also at the School Social Work and Director of Humane Education at the Chengdu Research Base who is unable to attend today but sends her regard to all the conference attendees for your global efforts to improve the world.
  • I would like to also thank my sponsoring program, The Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver and my Dean, who is chairing todays session for support of our involvement in the conference and encouraging the development of our program. In 2006 The School established The Institute for Human Animal Connection. In the development of this program we initially explored the importance of our relationship to animals and then the living world
  • The theory articulated by Edward Wilson explored the idea that humans need contact with the living world for basic human health. …….. “Human intrinsic responses to these deep affiliations [with nature] have complex benefits and when under attack equally complex risk factors develop for …..psychological and physical well being” “… develop strategies to assist our communities and neighborhoods (to) incorporate a full appreciation of biophilia AND HUMAN, ANIMAL, ECOSYSTEM HEALTH into our homes, our places of work, and our social interactions and recognize the extent to which our physical health, mental health, and resiliency depend on a vital, diverse, bio-rich planet”
  • Like any emotional trauma that is persistent and chronic, humans utilize basic defense mechanisms to shut out painful and dangerous reality. This denial has caused us to begin to rationalize the seriousness of issues like global warming, loss of critical habitat and biodiversity. We can then avoid the painful truth of animal mass extinction and deny the serious impacts we have on the earth and it’s non- human and human inhabitants.
  • Another alarming example is the impact of pollution on the environment effecting air quality, water quality, soil quality all impacted by perilous human behaviors. These have direct implication for healthy biodiversity.
  • Ecoanxiety, Ecoparalysis, Global Angst-Dread, Solastalgia, Econostalgia all are new terms given to the increasing evidence that as the abuse of the planets ecological systems are overwhelmed, biodiversity of the planet is reduced the mental stress levels on people increases causing a generalized fear, anxiety and level of depression and inability to function. We are attached to the health of our mother but beginning to present with the recognizable clinical symptoms of attachment disorder.  
  • Our Program is influenced by Kate Raworth’s expanded model of Johan Rockstrom’s 9 Planetary Boundaries. Not only does it articulate a Environmental limit or ceiling for the ecological systems it also establishes as social foundation or floor. Working toward sustainable practices directed at these foundational needs especially with marginalized persons and communities has been and increasingly will become the focus of the social work profession.
  • THE PRIMARY FRAMEWORK FOR SOCIALWORK IS THAT OF UNDERSTASNDING PEOPLE IN THE CONTEXT OF THEIR SYSTEMS- HOWEVER IN THE UNITED STATES SOCIAL WORKS UNDERSTANDING OF AND RECOGNITION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT LAGGS BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD. – WE NEED SOCIAL WORK PRACTITIONERS TRAINED ASK THE QUESTION “WHAT IS THE CONNECTION TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT…AT ALL LEVELS PERSONAL, FAMILY, LOCOAL, REGIONAL, NATIAONAL AND GLOBAL LEVEL. ….EVALUATION OF THE BIO REGION HEALTH MUST BE A CONSIDERATION AND MEASURE OF HUMAN HEALTH AND INTERVENTION IN THE SOCIAL WORK FRAMEWORK
  • THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK IS EVOLVING AN AREA OF ACADEMIC CONCENTRATION FOR MASTER LEVEL SOCIAL WORK PRACTITIONERS THAT WILL INCORPORATE A BIO/PSYCHOSOCIAL ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK ARTICULATED IN THE BROADER AREAS OF ONE HEALTH. THE FRAMEWORK WILL BE ESTABLISHED TO EQUIP THESE INDIVIDUALS WITH COMPETENCIES TO WORK EFFECTIVELY WITH THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM A SOCIAL ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE. THIS MAKES SENSE TO EMERGING SOCIAL WORKERS DESPITE THE TRADATIONAL ACADEMIC METRICS STILL ENCOUNTERED IN THE FIELD OF SOCIAL WORK.
  • IT MAKES SENSE TO TEACH SOCIAL WORK FAN INTEGRATIVE RISK MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE WHERE RISKS ARE CORRELATED AND SOLUTIONS REQUIRE TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESPNSE.
  • Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails, among other factors, international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from controlling living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), to reappraising work practices (e.g., using permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or developing new technologies that reduce the consumption of resources. EcoConscious Grow Haus Green Leaf Urban Farming
  • Strength-based, resiliency and empowerment models central to social work theory undertake integrated community engagement at local levels to address social conditions to improve sustainable employment opportunities, for environmental, social and economic benefits. Teaching sustainable development in action. Examples Kenya and China
  • For the last Four years we have taught the course entitles Social Work in Kenya: Context, Conservation, Empowerment, Sustainability Students examine the relationship between poverty, displaced people, environmental degradation and human welfare and disease, animal welfare such as poaching and the bush meat trade. Human animal conflict and land use with emphasis on sustainable development and solutions
  • Examples of live releases of animals caught in poaching snares. Then students live and work among the communities engaged in poaching to also explore solutions.
  • Partnership with Sichuan University and The Giant Panda Research Base Our course: Global Practice and Social Work in China: Biodiversity Health & Ecosystem Services in a Human Context Student and faculty research and learning exchanges – parallel curriculum in One Health Development of joint curricula and research programs in One Health: organic community farming & food security, fresh water quality & security, wildlife & nature conservation, ecotourism, ecosystem services/conservation/restoration, sustainable lifestyle=quality of life, economic stabilization, family planning, wildlife trade and emerging diseases, outdoor education, sustainable communities, moral education, animal and human health, humane education, ethics across the curriculum, international social development  
  • Sarah
  • Holly Increase humane education Optimize human-animal bonds Reverse loss of hope in our children Create a model for ecological living We are not taking stock of what we know, our reams of data and irrefutable evidence Data is coming out of our ears The more people deny the more people push data We don’t have solutions for people to defend themselves We have a system that has shut down It’s alarming - our goal is to create dialogue about that phenomenon
  • Holly
  • Holly
  • Transcript

    • 1. Preparing Social Work Students to Address Issues ofSustainable Development, One Health, Biodiversity Conservation and Human Resilience Humans within the Balance Philip Tedeschi University of Denver 4th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC Davos 2012
    • 2. Philip Tedeschi Sarah Bexell
    • 3. Human intrinsic responses to deep affiliations with nature
    • 4. Abuse of Ecological Systems Services: As we get accustomed to these impacts we become numb, callous and disconnected from our own life supportsystems…..are forced into a psychological state of defense and denial
    • 5. Poisoning Ourselves Insect and Amphibian Decline:What are the implications for humans and other species and impact on bio-diversity?• Over 60% of Amphibians recently extinct or in drastic decline due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, over consumption & disease
    • 6. Solastalgia and the Emergence of Psychoterratic Syndromes Glenn Albrecht 2003Psychoterratic Mental Health Problems Ecoanxiety Ecoparalysis Global Angst-Dread Solastalgia Econostalgia
    • 7. Kate Raworth, February 2012
    • 8. The defining feature of social work is the professions focus on well-being in a social context, referred to as "person in environment" Systems theory offers us a way to conceptualize the relationshipbetween people and environments. One Health expands the social workecological model that focuses on persons-in-environment to include ourecological life support system.
    • 9. Our Starting Point – DU GSSWSustainable Development & Global Practice:Academic Specialization for Social Work Practitioners• Strengthen and expanding the traditional social work code of ethics and models• A unifying, global social ecology perspective that treats humans as part of ecological framework• Leverage networking, communities and partnerships• Institutionalize One Health as a social work program of study and infuse fundamentals throughout all (GSSW) study/programs/practice• Students!
    • 10. Sustainable Development & Global Practice: Curriculum for Social Work Practitioners • Resilience strategies in a global change context – Today’s human health management requires a holistic “One Health” perspective that acknowledges the systemic interconnections of human-animal- and ecosystem health. – Only an integrative risk management approach will ensure sustainable health management in a era of climate change, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, land degradation, food insecurity, over population and development challenges globally. – Interactive and interconnected. They suggest the need for the social work curriculum to address socio-ecological l issues at the daily, local, regional and global levels and consider the intersectionality, trandisciplinary and sociocultural structures that impact health.
    • 11. Resilience Theory and Solution Focused Long-term capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to function and recover.Social Workers Trained in Social Ecological Systems:•Food Security•Water•Income and Jobs•Education•Governance•Energy•Social Equity•Land Use•Human Rights•Gender Equity•Health
    • 12. Curriculum Horizon• Transform structure and learning through collaboration, research and evaluation – Core courses and electives (INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC) – Certificate program – ONE HEALTH – One credit Service Learning courses – Immersive field experience• Increase faculty expertise• Substantiate student competencies – knowledge AND skills upon which to act
    • 13. One Credit Field Immersion Experiences• Sustainable income generating alternatives• Community gardens• Food banks• Fresh water conservation/Protections- NGOs and politics• Biodiversity conservation NGOs• Nature appreciation• Outdoor education• Family planning outreach• Community planning• Recycling centers• Environmental justice outreach & empowerment• Farm to School Programs……………………………………………….AND MORE
    • 14. Global Social Work in Action• Needs Assessment• Training• Community Mobilization- Trans-Disciplinary• Community Organizing- Networks and Communities• Leadership and Empowerment• Partnerships and infrastructure developmentStrength-based, resiliency and empowerment models central to social work theory undertake integrated community engagement at local levels to address social conditions to improve sustainable employment opportunities, for environmental, social and economic benefits, is sustainable development in action. local and national economies boosted through cost efficiencies and increased Improving our local places and making them more robust for the future,
    • 15. One Health Field Course in Kenya
    • 16. Anti-Poaching/De-snaring of Animals for bush-meat trade Alternatives to Unsustainable Use of wildlife
    • 17. One HealthSummer Internship & course in Chengdu, China
    • 18. One Health in China• Biodiversity declines in China are some of the most severe, with human health and social stability impacts already prevalent. – Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers – Air quality – Water shortages – Invasive species – Loss of top soil and dust storms – Increased impact of natural disasters – Disconnected from nature
    • 19. Partnering with Sichuan University and Giant Panda Base: Campus Outreach, Cultural Classroom Exchange, Humane Education Summer Camp, Habitat Protection Research
    • 20. Community Sustainable Agriculture Chengdu China Anlong Community Supported Agriculture Farm Summer Internship 2012 “As a student of Social Work, I had the opportunity to listen and to see how members of the Anlong cooperative view organic food and farming as connected to human, bodily and emotional health. As farmers spoke of their process of relearning traditional farming techniques, I witnessed how empowered and confident they felt in regards to their occupation and role as protectors of their environments. ” Jocelyn Durkay GSSW student intern 2012
    • 21. Desired Outcomes• Enable broad human lifestyle changes, sustainability, prevention and adaptation strategies• Develop cohorts of young professionals to advocate, help people be more resilient & adapt in the face of environmental change• A social movement within US Social Work Education – become proactive in protecting our Ecological Systems Services• Institutionalize Social-Ecological Model within the field of Social Work
    • 22. In your field…What are you hearing? Not hearing? How can we partner? Cross-disciplines? Do you have Social Work?
    • 23. Continuing the Conversation Philip Tedeschi Clinical Professor Director - Institute for Human-Animal Connection Email: Philip.Tedeschi@ du.edu Website:http://www.du.edu/socialwork http://www.humananimalconnection.org/

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