Sustainability and Healthy Outdoor Environments

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  • 1. Healthy Outdoor Environments Understandings and critiques of sustainability and sustainable development Unit 4 Area of Study 1 Key Knowledge 1 2012-2016 Revision and Review Preliminary DraftCompiled by J Pahlow 1
  • 2. Healthy Outdoor Environments O Is part of Unit 4 O Part of “Sustainable outdoor relationships” O Key Knowledge: understandings and critiques of sustainability and sustainable development O VCAA guidance: O “Sustainability has become a wide ranging term, used in a variety of ways. An examination a number of definitions including the Brundtland Commission (from 1987) and more recent analyses of Ecological Footprints. Sustainable development – or ecologically sustainable development (ESD) – has received criticisms about both the purpose and consequences of the term, concerns over the vagueness and philosophical underpinnings of ESD, and claims that ESD is an oxymoron and therefore a meaningless term. An examination of some of these criticisms and a justification of their own positions on the nature and usefulness of the concept of sustainable development. “Complied by J Pahlow 2
  • 3. There are key knowledge areas to be covered including O understandings and critiques of sustainability and sustainable development O indicators of healthy outdoor environments, including: O quality and adequacy of water, air and soil O levels of biodiversity, pest and introduced species O the contemporary state of outdoor environments in Australia, with reference to common themes used in State of the Environment reports O the importance of healthy outdoor environments for individual physical and emotional wellbeing, and for the future of society O the potential impact on society and outdoor environments of land degradation, introduced species, climate change, urbanisation and other significant threats.Complied by J Pahlow 3
  • 4. This is the key knowledge area covered in this presentation O The understandings and critiques of sustainability and sustainable developmentComplied by J Pahlow 4
  • 5. Understandings and critiques of sustainability and sustainable development O Sustainability has become a wide ranging term. O It is used in a variety of ways. O Definitions vary. O Examples include the Brundtland Commission (from 1987) and more recent analyses of Ecological Footprints. O Sustainable development – or ecologically sustainable development (ESD) – has received criticisms about both the purpose and consequences of the term, concerns over the vagueness and philosophical underpinnings of ESD, and claims that ESD is an oxymoron and therefore a meaningless term. O Ability to articulate some of these criticisms and being able to justify your positions on the nature and usefulness of the concept of sustainable development.Complied by J Pahlow 5
  • 6. Sustainability and sustainable development DefinitionsComplied by J Pahlow 6
  • 7. Sustainability and sustainable development Brundtland Commission (from 1987) definitions & some key points O Sustainable development – defined by the Brundtland Commission as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs O Sustainable development is a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development; and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. O Sustainable development involves more than growth. It requires a change in the content of growth, to make it less material- and energy-intensive and more equitable in its impact.Complied by J Pahlow 7
  • 8. Sustainability and sustainable development Brundtland Commission (from 1987) definitions & some key points O Economic development is unsustainable if it increases vulnerability to crises. O If needs are to be met on a sustainable basis the Earths natural resource base must be conserved and enhanced. O The ultimate limits to global development are perhaps determined by the availability of energy resources and by the biospheres capacity to absorb the by-products of energy use. O The common theme throughout this strategy for sustainable development is the need to integrate economic and ecological considerations in decision making.Complied by J Pahlow 8
  • 9. Sustainability and sustainable development… other definitions Sustainability definitions…. 100+ definitions…. http://www.emrgnc.com.au/SustainabilityDefinitions.pdf 1. “Sustainability – n. the property of being sustainable” – Princeton University 2. ʺSustainable development seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the futureʺ‐ World Commission on Environment and Development (page 40: 1987) 3. ʺSustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains two key concepts: the concept of ʺneedsʺ, in particular the essential needs of the worldʺspoor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organisation on the environmentʺsability to meet present and future needs.ʺ‐ World Commission on Environment and Development (page 43: 1987)Complied by J Pahlow 9
  • 10. Sustainability and sustainable development… other definitions Sustainability definitions…. 100+ definitions…. http://www.emrgnc.com.au/SustainabilityDefinitions.pdf …………………………. 101. “Sustainable development‐ one of the slipperiest pieces of soap you are ever likely to find in the shower” – Peter Woodward , Shell Workshop 102. “Sustainable development is the lightest footprint possible on the biosphere and, most importantly, a consciousness that can sustain it.” ‐ Ken Wilber (Author, Philosopher, President of The Integral Institute) 103. “Development without destruction” – Maurice Strong, Secretary Genera; of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit 104. “The ability to sustain the things that are essential to a meaningful and happy existence, now and forever, for ourselves and for those for whom we care.” – Stephen Forsyth 105. “Sustainability is acting, with good grace, like we plan to stay.”Complied by J Pahlow 10
  • 11. Sustainability and sustainable development… other definitions O Sustainability can be defined as: O “Sustainability means using, developing and protecting resources at a rate and in a manner that enables people to meet their current needs and also provides that future generations can meet their own needs. Sustainability requires simultaneously meeting environmental, economic and community needs” O Museums Australia O Sustainable development can be defined as: O Ecologically sustainable development or ESD can be defined as using, conserving and enhancing the communitys resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased„ O National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable DevelopmentComplied by J Pahlow 11
  • 12. Sustainability and sustainable development The Brundtland Commission conclusionsComplied by J Pahlow 12
  • 13. Sustainability and sustainable development Brundtland Commission (from 1987) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brundtland_Commission http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Brundtland_Report Conclusions from the report: The pursuit of sustainable development requires: O a political system that secures effective citizen participation in decision making. O an economic system that is able to generate surpluses and technical knowledge on a self-reliant and sustained basis O a social system that provides for solutions for the tensions arising from disharmonious development. O a production system that respects the obligation to preserve the ecological base for development, O a technological system that can search continuously for new solutions, O an international system that fosters sustainable patterns of trade and finance, and O an administrative system that is flexible and has the capacity for self- correction.Complied by J Pahlow 13
  • 14. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Sustainable Development Reference: http://www.environment.gov.au/about/esd/publications/strategy/intro.html#WI ESD “While there is no universally accepted definition of ESD, in 1990 the Commonwealth Government suggested the following definition for ESD in Australia: using, conserving and enhancing the communitys resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased. Put more simply, ESD is development which aims to meet the needs of Australians today, while conserving our ecosystems for the benefit of future generations” O Ecological Sustainable Development Reference: http://www.cis.org.au/images/stories/policy-magazine/1992-spring/1992-8-3- ian-wills.pdf .Complied by J Pahlow 14
  • 15. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Sustainable Development Reference: http://hsc.csu.edu.au/geography/activity/local/tourism/HECOTOUR.pdf The main elements of ESD relevant to tourism, espoused in the Bruntland report are: • Inter-generational equity - responsibility for the future; • Intra- generational equity - current social fairness; • Conservation of biological diversity and ecological processes - retention of ecosystems; • Precautionary principle - anticipation of future problems, if any doubt avoid the risks and take them into consideration; • Internalisation of environmental cost - inclusion of all short and long term environmental costs; • Improvement in non-material as well as material wellbeing; • The global principle - no industry should contribute towards unsustainable activities in another country. (Commonwealth of Australia, 1991)Complied by J Pahlow 15
  • 16. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Sustainable Development Reference: O National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development O http://www.environment.gov.au/about/esd/publications/strategy/index.html O Examples of objectives O to reduce and manage effectively the impacts of pest plant and animal species on Australias agricultural areas O to improve kangaroo management at the national level, including the removal of impediments to a sustainable commercial kangaroo industry O to improve effective and safe management of agricultural and veterinary chemicals while improving levels of, and access to information on these chemicals O to manage and utilise Australias forest estate for all forest values on an ecologically sustainable basis O to maintain ecological processes within the forests, maintain biodiversity, and optimise benefits to the community from all uses, within ecological constraints O to encourage the future development of urban transport systems which provide opportunities to limit the use of fossil fuelsComplied by J Pahlow 16
  • 17. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Footprints O “The Ecological Footprint measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses it. It shows us how much biologically productive land and water a population (an individual, an organisation, a city, a country, or all of humanity) requires to support current levels of consumption and waste production, using prevailing technology. “ O http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/ecologicalfootprint/a bout/default.aspComplied by J Pahlow 17
  • 18. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Footprints .. images O http://sustainabledarwin.com.au O http://www.foresthistory.org/educati on/curriculum/Activity/activ8/essay. htmComplied by J Pahlow 18
  • 19. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Footprints O http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/File:Ecological_Footpri nt_Graph_with_Five_Maj or_Events.pngComplied by J Pahlow 19
  • 20. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Footprints O Australias Ecological Footprint in the Living Planet Report 2008 was 7.8 global hectares (gha) per person1. This is 2.8 times the average global Footprint (2.7 gha), and well beyond the level of what the planet can regenerate on an annual basis - an equivalent of about 2.1 global hectares per person per year. O The most significant factor contributing to the Australian Ecological Footprint is carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels (constituting approximately half of the total Australian Footprint). O 1 A global hectare refers to one hectare (approximately soccer field size) of biologically productive space with world-average productivity.Complied by J Pahlow 20
  • 21. Sustainability and sustainable development O The triple bottom line (abbreviated as TBL or 3BL, and also known as people, planet, profit or the three pillars) captures an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological, and social..(Wikipedia) O A way of expressing sustainability or sustainable developmentComplied by J Pahlow 21
  • 22. Sustainability and sustainable development O Ecological Footprints O Calculators: O http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/ecologicalfootprint/ calculators/default.asp O Personal O School O Retail tenants O Retail centre O EventComplied by J Pahlow 22
  • 23. Sustainability and sustainable development O Why develop sustainably? O What are the arguments for ESD? O “Sustainable Development stands for meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability of futures generations to meet their own needs – in other words, a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. It offers a vision of progress that integrates immediate and longer- term objectives, local and global action, and regards social, economic and environmental issues as inseparable and interdependent components of human progress.” O http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/Complied by J Pahlow 23
  • 24. Sustainability and sustainable development O Criticisms: O Large range of definitions O Ambiguity O Variety of terms O Problems in planning in large social groups with complex and competing needs O Its just a buzz word O The case against sustainable development O the ideas behind it are a jumbled mix of often contradictory demands and aspirations that can have little effect on the long-term development of poorer countries or on the sustainability of such development. O sustainable development is made up of many different, often incompatible elements.Complied by J Pahlow 24