ISDRS NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 4, 2011 201120112011
Welcome! Welcome to the final ISDRS Newsletter for 2011. In this issue, Dr Pauline Deutz, CoChair of ISDRC18, to be held at Hull University, 24-26 June, 2012, introduces the conference theme and some key speakers. PREVIOUS ISSUES OF THE NEWSLETTER, 2011: All four issues of the ISDRS Newsletter for 2011 can be accessed on the Society website: www.isdrs.org/ CONTENTS, ISSUE 4
News and Views
Postscript: A Note on Riots and Participation Simon Bell and Steve Morse
(ii) (iii) (iv) (v)
Urban Sustainability in Post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand C. Michael Hall 7 Insights from ‘Green’ Ecopreneurs of the 1990s Diane Holt
Gender Violence and Sustainability in Delhi Yamini Narayanan
Strategic Community Investment Model Emerges after Industrial Operations Suspended Mia Overall
Testing an Adapted Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development in an Island Context - An Alternative Approach? John Telesford and Peter Strachan 18
The slippery slope of CSR Richard Welford
Sustainability and Equity: A research agenda to understand why change does not happen Peter Wells
Development of Renewable Energies in Hong Kong: “Going” with the Wind? Ringo WK Yu and Jacqueline Lam
Student Research Awards (ISDRC 17)
Participation and Success in Environmental Governance: Lessons from Chad Julia Kennedy
(ii) Can coffee agroforestry provide habitat for mammals? Amanda Caudill
Moving Toward a Sustainable Future: Opportunities and Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Kosuke Toshiki, Shoichi Kunikane 33
The World is Now a Different Place. How Should we Move on to the Future? A review of Living through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism by Paul Wapner, 2010, The MIT Press. Reviewed by Paul Perry 35
Capers and capabilities: stories from the economics of sustainable development. A review of Cents and Sustainability : Securing our common future by decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures. Michael H. Smith, Karlson Charlie Hargroves and Cheryl Desha. Earthscan, 2010. Reviewed by James Ockenden
Consumer Education? A review of This Little Kiddy Went to Market: The Corporate Capture of Childhood. Sharon Beder with Wendy Varney and Peter Gosden (2009). UNSW Press. Reviewed by Delyse Springett.
ISDRS Newsletter, Issue 1, 2012
Dr Delyse Springett Editor D.V.Springett@massey.ac.nz Issue 4 of the ISDRS Newsletter again brings some changes to content and format. The ISDRS Charter, ratified by the Board in New York in May, makes provision for formal membership of the Society, including the stronger involvement of student members. To signal this development, we have included some of the award-winning student articles from ISDRC 17 in this issue with the consent of the Earth Institute team and the authors. Student researchers are welcome to submit articles to the Newsletter and can find the Author Guidelines on the ISDRS website: www.isdrs.org. From 2012, John Telesford from The Robert Gordon University has agreed to be the Associate Editor for student input to the Newsletter and can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org We have a wide range of ‘News and Views’ articles, the first of the Newsletter’s formal book reviews and a number of useful websites including information on how ISDRS members can participate in the discourse in preparation for the UNCSD in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The UNCSD sites make it possible for groups and individuals to keep up with key events and to contribute to the discussions that will feed into the draft Outcome Document. UNCSD’s online submission option makes it easy to contribute to the compilation of the document. The Stakeholder Forum site is also a useful source of information and a channel for participation. Topics addressed in the articles provide a broad mix and include the street riots in the UK, comments on urban sustainability in earthquake-stricken Christchurch, New Zealand, gender violence and sustainability, CSR’s tenuous grip on corporate behaviour, and equity issues and sustainability, to name only a few. If you know others who would be interested to read the newsletter or in membership of the ISDRS, please pass this issue on to them. Articles, information and offers to review books are always welcome.
18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference University of Hull, UK, 24-26th June 2012
People, Progress and Environmental Protection We are pleased to announce that abstracts can now be submitted for ISDRC 18! Calls for papers for individual tracks are posted on the conference website (www.hull.ac.uk/isdrc18). Deadline for submission of abstracts (up to 1,000 words) is 15 December, 2011. A number of additional plenary speakers can be confirmed at this time. They will explore the conference theme from a wide range of perspectives: Prof. Dr. Luiz Felipe Guanaes Rego, Director of NIMA (Interdisciplinary Centre for the Environment at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro. NIMA has the dual role of fostering co-operation between University departments, and 3
building external links to promote sustainability. Recent projects have included the development of a network of organic vegetable gardens on open space in Rio de Janeiro, provision of environmental education for both children and adults, and the use of satellite imagery to monitor development encroaching on preservation areas. Prof. Dr Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre (Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik – FFU) at the Freie Universität Berlin, and a member of German Advisory Council on the Environment (Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen - SRU). Lord Deben (The Rt Hon. John Gummer) is Chairman of Sancroft International, a Corporate Responsibility Consultancy and Forewind Ltd, a consortium of four international energy companies developing an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Following a career in business, John Gummer entered Parliament and served as a Minister for 16 years for successive Conservative governments during the 1980s and 1990s. As Secretary of State for the Environment (1993-1997) he oversaw the formation of the UK’s Environment Agency and the introduction of the Landfill Tax, the UK’s first environmental tax. Lord Prescott (The Rt Hon. John Prescott) served for 40 years as Labour MP for East Hull. Before entering parliament, he worked in the Merchant Navy and as a fulltime official in the National Union of Seamen. From 1997-2007 he held wide ranging ministerial responsibilities for the Labour government including the environment, transport and local and regional government and communities, in addition to being the UK’s longest serving Deputy Prime Minister. John Prescott led the UK government’s delegation at the Kyoto Summit in 1997. He has since served as the rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on climate change. Dr David Atkinson will speak about the development of the City of Hull, focussing on the flows of people from Europe and beyond that have contributed to its identity. Dr Atkinson is a Reader in Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Hull. He has published widely on Hull and the spatial aspects of its histories and memories. A fluent speaker of Italian, David has also worked extensively on Modern Italy. His research interests include the histories of geographical knowledge and the spaces of memory, memorialisation and monuments. Dr Tony Edwards will speak about the challenges of reconciling the twin importance of the Humber Estuary, on which Hull is situated, as a site of internationally recognised ecological significance and home to the UK’s busiest port complex. Dr Edwards has over 35 years experience as an environmental manager. Previously a senior manager in the Environment Agency, he now works for the Humber Industry Nature Conservation Association (Humber INCA), which is a partnership between industry, environmental regulators, municipal councils and wildlife organisations. For updates, please see the conference website and LinkedIn (search groups for International Sustainable Development Research Society). Dr Pauline Deutz Co-Chair ISDRC18 University of Hull, UK.
NEWS AND VIEWS
Postscript: A Note on Riots and Participation
Dr Simon Bell Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at the Open University Communications and Systems Department, MCT Faculty, Open University Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK. Email: email@example.com Professor Stephen Morse Centre for Environmental Strategy Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences University of Surrey Guildford Surrey GU2 7XH, UK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org “Passion is the mob of the man, that commits a riot upon his reason.” William Penn. Participation is a neutral term, but, overwhelmingly, in our book2 we have been seeking the understanding of resilient participation in community. Our attempt to seek this understanding is via the theory of the Triple Task … a ‘thing to do’, understanding of this ‘thing’ from the outside in and from the inside out. We have presented this (we hope) as a potent theory for accomplishing social research and for understanding what makes for social sustainability. Like all generations (probably), we live in strange times. In the UK we have witnessed over the past year some interesting – at times disturbing – developments with participation. Firstly, we have the UK government enthusiasm for what they call the ‘Big Society’; essentially an ‘empowerment’ of local communities so they can take on some of the roles of government. While the high-profile embracing of public participation is surely to be welcomed, the close correlation between the rise of ‘Big Society’ and severe cutbacks in state financing of social projects has not been missed by many and raises questions about social sustainability in the longer term. Is this policy an unfortunate coincidence, or is ‘participation’ being driven by budget cuts rather than a genuine conversion? We shall see. Secondly, and on a far more disturbing scale, between the 6th and the 10 August in London and other major cities in England, a mob participated in riots that have only the most worrying precedents from elsewhere in the world in modern times. Many have asked questions about why and how this could happen. With confusing origins surrounding the shooting of a 1
This article is a postscript to: ‘Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project?’, published in the ISDRS Newsletter, Issue 3, 2011. See www.isdrs.org/ 2
Simon Bell and Stephen Morse (forthcoming, 2012): ‘Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project?’ London: Earthscan.
young man in North London, much of what followed has been stylised by right wing politicians as simple criminality. Others, on the left, have provided lengthy descriptions of social injustice and the need to understand the grievances of the oppressed – while seeming to forget the wrongs done upon many blameless citizens. Probably the biggest mistake to make is to simplify the complex and knee jerk a response without true understanding linked to justice and order. Martin Luther King said: “A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard”, and maybe there is a lot to this. One community specifically and terribly hurt by the North London riots was the Muslim – however, on their website the Muslim Public Affairs Committee says: “We can't just toss this aside and say it is just wicked people causing trouble. We have to understand how we got here and how our policies in the UK are causing more long-term damage than good. However, there is a partial silver lining. Communities are out, together, cleaning their street and supporting each other in creating a better future for tomorrow.” [http://www.mpacuk.org/story/100811/tottenham-riotsscratching-beneath-surface.html#ixzz1WIzmvsc0] But why does this make the riots so different and what is the relevance to participation, the inclusivity that is at the heart of sustainability? Well, this was perhaps the first significant nationwide series of riots to be largely mobilised via the social media. The “Arab Spring” has witnessed the employment of a similar approach to mass participation but the English riots were not understandable responses to repression but calls to loot and cause mayhem. Nonetheless the rise of electronic media as a means for channelling and encouraging such mass participation at very short notice is a new dimension to thinking around group/ gang mobilisation. No one knows what proportion of those contacted via these media actually took part in the riots but those that did were very clearly incentivised. This sense of understanding linked to community response to terrible wrong can and needs to be understood more deeply so that effective and intelligent policy can follow – avoiding the knee jerk and the senselessness of policy based on revenge. Our conjecture is that this must be done by not just understanding the work to be done on community re-development (Task 1), but how this looks to those beyond the community (Task 2) and how it feels to community itself (Task 3).
Urban Sustainability in Post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand
Professor C. Michael Hall Department of Management University of Canterbury New Zealand Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies Germany email@example.com In 2010 and 2011 the City of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand was hit by a sequence of severe earthquakes commencing on the 4 September 2010. Most notable in terms of damage to the city were the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of the 4 September 2010 (also known as the Darfield earthquake) that had an epicentre 40 km to the west of the city, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake of the 22 February 2011 that was centred 10 km to the south-west of the city, and a 6.3 magnitude quake that hit the city on the 13th June that was centred 13 km from Christchurch. At the time of writing well over 8,000 aftershocks have hit the city since the initial September quake. Due to the time at which it occurred (early morning) the initial large quake cause no loss of life. However, 181 people were killed in the February quake, making it New Zealandâ€™s second-deadliest natural disaster. The deaths in the February quake occurred primarily as a result of building and masonry collapse. The main quakes and the associated aftershock sequence have had a dramatic affect on the city and surrounding region. The city had lost an estimated 10,600 people by the end of June 2011 as a result of migration to elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas. The loss of such environmental refugees stands in contrast to the four years to the end of June 2010, in which the city population had been growing at an average annual rate of one per cent. Estimates of the economic impacts of the earthquakes have varied but government estimates have suggested that the quakes would take at least 1.5% of the countryâ€™s GDP in 2011. Treasury forecasts suggest that the combined cost of the shakes that have rocked Canterbury since September 4 could reach NZ$20 billion. Of course, given the way in which GDP is calculated, the earthquake rebuild is also regarded as integral to economic growth in the immediate future! The government has announced that it will purchase over 5100 of the worst affected insured properties in Christchurch. These are located in low-lying estuarine and riverside areas and are subject to severe liquefaction and/or dropping of land height levels. These properties are mainly in the lower socio-economic areas of Eastern Christchurch. Many other residential and commercial properties will face new building regulation codes as a result of the earthquakes even if they are not subject to government purchase. As at the time of writing, the long-term of at least 1660 residential properties has not been decided in terms of whether it will be possible to rebuild or repair them as a result of land conditions and/or the increased costs of providing infrastructure. Critical to issues of rebuilding and repair are the policies of the insurance industry, with many people either unable to purchase new properties or repair or rebuild existing ones because of uncertainty over insurance coverage. Such uncertainty has been a major drag on the rebuilding process as it has also affected the
capacity of commercial building owners to repair or rebuild or to even restart commercial operations. In the post-earthquake/post-disaster context the issue of sustainability starts to take on new layers and nuances of meaning. Positionality becomes extremely important with respect to understanding the debates surrounding the (re)development of the city. However, the post-earthquake loss of so many buildings, quite literally, opens up new spaces in which to observe the forces and interests that shape sustainability in an urban setting. Christchurch has worn the moniker of ‘the garden city’ since early in the Twentieth century. Although perhaps over-exaggerated for reasons of place promotion, the city has used its parks and reserves as well as its Victorian and Edwardian heritage to position itself as a highly liveable city. Although, like many CBDs, the downtown had been affected by the development of shopping centres, in the suburbs the council had been utilizing the development of new urban precincts and city quarters as a way of revitalizing the downturn. These were being matched by new public transport developments as a way of increasing connectivity between the various downtown spaces. However, many of the physical bases of the previous strategies were lost in the earthquakes, especially with respect to urban heritage. The immediate post-earthquake planning environment (if such a thing can be said to occur when aftershocks are still occurring) is occupied by new sets of institutional arrangements in which the Christchurch City Council (CCC) works in conjunction with a government created agency, the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), which has extraordinary powers of action should they be chosen to be used in relation to planning, building and demolition. The two organisations have been running different sets of consultative exercises with respect to post-earthquake plans for the city. Interestingly, the draft CERA strategy, comments on which closed at the end of October 2011, attracted only 326 responses, a fraction of the 15,500 comments and more than 2800 submissions received for the central-city plan of the CCC which sits beneath the CERA strategy. The CCC plan had two weeks of public hearings while there is no public hearing for CERA’s draft strategy, although CERA did run some public workshops in July. Such a situation reflects concerns over a ‘democratic deficit’ post-earthquake in which there are conflicting demands for ‘consultation’ and ‘action’. Indeed, the CCC submission claimed the strategy went well beyond what was required for earthquake recovery and cut across the council's obligations of community consultation and planning. CERA will collate the comments and send them to Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, along with the final strategy, who will then adopt or amend the strategy by early 2012. Although concerns have been expressed over the CERA strategy, the greatest public debate has surrounded the CCC strategy that has put forward an explicit positioning for Christchurch as a ‘green city’. Significant public support was provided for the development of improved public transport, more green space, sustainable buildings and improvements to urban design. In addition, during the planning process and on an ongoing basis public concerns have been expressed over the loss of heritage buildings. However, the greatest conflict has been between commercial visions of the city and broader public interest in green city ideas. Developers have expressed concerns over the potential changes to building height limits to the extent of claiming
that capital would flow out of the rebuilding of Christchurch and be placed in other cities leaving building sites undeveloped. The CCC’s central city plan requires new buildings to meet a new environmental standard intended to bolster the city's green credentials and image. New offices, retail and residential developments which are at least three storeys high will have to include green technology and initiatives to pass a points-based approval system. However, the standard was adjusted after receiving feedback from the city’s property industry with the criteria having been simplified to concentrate on ‘critical environmental issues’, while buildings with floor sizes of less than 300 m2 would have to meet a less stringent level. Furthermore, heritage buildings would also be exempt from proposed design criteria related to parking, traffic and property frontages. The city’s redevelopment strategy reflects the realities of property politics. Great green intentions to develop a genuinely sustainable city slowly get watered down under the influence of capital – or threats as to its relocation. Concerns for the provision of low cost housing, which is especially needed given the spatial concentration of lower cost housing in the hard-hit eastern suburbs, come second to issues over office space, or the provision of sports stadia. In the emerging vision of a green city the focus is on technical rather than social perspectives of sustainability and on the need to provide an attractive shopping environment for the middle-classes rather than thinking of the ways in which community can be recreated. In this Christchurch is perhaps similar to other cities that have been affected by natural disasters and have had an opportunity to reposition the city. In the case of Christchurch, as elsewhere, the perceived need by government for action to satisfy commercial and property interests means that other voices, while sometimes being heard, actually have little effect on the planning process. The development pathways that existed prior to the earthquake have not been dramatically reformulated postdisaster. Instead, opportunities for a dramatic redevelopment of the central city and its relationship with its natural, social and economic environment looks likely to be lost under the combined weight of property growth coalitions and the neoliberal politics of central government. References Christchurch City Council: http://www.ccc.govt.nz/ Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority: http://cera.govt.nz/ Heather, B. (2011). Few interested in Cera strategy. The Press, 1 November.
Insights from ‘Green’ Ecopreneurs of the 1990s
Dr Diane Holt Management School Queen’s University Belfast Northern Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org Entrepreneurial activity is considered a key component of sustainable economic growth (Anderson 1998), but entrepreneurs have been characterized as optimizing, selfish and materialistic individuals (Casson, 1995: 3)3. Yet Anderson (1998:136)4 comments that, whilst entrepreneurship is primarily an individualistic economic action, it can be driven by moral attitudes, and that the social shifts which are the basis of modern environmental concern may also be the basis for new entrepreneurial opportunity, and offer the opportunity for individuals to reflect on wider societal concerns (Grannovetter, 1985)5. Societal attitudes that inform environmentalism create areas of value which can be exploited entrepreneurially (Anderson, 1998). It is these opportunities that Bennett (1991)6 and Berle (1991)7 profiled in their best practice case studies of green entrepreneurs and ecopreneurs. Two decades later I have been exploring what happened to these early green pioneers. Of the 223 companies identified in their publications, 40% are still trading in some capacity. Twenty- seven were sold or acquired, often to fuel the growth expansion of companies in related sectors. The remaining 49% (109) of these cases, have either publicly failed (14) or vanished without trace (95) (see Holt, 2011 for a full exploration)8. In the summer of 2010 I met 6 of the founders of some of these firms to discuss their recollections of the evolution of their businesses. These interviews involved a small solar technology firm, the founder of what was a small green products retail store, a manufacturer of organic tofu, the founder of a solar electrification project in Latin America, a green lighting wholesaler, and an eco-designed water treatment company. What I was interested in was the intersection of their personal values, the business model and business history. The value offered by political and social shifts in society and related business opportunities is typically measured in a traditional economic or monetary sense, with the external production of a market value. However a second, less obvious, form of 3
Casson, M. 1995. Entrepreneurship and Business Culture. Aldershot: Edward Elgar. Anderson, A.R. 1998. Cultivating the Garden of Eden: environmental entrepreneuring. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 11(2): 135-144. 5 Granovetter, M. 1985. Economic action and social structure: the problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3): 281-509. 6 Bennett, S. J. 1991. Ecopreneuring- the complete guide to small business opportunities from the environmental revolution. New York: Wiley. 7 Berle, G. 1991. The green entrepreneur: Business opportunities that can save the earth and make you money. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Liberty Hall Press. 8 Holt, D. 2011. Where are they now? Tracking the longitudinal evolution of environmental businesses from the 1990s. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(4): 238–250 4
value identified is ‘internal’ value (Anderson, 1998) associated with concepts such as satisfaction (for instance, a ‘moral’ satisfaction that develops from the synergy of environmental, societal and entrepreneurial values of the individual). Thus, environmental (and societal) values form a basis for entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and the internal value that entrepreneurs may gain may have more to do with meeting their own societal (environmental and/or social) motivations and expectations, than a purely economic metrics. The recent economic downturn has arguably led to some people questioning the perception of ‘value’ creation in just economic terms. Indeed, the massive growth in social entrepreneurship may be a reflection of a wider societal shift towards business as a solution to social problems, alongside a rejection of a profit maximization model by many. Linnanen (2005)9 argues that ecopreneurs have a strong ethical reasoning and core motivations beyond that of profit. My exploratory findings seem to support this. All the respondents seem generally satisfied with their current financial situation but it is clear their focus is not just on profit maximization. One respondent echoed many of the emotions all the respondents expressed: ‘... I have a nice family and so that kind of thing, but in this society you need money, so you need to produce something, unless you’ve got enough money to retire on … so I enjoy the process of creating and putting the product out to the stores, but I don’t think of things that way anymore .... what matters most is that you’re happy, you know, that your family’s happy, that you are doing something that you feel is quality, and is good for people, if you can provide good tasting food that also provide some nutrition to people – good nutrition – that’s good. So that’s what I believe in.’ It is clear that in the solar and lighting industries the upsurge in the environmental movement has led to a solid business performance, especially over the last five year, but the idea of changing needs as the entrepreneur ages comes through. ‘the last couple of years have been quite good. And then there were many years before that that were break even, a little bit up, a little bit down, and all I can tell you is that even though I may feel like I strive, I strive after markets and niches and opportunities … – and I do that knowing consciously and unconsciously that that’s what I need to do. And all I can say is that I feel a little bit more relaxed these days than I have in a long time and that’s really good, now that we are getting to be middle aged – let’s put it that way! Older!’ Making a solid economic return is a theme that runs through all the responses – being able to live a reasonable lifestyle. But none of the respondents really seemed to focus on the idea of profit maximization as a goal. One respondent put this quite succinctly ‘it is probably more trying to do a scalable goal … my ‘toy’ needs are smaller’.
Linnanen L. 2005. An insider’s experiences with environmental entrepreneurship. In Schaper M (Ed), Making Ecopreneurs: Developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship: 72–88. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
‘I am not interested in becoming an enormous business. I really like the mom and pop ... I’m not worried so much about what other people are doing and I am not trying to make millions of dollars I am trying to make a nice living … I would say I am successful because I am still here 20 years later. I am still in basically the same business. I’ve managed to maintain my values within that business. I still love what I do. I still get out of bed excited about it. I still get to run my own show, which is very much me. I still get to be creative and that’s also a very important part of it. I still get to go to work with my dog .’ ‘A beautifully run company is profitable, it’s efficient, it doesn’t use a lot of energy other than just to do what it does. ... a well run business as it grows should make a certain amount of profit, you know, maybe eight per cent to ten per cent … anything over that you should plough back into the business, help it to grow, educate people, or to make the quality of the product better, the other thing is when you are growing a business, you are also employing people who need work. ‘ It is clear from the quotations above that there are other internal values that our ecopreneurs believe in. For instance, one respondent makes a conscious choice to use organic tomatoes in his salsa even though the quantities are not enough to market the product as organic; the same is true with the organic grains in his tortilla chips. His reasoning is simple – it tastes better, it is better quality, it is a better choice and it does not cost that much more so he can manage that within his margins, even though he cannot market the product in this way. There is evidence that most of the entrepreneurs have continued in their quest for selfeducation and staying current in their technical knowledge. One describes this ‘I love even looking at the next light bulb, the next technical innovation. I love that stuff and if I didn’t stay on top of it, my company would slip behind, people wouldn’t come to us.’ One respondent offers a free lead testing service to the community. She was the first company in the US to do this and received massive publicity, but this was not her primary motivation – she was genuinely concerned that there may have been a failure in the supply chain. However she also offers the service free to the community to bring in inherited items or things brought overseas. Her choice to walk away from a potentially more lucrative wholesale business opportunity in 2000/2 also suggests that there are choices being made that are not measured in a rational economic manner, valuing only from an external perspective, but taking onboard much more intangible internal values. The interviews do seem to suggest that within these businesses there is a support for the concept of value creation rather than profit maximization. However you could argue that if an ecopreneur sells on their business to become a product range, as one of my cases did, then that product becomes just a brand. This brand is now based in a ‘traditional’ business, albeit aimed at a specific target consumer, but that this new business model is one where profit maximization is prioritized. It could also be argued that the environmental movement of the 1990s just offered another business opportunity and this leads to an interesting question that one of the interviewees posed
‘So this concept of Ecopreneur. Nice concept. But now that I have been doing it all these years, and I know all these people, and various forms of it, I am not sure there is anything special about it. Sure we are environmentalists, something that all these people have in common one way or the other, and we are entrepreneurs, but you tell me? What’s special? In other words let’s see, if you could pick another field like the dot com people, or, you know, the people who got into internet businesses, the pioneers in that sector. There’s nothing environmental about them, but would they be anything different than just entrepreneurs who ventured into a new field. Because environmentalism, I think, what it really means just from a business perspective is “new opportunity”. A whole realm of new opportunities, and so part of why I got into business is because the avenue was open, it was new.’ But when asked that opportunity had been in say a generic business if they would have gone into that niche because it was there the respondent said no because ‘I believed in what I was doing’. So whilst the 1990s did offer up new business opportunities that any pioneer might have gone into, my sample does seem to have stayed in this field in some manner because of their belief in its importance and some elements of personal satisfaction, rather than parachuting in, taking profits and then exiting. This is partially related to the nature of the sample – as these are the group that has weathered the downturns in the market over the last 20 years to stay in a business with some environmental element. My study considers a group of businesses that are very different from many reported on in the academic literature and it perhaps more truly represents the types of businesses that we find forming the bedrock of our communities and high streets. If industry is to transform towards a more sustainable model then business performance must be measured in more than external value terms. These are individuals who developed ‘green’ businesses that appear to have considered both external and internal values and made a healthy living over the last two decades. But these entrepreneurs are ageing, and, as this experienced generation ages, many seem to be thinking about the legacy they leave behind. One describes this: he recalls those pioneers he learnt from and his aspirations for his own legacy and how he can contribute to the next generation of environmental entrepreneurs. ‘I like to be generous with my knowledge to my customers. I think I am part of a generation where our leaders, the people leading on various fronts, not just this field, were very generous with their knowledge. I always admired that. And I realized that the entrepreneur in me didn’t want to give away my secrets, my knowledge. So there was a conflict for me. I really admired these people for just freely giving everything away, knowing that the world is going to be a better place for it. And I did it to an extent, but I always held some things tender. I am trying to spend the next phase of my career, I hope, I am going to be divulging, giving away ... these are the things I have learned, and hope that they are going to be of use to the next generations. So that is an evolution for me. It is still not giving money away, but it is giving everything I know away.’
As attention returns again to emerging business opportunities in the ‘green’ markets it is important to look to the historical evolution of these businesses and the lessons learnt from them, such as the consolidation of the recycling industries in the 1990s and the purchase of many small innovative food/retail companies to form the ecobrands of today, like Earth’s Best (see Holt, in press)10. It is also important to remember that not all ecopreneurs want to ‘grow’, they want to be successful, but they do make economically ‘irrational’ decisions based on the principles that helped them recognize the market opportunities they explored in the 1990s when they started up their businesses. (iv)
Gender Violence and Sustainability in Delhi
Yamini Narayanan, PhD Lecturer in Sustainable Development, Murdoch University West Australia 6150 Email: email@example.com Violence against women (VAW) has been traditionally of concern to feminists and cultural sociologists, and in recent decades, has also begun to be diagnosed and understood as a development problem. However, in my recent fieldwork with twenty women practitioners and scholars of development in Delhi on some of the major sustainability issues in the city, VAW in the city’s public spaces was unanimously raised explicitly as a sustainability problem while referring to the high rate of gendered violence in the city’s public spaces. Sustainability is one of the most problematic political notions and scholars have been justifiably concerned that it has been hijacked to legitimise a variety of agenda, including unsustainable ones that contravene principles of social justice. However, it is also a compelling and powerful political concept and therefore, it is important to reconceptualise and reclaim from a feminist perspective, and from within the theoretical and empirical framework of equity, one of the central tenets of sustainability and social justice. How can we begin to conceptualise sustainable development from the perspective of women? Mainstream development typically implies a series of negative outcomes for women in terms of restrictions imposed on their liberty and health; it may thus be useful to identify the removal of limitations – such as threats to their physical and psychological health, safety and security, choices regarding childbirth, right to education and employment, and complete civic and political rights – as a gendered sustainable development. Any threat to these rights and liberties – including physical violence – may thus be considered a problem of sustainable development. Therefore I use two ways in which VAW in the Delhi’s public spaces can be framed as a sustainability problem – equity, the lack of which has an impact on urban design, which can constrain a city’s capacity to be sustainable. 10
Holt, D. in press. The Longitudinal Evolution Of Environmental ‘Ecopreneurs’ From The 1990s: Mergers And Acquisitions And The Waste Management Industry. In Eweje, G. and Perry, M (Eds) Business & Sustainability: Concepts, Strategies and Changes, Emerald Group Publishing. Forthcoming November 2011.
According to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB 2007), Delhi records the highest number of crimes against women, in both the public and the private sphere. Of the megapolises, Delhi, ‘accounted for 29.5% of rape cases, 31.8% of kidnapping & abduction cases...and 21.5% of molestation cases’ thus making it the top offending city among the 35 large cities surveyed by the NCRB in 2007. Crime in the city’s public spaces accounts for a large proportion of the reported crime in the city. A UNIFEM initiative in 2011 on Global Safe Cities for Women notes that ‘Women living in New Delhi experience high levels of insecurity and harassment in buses, on streets and in other public spaces, and ‘eve teasing’ of women and girls is all too common.’ Equity is one of the central concerns of sustainable development, and must be related to issues of gender justice and ensuring the safety of women, children and citizens of other minority groups. The CEDW recognised that ‘violence against women is an obstacle to equality, development and peace and that the opportunities for women to attain legal, social economic and political equality are constantly being limited by violence’. Viewed in this context, crime prevention becomes one of the most important sustainability initiatives to sustain societies that are healthy and safe places to live for women. Sustainability may provide a more realistic framework than traditional approaches for addressing the issue of crime in the community. The traditional approaches, which were ‘project-oriented’ and ‘non-integrated’, failed for much the same reasons that traditional economic growth failed: it removed itself from the complexities of social realities (Kelly et al 2005: 309)11. Sustainability offers an alternative framework to crime prevention: ‘one that attends to equity concerns…include[s] an appropriate and flexible definition of community, bottom-up decision-making, a recognition and respect for diversity, and a particularistic orientation directed towards meeting the needs of the local community’ (Kelly et al 2005: 311). Urban design also makes women vulnerable to assault and other crime in cities. UNHABITAT’s Safer Cities Programme (SCP), one of the prominent programmes on urban development and gender, notes that most cities follow a ‘modernistic’ approach to urban design, which prioritises aesthetic appearance, high-rise buildings and freeflowing and hierarchical vehicular traffic (UN-HABITAT 2007).12 They note that such urban design fails to accommodate the specific needs of the growing numbers of poor and uniquely affected groups such as women. They argue that a safe city for women would be safe for everyone. Ironically, Delhi’s Master Plan 2021 (Delhi Master Plan 2011: 83-84), the ambitious preparation for the coming decade, is characterised by precisely such modernistic goals: ‘visual integration of the city; policy for tall buildings; policy on unhindered access movement, parking and pedestrian realm; policy on hoardings, street furniture 11
Kelly, Katherine, D., Caputo, Tullio, & Jamieson, Wanda. 2005. Reconsidering Sustainability: Some Implications for Community-based Crime Prevention. Critical Social Policy, 25(3), 306-324. 12 UN-HABITAT. 2007. Women’s Safety Audits for a Safer Urban Design: http://www.unhabitat.org/downloads/docs/5544_32059_WSA%20Centrum%20report.pdf, accessed 9 February 2011.
and signage; and policy for design of pedestrian realm.’ Even the objectives regarding pedestrian spaces remain strictly gender-neutral. Incredibly, nowhere in the document is there any note of women’s particular needs of Delhi city at all – and Delhi’s violent crime rate against women, the highest in the country does not merit even a mention in the latest master plan for the development of the city. The UN-HABITAT report (2007) notes that urban design has a direct impact on the reduction or increase of assaults and crime in urban spaces. Specifically, they note (3), ‘women are generally more aware of those aspects of the built environment that can offer opportunities for crime and criminals and more sensitive to risks and insecurity. For this reason, utilising women's perceptions and experiences in urban design and planning can greatly enhance overall community safety.’ In keeping with this conclusion, the UN-HABITAT developed the concept of ‘Women’s Safety Audits’ within its Safer Cities Programme, for understanding public’s perception of safety in their local urban area. The concept works on the premise that if women consider the space safe, then it is safe for everyone, since women have the highest fear of violence in urban areas as the most vulnerable group. VAW in other Indian cities is prevalent as well; however, Delhi leads the way. Framing a problem as such (or not) is a critical political issue, and these interpretive frames are important in the way that society understands issues as problems and responds to them. Framing and dealing with the issue as a sustainability problem in Delhi may have resonances for other cities. The development agenda and Master Plans of Delhi, India’s ‘Supermetro’, has always been a template for urban development elsewhere in India. Delhi’s sustainable development can offer itself as a model for other Indian towns and cities, planned around addressing VAW as a serious urban sustainability concern, and designing cities safe for women. (v)
Strategic Community Investment Model Emerges after Industrial Operations Suspended
Mia Overall Senior Program Specialist CSR Asia Center at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand In Thailand, an environmental crisis at an industrial estate, Map Ta Phut, seems to have pushed companies beyond philanthropy and one step towards a more strategic kind of community investment. They are now working together to improve their own operations, respond to the community’s real needs and build trust. To provide a bit of background, Map Ta Phut is an industrial estate along the gulf of Thailand that houses petrochemical companies, oil refineries and other industrial giants. Dangerous levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air caused a high incidence of cancer in workers and surrounding communities. In response, local organizations filed a lawsuit that brought 76 planned projects to a halt. In 2009, the Central Administrative Court ordered the suspension of working permits of the projects until proper health and environmental impact assessments could be completed and reviewed. Although all but two of the projects have since been given
the go ahead, the financial impact of the year long stop was huge. The blocked projects accounted for well over US $7 billion and tens of thousands of jobs. Map Ta Phut is an interesting case because it is one of the clearest examples of companies losing their license to operate as a result of a prolonged disregard for the environmental and health impacts of their industries. Also, since the crisis attracted lots of attention to CSR in Thailand, it’s interesting that the resulting community outreach strategy is setting an example for improving the common model of community engagement. So how are the companies reaching out to the community? Five of the most affected companies (PTT Chem, Dow Chemical Thailand, BLCP Power, Glow Group and Siam Cement Group) joined efforts to form the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI). The partnership was intended to improve relations with the community where doing so was going to take more than just donations. It has since evolved from an initiative to become the Community Partnership Association (CPA), with an office and staff. The CPA’s top goal is to address the cause of the problem – pollution caused by their industries. Member companies are employing cleaner technology in their plants and transferring knowledge about technology to other operators in the industrial park to further reduce pollution. Secondly, it aims to improve the health of community members suffering from the pollution by providing things like mobile medical services. Finally, through the CPA, companies have also made efforts to build trust with community members by inviting them into their factories during two “open house” events to see the manufacturing and petrochemical processes. As reported by The Nation on July 27th,, the collaboration was initially driven by SCG’s President and Chief Executive, Kan Trakulhoon. Meanwhile, Veerasak Kositpaisal, President and Chief Executive of PTT Chemical, now acts as CPA’s Chairman. The Association has grown from the initial 5 companies to include 58 of the 140 industrial plants in the area. The goal is to eventually include them all. The CPA approach has a number of strategic components. The companies are a) working together, b) attempting to clean up their own operations, c) addressing health problems in the community, d) engaging in dialogue and opening their doors to build trust. The natural question to follow is: what is this getting them? So far, it seems to be succeeding in building trust. According to The Nation: “The chairman of an Islamic Community near the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Suchart Kosem, said that industries, at one time, were the communities’ foes. However, the image of industries has changed following establishment of the CPI…We can [now] feel their sincerity. The companies give the communities a lot. From now on, we will not fight each other.”
In Thailand, there is a strong corporate culture of making donations to community projects, but these are often chosen with limited strategic focus and don’t always achieve the recognition from the community that companies seek. In this case, the dispute with the community made it clear that the industries needed to engage with the communities themselves (as opposed to through a third party) and address their complaints head on. The approach seems to be working. But it shouldn’t take a 17
dispute for companies to take the initiative to ask the communities around their operations (as well as other stakeholders) what they want and need. In fact, listening to stakeholders is an essential building block for targeted and strategic community investment in every situation. The CPA also serves as a good example of companies working together to tackle shared problems. It makes sense for companies to jointly address sustainable development issues â€“ be they pollution, climate change, or services for the poor. Whether by working together or individually, companies can achieve a lot by being more strategic with their community investment. As the industries in Map Ta Phut have learned, farsighted, strategic involvement in the present can save high costs down the road. (vi)
Testing an Adapted Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development in an Island Context - An Alternative Approach?
J.N. Telesford* Research Student Institute for Management, Governance and Society Aberdeen Business School The Robert Gordon University Mailing Address: P. O. Box 906, Grenville St. Andrew, Grenada firstname.lastname@example.org P.A. Strachan Professor and Group Leader (Business and Enterprise) Institute for Management, Governance and Society Aberdeen Business School The Robert Gordon University Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QE, Scotland, UK email@example.com This paper seeks to outline the criticisms of sustainable development and as a consequence proposes an alternative approach-strategic sustainable development and its â€˜testingâ€™ in an island context. Why the island context? Due to their circumstances, for example, smallness, vulnerability, clear boundaries, scarce resources and remoteness, islands were formally recognized as unique cases at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in 1992. And in this regard, islands have always availed themselves for any conceivable experiment in thought or action (e.g. Baldacchino, 2006)13. Their natural boundaries and internal dynamics make them exceptional laboratories for such experimentation. Baldacchino
Baldacchino (2006) Editorial: Islands, Island Studies, Island Studies Journal. Islands Studies Journal, 1, 3-18
(2010)14 also suggests that due to the strong sense of place they engender islands are excellent places to experience the dysfunctional chasm that exists between ecology and the economy. Generally, sustainable development is widely accepted in the policy and academic worlds as a ‘panacea’ for the reconciliation of economic growth and environmental protection. The sustainable development ‘craze’ also swamped island policy makers, after the Barbados Plan of Action (BPOA) was drafted at the UN Global Conference on Sustainable Development on Small Island Development States. Since the advent of the BPOA, though, islands have generally struggled to implement sustainable development, a phenomenon that has generally plagued the sustainable development concept in the global context. As a consequence the sustainable development concept has drawn its fair share of criticisms in the academic and policy domains. In Robinson,15 for example, sustainable development was suggested to be an oxymoron and that the concept has many meanings and therefore it is vague. The use of the term can also promote unsustainable activities. In fact Baumgartner and Korhonen16, support the latter when they note that sustainable development has failed at implementation, for its solutions can lead to ‘problem shifting and displacement’. Finally, Sharpley17 has successfully argued that the concept of sustainable development is at an ‘impasse’. These criticisms can be aptly applied to the island context, and in this regard, the failure to effectively implement sustainable development was blamed, amongst others, on the lack of technical expertise.18 In an attempt to address these criticisms an alternative approach to sustainable development is proposed. This proposal adapts the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD)19 and it is applied to a case study in the island context. Grenada, a small island belonging to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), is used as the case. These islands have effectively transitioned their economies to ones based on tourism. In the operation of accommodation units for tourists, the conflict at the ecological/economic nexus exists. The accommodation sub-sector therefore will be used as the specific sector for conceptualising and making operational the adapted FSSD, in the Grenada context. This adapted FSSD will hopefully offer both policy makers and academics an opportunity to approach the sustainable development concept from a different angle, especially in the island context. Here are some of the supporting reasons for this submission. Firstly, the original FSSD consists of five separate, but hierarchical levels. This allows for the separation of sustainable development from that of 14
Baldacchino (2010) Island Enclaves: Off-shoring strategies, creative governance and subnational island jurisdiction. McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal and Kingston, Canada 15 Robinson (2004) Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of sustainable development. Ecological Economics, 48, 369-384 16 Baumgartner and Korhonen (2010) Strategic thinking for sustainable for development. Sus. Dev., 18, Issue 2, 71-75 17 Sharpley (2010) Tourism development and the environment: Beyond sustainability? Earthscan, UK 18 UNCED (2010) Trends in sustainable development SIDS. United Nations, New York 19 Robèrt K-H et. al (2004) Strategic leadership towards sustainability. Blekeinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
sustainability, terms that are widely used interchangeably in the sustainable development discourse. In this regard the adapted framework will propose that sustainability should be viewed as a vision based on socio-ecological constraints and sustainable development as a process for sector development, for example sustainable tourism development. This should also hopefully shed new light on the argument amongst academics that sustainable development is an oxymoron and remove the vagueness associated with the concept. Secondly, the adapted framework should offer policy makers and managers an approach to determine the impact of policy and management decisions on the vision for sustainability. It is proposed that this can be achieved when relevant indicators are selected as a response to policy standpoints, that is, through a stimuli-response mechanism. These indicators appear at level 5 of the adapted framework. As an off shoot of this, a sector approach for the development of sustainability indicators can be adapted by policy makers. For example, indicators for sustainable ‘tourism’, ‘energy’, ‘land’ development can be created. These will eventually add-up to a set of indicators that are owned by sectors and hence measurement may be more effective. The adapted FSSD should also offer an approach for sectors to develop their own strategic approach to sustainable development. This will be closely incorporated with the actions specific sectors are willing to embark upon to move towards the sustainability vision For example, some actors in the tourism sector have already suggested that they are willing to collaborate in a symbiotic type relationship as it relates to energy. Finally, the application of the adapted FSSD may improve expertise in implementing sustainable development processes on islands. Policy makers on islands can therefore use this generic framework, with its clear and simple strategic approach to enhance planning towards island sustainability and for implementing sustainable development processes sector-by-sector. So can the adapted FSSD really be a robust alternative approach for applying sustainable development in practice? (vii)
The slippery slope of CSR
Professor Richard Welford President, ISDRS Chairman, CSR Asia Professor, Asian Institute of Technology firstname.lastname@example.org Over the last two years I have noticed a number of companies that I had previously thought to be leaders, taking something of a U-turn. In other words these are companies that got quite far in climbing the mountain of CSR, who then slipped back down the slope. These are companies that got so far, got stuck and then went into reverse. A good look at these companies leads me to conclude certain characteristics that can lead to this U-turn.
A change at the top Good CSR strategies are based on solid leadership. Senior executives need to be able to drive commitments to CSR and create a culture of social responsibility throughout the organization. When a leader, previously committed to CSR, is replaced by one who is not, it is not long before people realize that CSR is no longer a top priority. The commitment to CSR is sidelined and people in the organization soon realize there has been a downgrading of the CSR function. Needless to say, the lack of leadership sends out a message that CSR is not so important anymore. A change of CSR manager Many companies are leaders in CSR because they have excellent and committed CSR managers. These people have driven CSR up the corporate agenda and are often associated with innovative reporting and disclosure and cutting-edge CSR projects. Although these people have driven the success of the CSR strategy in the organization, the weakness is that it is too dependent on them. When they leave, the CSR commitment often collapses because there is no champion to keep the momentum up. The problem with organizations like this is that they have created a dependency culture focused on a single individual rather than recognizing the importance of integrating CSR across the whole organization. Moreover, when there is a change of CSR manager, replacements need to be chosen on the basis of their own internal leadership qualities and a sound knowledge of CSR in order to maintain the momentum. Other priorities The last two years have seen a tough environment in which to do business. The economic turmoil that we have seen since 2008 has often focused management attention on other issues – in some cases even a survival strategy. This has meant that less senior management time and fewer resources have been allocated to CSR. In some cases, CSR departments have been slimmed down and experienced and talented CSR managers sometimes replaced with cheaper, more junior staff. The problem in such companies is that CSR is seen as a expenditure rather than an investment and has been cut for short term expedience rather than long term planning. CSR has become too overwhelming In a small number of companies I have seen CSR managers struggling with stakeholder demands and an increasingly sophisticated CSR agenda. They lack the internal capacity and talent to take CSR is its next level. CSR becomes limited by the limitations of human resources and CSR managers step back from a task that is increasingly demanding. Innovative and important standards such as ISO 26000 have nevertheless become overwhelming to some managers and there is sometimes an internal CSR backlash in order to make CSR manageable. There is a clear need to more capacity and more staff competency in such organizations. I sometimes see the “return to philanthropy” and companies getting so far and then becoming “lazy”. Lessons to be learned CSR is only going to be successful if it is embedded in an organization and integrated
across all functions. It cannot be an empire based on an individual. The skills sets associated with CSR need to be better recognized and where this is missing there is a need to build capacity though training and education such as our new Master’s degree in CSR. Reacting against the emerging, sophisticated, challenging CSR agenda is not going to earn a company respect or build its reputation. A bigger problem is associated with a change in leadership at the top. But you have to ask whether people who do not recognize the importance of CSR, should really be running businesses, these days. However, another concern is that the disappointing downturn in corporate commitment to CSR programmes appears to be reflected in some broader shifts in sustainability priorities. Recent research by the think-tank SustainAbility with research firm Globescan (2011), carried out with sustainability professionals in business, government, NGOs and academia, reflects some significant changes in sustainability concerns.20 Since 1999, the survey reveals a decline in the urgency these professionals attribute to the problems of climate change, water scarcity, food security, poverty and loss of biodiversity as major global concerns, although participants still saw these as immensely important. This has been attributed to the combination of several factors, including acceptance of the issues or simply familiarity with them; the lingering poor economy; the persistent lack of political will among government leaders to act on issues; the overwhelming nature of the problems and the disappointing outcomes of Cop 15 in Copenhagen. For business and for the sustainability community at large, this raises interesting questions about what progress might be anticipated at the UNCSD in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
Sustainability and Equity: A research agenda to understand why change does not happen
Dr Peter Wells Reader Cardiff Business School WellsPE@cardiff.ac.uk “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987). As definitions go, it is concise, compelling and robust – and applies with equal force today as it did back in the 1980s. This definition was constructed with a view to meeting human needs in the context of a gross disparity between the rich ‘North’ and the poor ‘South’. There was a moral and humanitarian imperative to ensure that billions of the world’s poorest could access the fundamentals of existence: An agenda of social equity on a global scale. The context has changed in many important ways. There has been startling economic growth in many of the countries of the South, and attendant increases in material prosperity. On many key indicators such as infant mortality, life expectancy, 20
GreenBiz.com: Climate Issues Important But Less Urgent for Sustainability Pros.
educational levels, and quality of diet there have been remarkable gains despite rapid population growth. There has also been a series of milestone events going back to Rio in 1992 in which concerted and effective action has been sought. Tragically, Copenhagen in 2010 stands as mute testimony to the difficulty of constructing a coherent multinational response. So in terms of the environmental indicators, crisis merely seems closer than ever. Carbon emissions continue an apparently inexorable rise; fish stocks dwindle; deforestation abounds; habitats, ecosystems and species wane and disappear; and humanitarian emergencies continue to flare. The only real certainty appears to be that as our scientific understanding grows, so the enormity of the challenge becomes ever more readily apparent, while the time available for remedial action becomes ever shorter. It is time to ask why change has not happened. This is a difficult question, as it penetrates into cultural attitudes, social structures and personal beliefs but it is our duty to insist more stridently for answers no matter how uncomfortable they may be. In part the deluge of data is overwhelming, and we become information-rich but knowledge-poor, and in terms of deep understanding absolutely impoverished. This, allied to a sense of powerlessness and with cognitive dissonance in behaviours, results in individual and collective lack of action. We may even have been distracted by the relentless insistence on evidence-led policy, of quantification masquerading as understanding, when what we need now is principle-led policy. The answers are unlikely to be found in technology. Eco-efficiency has been overwhelmed by over-consumption. Global resources go a little further, and there may be a little more time in which to resolve the dilemmas we face, but these are just palliatives. Business has been all too keen to embrace the agenda of innovating out of a crisis because this is the agenda of growth and added value, and it subsumes sustainability back into one dimension while neglecting the crucial economic and social issues. Neither is the emergent environmental crisis simply reducible to the mantra that there are ‘too many people’. Much of the world’s poor live so minimally, and in such deprived conditions, that their environmental impact is miniscule. Rather than focus simply on how much is being consumed, the focus needs to be on who is consuming. The last twenty five years have also been witness to the triumph of neo-liberal economics as a political ideology. The collapse of the former USSR and Comecon bloc, the integration of China into the global economic system, and the continued penetration of market capitalism into many other countries and aspects of life, orchestrated by entities such as the WTO, World Bank, IMF, and the OECD has been buttressed and exploited by financial institutions. The economic crisis that was initiated in the United States in 2007 and then spread might have offered a chance for a fundamental re-appraisal, an opportunity for an alternative, sustainable agenda. Indeed, this crisis continues to unfold with an era of austerity threatening many previously ‘advanced’ economies. Yet if anything the crisis saw the aggressive reassertion that the prescription of more economic growth, more production and more consumption was the answer. Narrowly monetarist agendas have been imposed, pushing more into poverty, while the elite sections of society continue to prosper. Governments and those on the political right assert that we can no longer afford sustainability, but have to concentrate on the basics of wealth creation.
All of which brings us to the key problem of the last twenty five years: Wealth distribution. Around the world, with some notable exceptions, there has been a polarisation of wealth. Not enough is known about the environmental burden imposed by the very rich. An interesting example is that of personal aeromobility. While attention is put on the growth of low-cost airlines, the hidden story is that of a dramatic rise in the use of personal aircraft, helicopters and charter flights to allow the very rich to avoid the everyday humiliations and tribulations of contemporary air travel. The wealthy can enjoy displaying their conspicuous minimalism should they wish, with solar panels on their mansions and electric sports cars on their drives but there is every reason to believe that the wealthy impose a disproportionately heavy environmental burden, with hugely profligate lifestyles. There are two other consequences associated with wealth: Their lifestyles are often portrayed as desirable, to be emulated by the whole population which, were it possible, would clearly be catastrophic for the planet; and those with wealth and power have a vested interest in maintaining their contemporary lifestyles. In other words, they may be the most important single reason why change does not happen. In turn this means that the research agenda has to change. We understand the dimensions of a sustainable society, and in many cases of the transition pathways to help us towards such a sustopia. Yet we have a very under-developed understanding of how (beneficial) change is thwarted, delayed, deferred, diluted and reversed. An understanding of the barriers to change is vital, so that these barriers may be confronted and overcome. In short, we need to put equity back at the heart of the sustainability agenda. (ix)
Opportunities and Challenges of Renewable Energy Development in Hong Kong: â€œGoingâ€? with the Wind?
Ringo WK Yu, Research Assistant Dr Jacqueline CK Lam, Postdoctoral Fellow The Kadoorie Institute, The University of Hong Kong Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org At the global scale, energy is generated mostly from non-renewable fossil-fuel based sources which are the cause of many environmental pollution and health problems. Renewable energy (RE) is clean, sustainable and environmentally friendly, and inexhaustible in contrast to conventional fossil-fuel based energy sources (Sahin, 2004)21. RE sources include wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro, all of which occur naturally on our planet (Energy Matters, 2011)22. RE is regarded as a desirable solution to tackle the current energy challenges and to reduce the GHG emissions generated from fossil fuels (Menanteau et al., 2003)23. 21
Sahin, A.D. (2004). Progress and recent trends in wind energy. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science 30, 501-543. 22 Energy Matters. (2011). Renewable Energy and Alternate Energy Sources. Retrieved on 11th Oct., 2011. 23 Menanteau, P., Finon, D. & Lamy, M.L. (2003). Prices versus quantities: choosing policies for promoting the development of renewable energy. Energy Policy 31, 799-812.
In Hong Kong, RE development follows a lengthy and bumpy trail. The last decade has seen very slow progress in RE development, though in recent years some positive signs are emerging. In its first policy attempt to introduce RE into Hong Kong by the HKSAR Government in 2005, RE was set at a very low target – aiming to reach at 12% of total electricity generation by 2012 under the “First Sustainable Development Strategy for Hong Kong” (Sustainable Development Unit, HKSAR, 2005)24. Until very recently, the government has started paying more attention to RE. This includes increasing the RE target, setting RE policy objectives, and coupling business profits with environmental performance. In 2010, the government has recommended the increase in RE target to 3-4% of the total fuel mix in Hong Kong, in response to the worldwide imperative to address the climate change challenge (Environment Bureau, HKSAR, 2010)25. The government has also set up policy objectives to promote wider use of renewables, and to strike a balance between protection of the overall interests of the society and the consumer interests (Legislative Council, 2010)26. In 2008, to encourage the development of RE by the local power companies in Hong Kong, RE development incentives are incorporated into the new Scheme of Control Agreement (SCA) signed between the government and the two local power companies. The SCA guarantees that power companies can obtain a reasonable investment return as a fixed ratio of their capital investments. Under the new SCA scheme, the permitted rate of return for the two power companies includes an additional 11% for average renewables net fixed assets, while the companies’ average net fixed assets for non-renewables was dropped from 13% under the previous scheme to 9.99% under the new scheme. This implies that power companies can obtain a higher permitted rate of return by increasing their power generation capacity from renewable energy facilities. Reducing the permitted rate of return from average net fixed assets for non-renewables from 13% to 9.99% further encourages the power companies to switch to investing in renewable energy. Many sources of RE can be found in Hong Kong including wind, solar, hydro, biomass, each varied in quantity (Hui, 1997)27. Wind and solar energy are the two feasible RE options for development, given existing geographical and climatic conditions, and current technological and economic constraints in Hong Kong. At present, solar energy development is greatly limited by its high investment cost. Due to Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather, the solar panels have a lower operational efficiency in Hong Kong than in places such as California with dry and cool weather conditions. The high density of high-rise buildings in the urbanized city means that very little land space is available for solar panels installation. Wind power is considered a more promising RE option in Hong Kong. Wind energy system carries higher energy efficiency than solar energy system due to its higher energy conversion. Geographical conditions also make wind a favorable option for development. A 24
Sustainable Development Unit (SDU). (2005). First Sustainable Development Strategy for Hong Kong. The Government of HKSAR, Hong Kong. Environment Bureau. (2010). Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action AgendaConsultation Document. The Government of HKSAR, Hong Kong. Legislative Council (2010). Press Release: LegCo Question 18 - Offshore Wind Farm. Retrieved on 10th Oct, 2011. Hui, C.M., 1997. From renewable energy to sustainability: the challenge for Hong Kong. Proc. of the POLMET '97 Conference, 351-358.
number of opportunities are available in Hong Kong to make wind power a good RE option for development: First, the financial return from investing in wind power appears to be more promising as compared with other renewables such as solar energy. As mentioned earlier, the SCA signed between the government and the two power companies in 2008 has provided some economic incentives for two power companies to invest in renewables. Due to the geographical and climatic conditions, technological and economic constraints for developing other renewables such as hydro power or solar energy, the higher energy efficiency and wind resource have made wind energy the most attractive option for RE investment by power companies. Second, local assessments have revealed that wind resources are satisfactory for wind power development (CDM, 200228; Lu and Ip, 2009)29. Offshore wind resources is particularly satisfactory in Hong Kong, it is predicted that the maximum electricity generation potential can meet up to 72% of the total electricity consumption in Hong Kong (Li, 2000)30. Though the actual wind capacity can be reduced due to practical constraints such as sea navigation activities, the potential of offshore wind power generation cannot be overlooked. The two offshore wind farms proposed by the two local power companies, with a capacity of 100MW and 200MW respectively, are undergoing on-site wind assessments and will be constructed in the near future upon the government’s approval. Both projects will greatly increase the RE share of power supply in Hong Kong when the projects are successfully implemented in future. Third, as wind power in China has been growing progressively over the last five years, there are huge opportunities for Hong Kong to collaborate with China in wind power development. At the moment, China has installed wind capacity of 25,805 MW and is the second-largest country in wind power application (Global Wind Energy Council, 2010)31. Hong Kong’s wind capacity is rather insignificant in comparison. This makes a good business case for Hong Kong power companies to invest in wind farms in mainland instead of building its own wind farms within the Hong Kong territory. An economically feasible option would be to invest in wind farms in Guangdong Region and other parts of the Pearl River Delta, and to transfer the RE back to Hong Kong. This would not only contribute to Hong Kong’s RE development but also help China meet its RE target. Meanwhile, Hong Kong can also invest in wind farms located in other areas, such as northern China where exponential growth in installed wind capacity can be identified. Through cooperation and joint-ventures, technological and knowledge transfers can be enhanced to drive technological advancement in wind power facilities in both Hong Kong and China. Despite the opportunities within and outside of Hong Kong, the development of wind power in Hong Kong is still at a pre-mature stage due to the following challenges: 28
Camp Dresser & McKee International Inc (CDM). (2002). Study on potential applications of renewable energy in Hong Kong, Stage 1 study report. 29 Lu, L. & Ip, K.Y. (2009). Investigation on the feasibility and enhancement methods of wind power utilization in high-rise buildings of Hong Kong. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13, 450-461. 30 Li, G. (2000). Feasibility of large scale offshore wind power for Hong Kong – a preliminary study. Renewable Energy 21, 381-402. 31 Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). (2010). Global Wind 2009 Report. GWEC
First, wind power development, like other environmental investment, demands high investment in the short term whereas the payback will not be obtainable until the longer-term. This makes wind power investment a risky endeavor. Investing in wind power is highly capital intensive, the capital costs can take up as high as 80% of the overall project costs (Blanco, 2009)32, and given a payback period of around 10-15 years (China Light and Power, Internal communication)33, developing wind power may not be as attractive as it appears for local power companies, even with the 1% differential in permitted rate of return between renewables and non-renewables fixed assets under the existing SCA. Second, wind power is generally more expensive than traditional fossil-fuel generated energy in all places of the world. It is estimated that the costs of both onshore and offshore wind energy are higher than conventional fossil-fuel generated energy by 80% (European Commission, 2008)34. Consumers will inevitably have to bear the additional costs from wind power investment. It is estimated that electricity price will increase by 1- 2% after the two proposed offshore wind farms start commissioning in Hong Kong (Wenweipo, 2010)35. Each household on average will have to pay an extra $22 per month with a 2% increase in electricity price (Mingpao, 2011)36. Unless the government negotiate strategically with power companies and set up proper incentive mechanisms to prevent unreasonable increase in electricity price, the attractiveness of RE development, including wind power, will likely be reduced. Power companies will likely face public opposition with the expected increase in electricity bill payment due to increasing fuel mix of green power. Finally, the lack of government support remains the number one obstacle to RE development in Hong Kong. The government has not been active in promoting RE development over the last decade. Unlike China and European Union, which have established RE targets at 17% and 20% by 2020 respectively (Waldau, 2007)37, and have steered RE development through various regulatory measures and economic incentives (Yu & Qub, 2010)38, the current RE target set by the Hong Kong government is too low to steer any meaningful RE development in Hong Kong. Nor will the current economic incentives provided under the new SCA induce the power companies to invest in RE projects at a large scale. Although in recent years we can witness an increase in government attention to RE, it has yet to be translated into
Blanco, M.I. (2009). The economics of wind energy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13, 1372-1382. 33 China Light and Power Co. Ltd. (2011). Wind power payback period in Hong Kong. Internal Communication, visit to CLP Smart Grid Experience Centre, on 9th Aug, 201 34 European Commission (EC). (2008). Energy Sources, Production Costs and Performance of Technologies for Power Generation, Heating and Transport. EC, COM (2008) 744, Brussels, Belgium. 35 Wenweipo, (2010). HEC Offshore Wind farm: Rise of electricity price before production. Retrieved on 3rd November, 2011. 36 MingPao. (2011). CLP predicted the increase of electricity price by 2% after offshore wind farm in Hong Kong start commission in 2016. Retrieved on 3rd November, 2011. 37 Waldau, A. J. (2007). Photovoltaics and renewable energies in Europe. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 11, 1414â€“1437. 38 Yu, X. & Qub, H. (2010). Wind power in China - Opportunity goes with challenge. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14, 2232-2237
effective policy measures that carry a right balance of carrots and sticks to drive green electricity supply and demand. Hong Kong’s RE development is currently “blowing in the wind”. At present, wind energy development in Hong Kong seems to be on a good start, but its future prospect remains highly uncertain. It is high time that the Hong Kong government stops paying lip service. It should start learning from successful examples from both overseas and China, taking specific socio-political-environmental conditions into account, to derive the best-fit RE policies and instruments that will radically transform the current fossilfuel dominated power generation trajectory to one with higher RE penetration. Currently, Feed-in tariff (FIT) and Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) are the two most promising policy instruments employed worldwide to steer RE, including wind power development. Considerable success has been identified in countries such as China and the United States (Cherni & Kentish, 200739; Yang et al., 200840). Can Hong Kong be “going with the wind” in future? A strong RE target plus effective policy instruments will determine its future trajectory. Web References: http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-energy http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201001/20/P201001 200136.htm http://www.mpfinance.com/htm/Finance/20110906/News/ec_gma1h.htm http://paper.wenweipo.com/2010/02/06/ HK10020 60034.htm
Cherni. J.A. & Kentish. J. (2007). Renewable energy policy and electricity market reforms in China. Energy Policy 35, 3616-3629. Yang, C.J., Williams. E. & Monast. J. (2008). Wind Power: Barrier and Policy Solutions. Climate Change Policy Partnership, Duke University
STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS (ISDRC 17, 2011)
Participation and Success in Environmental Governance: Lessons from Chad
Julia Kennedy41 American University 66 S Elliott Place Brooklyn, NY 11217 email@example.com The animating spirit of sustainable development claims it is possible for the world’s expanding population to achieve a universally decent standard of living while only consuming as many natural resources and sinks as the global environment can indefinitely produce. There are divergent views on almost all of the major elements inherent in achieving this; one of these critical discussions revolves around systems of environmental governance. On one end of the spectrum is a system characterized by strong centralization and top-down decision-making, dominated in most cases by the State. The other end is a decentralized system in which communities are empowered to control decision-making about, and maximize benefit from, their local resources. The dominant view in current development practice is that increasing participation in natural resources management results in greater environmental and livelihoods success. In theory, this is because community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) provides higher levels of efficiency in resource management, greater equity in benefits distribution, and increased durability through the incentive to perpetuate these benefits. However, despite nearly universal support for CBNRM as the preferred system of environmental governance, recent evaluations of CBNRM projects are at best inconclusive about their efficacy, or at worst indicate that they fail to achieve the promised outcomes for environmental protection and improved livelihoods. The challenges that CBNRM projects encounter include: 1) the difficulty of devolving power from current powerful actors to local representatives without reinforcing patronage networks or elite capture; 2) the difficulty of creating local organizations that are representative of and downwardly accountable to the local community, while also being empowered through financial resources and authority from central government; 3) the failure of externally created NRM projects to understand local communities as heterogeneous organizations that do not necessarily represent shared interests; and 4) the fact that even when decentralization projects DO empower local communities, that empowerment frequently does NOT result in improved environmental protection or performance. Where does the acknowledgement of these flaws in the leading environmental governance theory, and the mediocre results of CBNRM’s performance in practice, leave us? Numerous scholars have concluded that the most effective form of 41
Julia Kennedy was joint winner of the ‘Best Student Paper’ Award at the ISDRC 17 Conference at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in 2011.
environmental governance is found in partnership between local management and national governments. An analysis of the highly centralized woodfuel policy now in place in the Republic of Chad, where an earlier attempt at decentralized community forest management (CFM) had failed, supports this compromise view. The Chad example provides support for an approach that combines the strengths of central and decentralized resource management regimes, particularly in developing countries like Chad where building the democratic institutions and local capacity necessary for effective and equitable resource governance will require a long-term investment. The Chad case study begins in 2000, with the implementation of a multi-year, multimillion dollar project to develop and implement a CFM and domestic energy strategy in the N’Djamena (Chad’s capital city, NDJ) “urban woodshed”42. Despite including all the relevant best practices in CFM43, the project was a failure. A variety of sources report dramatic growth in charcoal production and deforestation following the end of the decentralized resource management project, from around 2005 until 2008. In 2008, the government of Chad adopted a series of progressively stricter policies on forestry resources and the woodfuels market. These policies include a ban on the felling of live trees and a ban on producing and transporting charcoal, and they have succeeded in dramatically reducing deforestation in that zone. Two years after the implementation of the woodfuel policy, a FAO survey of the effects of the policy on household (HH) energy practices and budgets in the NDJ woodshed found an 85% decrease in charcoal use in urban HHs and a 71% decrease in rural HHs. The price for charcoal has more than tripled since the woodfuel intervention, and charcoal is now noticeably absent from the market or visible in only small quantities. An updated forest inventory is not available; yet both supporters and critics of the policy note that the area’s forests are visibly rebounding. The short-term achievement of the woodfuel policy goals came with a heavy cost. The negative social impacts of the project include alleged physical abuse and economic exploitation by the military unit formed to enforce the woodfuel policy. This uncomfortable meeting of environmental gains and social losses demands deep reflection over how authority, whether centralized or decentralized, can and should be exerted over natural resources in places with weak institutional capacity. However, it is precisely because of Chad’s weak institutional capacity that a centralized policy was able to improve environmental protection where a decentralized policy had failed. Chadian communities have limited financial resources, basic reading and math skills, little access to information, and few other attributes demanded by the successful operation of a resource management committee. Elite capture is rampant among Chadian local institutions and there are few local democratic institutions. Finally, there is clearly variation in community interest in forest conservation. If local communities were again empowered to determine the use of their forest resources, the environmental result would be unpredictable. 42
The Food and Agriculture Organization defines an urban woodshed as “the potential sustainable woodfuel supply zones of major cities”; an ecological concept similar to a watershed. 43 These include local participation and ownership of resources, available technical assistance and expertise, support for natural resource-based livelihoods, a reformed taxation system that internalized environmental costs, financial consequences for contravening the forestry system, supply and demand management, and outreach and education.
Successful decentralization of natural resource management in Chad will require farreaching and long-term investment in development before its potential can truly be realized. In this context, centralized policies for environmental protection may be a reasonable response, particularly in urgent situations where a short-term solution can prevent degradation from exceeding the limits of ecological resilience and causing irreparable harm. By enacting a short-term solution, the Chadian government created the time and policy space to undergo an updated forest inventory, establish a new baseline of productivity and harvests, and again pursue the possibility of sustainable use. These conclusions serve less to imply that proponents of CBNRM are wrong than to highlight the flaws in this perspective and suggest policy paths for environmental management in areas lacking in institutional capacity. These policies can accompany decentralization efforts to preserve environmental resources and respect civil and human rights while the long process towards building representational, accountable, and empowered local institutions unfolds. (ii)
Can coffee agroforestry provide habitat for mammals? 44
S. Amanda Caudill Ph.D. candidate, Department of Natural Resources Science University of Rhode Island firstname.lastname@example.org Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, next only to oil. In most developing countries, it is the primary export. Traditionally, coffee is grown within native forest, an approach that provides wildlife habitat, fosters ecosystem services, and protects biodiversity. However, over the past four decades, there has been a trend to move away from the traditional coffee towards either a monoculture of coffee plants or the replacement of native forest with non-native tree species. To further compound the issue, in the early 1990s, several factors caused the price of coffee to plummet, giving rise to what many call “the coffee crisis. Many farmers in Latin America replaced the native forest on their lands with a monoculture of coffee plants to increase their yield, while farmers in India planted non-native tree species to be harvested and sold as timber products; both in hopes of being able to financially support themselves and their families. The way in which coffee is grown can have a significant impact on the level of biodiversity that a landscape can support. Coffee certifications have begun to surface that provide an economic incentive for farmers to protect biodiversity. Farmers who adhere to the requirements of these certifications not only receive a higher premium for their coffee, but also improve health conditions with the reduction in agrochemicals. “Shade coffee” or “coffee agroforestry” are terms used to describe coffee farms with intentional management of shade trees, as opposed to “sun coffee” which is a monoculture of coffee plants. The
Amanda Caudill received an ‘Outstanding Student Paper’ Award at ISDRC 17 in 2011.
certifications often specify the amount and diversity of shade tree species required in the farm. Although shade grown coffee has the potential to protect wildlife habitat and promote biodiversity, the coffee certifications that promote it are still in their infancy and more research is needed to evaluate their effectiveness. There can be a wide range of vegetation composition and management intensity that constitute â€œshade coffeeâ€? within coffee farms. In addition, there are concerns that promoting shade grown coffee could lead to the conversion of native forests to shade coffee plantations. It has also been properly noted that shade coffee is not a substitute for native forests in terms of habitat for wildlife. Although there is agreement that it is necessary to preserve native forests, it must be coupled with other conservation strategies. Forest reserves are often isolated, expensive to manage, and on their own, not a practical or sustainable solution in many parts of the world. Studies on biodiversity in coffee farms suggest that not all taxonomic groups respond in the same way to habitat gradients within coffee agroforestry. It is known that the use of agrochemicals and pesticides are harmful to animals and people alike, but the most beneficial composition and configuration of vegetation within the coffee farms varies for different types of animals. The literature shows that shade coffee supports birds, ants, and butterflies, but such evidence is not apparent for mammals. Some studies suggest that there is no significant difference for mammal biodiversity between sun and shade coffee farms. The purpose of my research is to evaluate the mammal biodiversity in coffee landscapes, determine which habitat parameters are important for them, then provide suggestions on how enhance the habitat for the mammals. The first phase of my field research took place last year in Kodagu, in southwest India near the Western Ghats mountain range. In India, coffee plants are interspersed with various types of shade trees within coffee farms. The farms in my study all contained a high level of density and diversity of shade trees, however there was a large discrepancy in the amount of native verses non-native trees planted. Native trees are protected by law; therefore farmers are prohibited from harvesting the wood. There has been a trend to replace native trees with a non-native tree species, Silver Oak, within the coffee farms. Because it is not native, Silver Oak can be harvested as a wood product and is also used to grow pepper vines. My research team and I investigated the effects of non-native tree species on the diversity and abundance of small mammals in coffee farms from February to June 2010. Preliminary analysis shows that small mammal abundance and biodiversity is not strongly dependent on the amount on non-native trees present. It is suspected that landscape scale parameters such as distance to native forests or riverine corridors may have significant influence on the mammal populations that an area can support. Mammal communities may be more dependent on forest corridors and therefore require forest remnants adjacent to the coffee farms. More research is needed at both the farm and landscape scale to understand the response of different species, in particular small mammals, in this coffee-forest matrix. Studies seem to indicate that
the addition of shade trees intermixed with coffee plants does not improve the habitat for mammal species. Shade trees may also need to be planted around the perimeter of the coffee farm. It may also be prudent to look into biodiversity certifications for coffee on a regional or landscape scale. Groups of certified coffee farms could provide better habitats than isolated ones. Landscapes that include forest and corridors in addition to the coffee agroforestry would be ideal. Research is still needed to understand the dynamics of these coffee landscapes. We hope that our research will inform a set of best management practices that would not only conserve and improve wildlife habitat, but also provide a sustainable income for the farmers. (iii)
Moving Toward a Sustainable Future: Opportunities and Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang45, Kosuke Toshiki, Shoichi Kunikane Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Shizuoka 52-1 Yada, Suruga-ku Shizuoka 422-8526 Japan E-mail: email@example.com The Vietnamese government has stated its intention to make the nation an industrialized country by 2020, and it has been actively seeking industrial investors by offering favourable investment conditions and highlighting its high proportion of labour-age population. As the result, there is currently a total of 233 industrial, export processing, and hi-tech zones in the country. In addition, there are plans to build an additional 106 industrial zones by 2020 (Vietnam Economic News, 2010)46. Economic development, population increase, urbanization and industrialization have resulted both in the increase in solid waste generation and also a diversification of the types of solid waste generated. The large amount of industrial solid waste increasing annually has created serious environmental problems in recent years. In one of the efforts to deal with the problems arising from industrial activity, the Vietnamese government revised the Law on Environmental Protection in 2005, in which it imposed strict controls through a registration-licensing system for industrial waste generators. In addition, the government has introduced a waste management strategy, to be carried out by 2025, stating that 100% of solid waste from urban areas and hazardous and non-hazardous industrial solid waste must be collected and treated. The government considers that this can be an approach toward sustainable waste management solutions. 45
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang and his co-authors received an â€˜Outstanding Student Paperâ€™ Award at ISDRC 17 in 2011. 46 Vietnam Economic News (2010) Industrial Zones Become Face of Modern Vietnam. Available at: http://ven.vn/news/detail/tabid/77/newsid/18083/seo/Industrial-ZonesBecome-Face-of-Modern-Vietnam/language/en-US/Default.aspx (accessed date: February 22, 2011)
The World Bank (2004)47 reported that the amount of industrial solid waste was the second largest in the total of solid waste generation in Vietnam. However, since the adoption of the revised Law of 2005, research has mainly focused on municipal solid waste management, and there are some studies focused on domestic waste landfill and energy recovery. Dan and Viet (2009) focused on the status of and strategies towards solid waste management in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Today, questions arise about the current industrial solid waste management system because of the discrepancy between the ideals embodied in the revised Law and the actual practices occurring in industry. Our study reports the effectiveness of environmental policies, focusing on environmental performance in industrial zones of HCMC. We studied the revised Law and related regulations on industrial solid waste to learn about the new structure of industrial hazardous solid waste management. Also, government records and reports from industrial solid waste generators were examined to ascertain the current status of its management system in HCMC. These records and reports were used to determine whether the regulations had succeeded in addressing environmental pollution issues, and how industrial solid waste generators applied the regulations at individual sites. In addition, on-site surveys were carried out in HCMC in 2009-2010 to gain a better understanding of the totality of controls in the current industrial solid waste management system. On-site surveys were conducted at randomly selected locations based on a list of companies provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of HCMC. Interviews were also carried out with company representatives regarding their environmental performance. Questions about waste generation, separation, and treatment methods at the site were asked, together with questions assessing their knowledge of current environmental regulations. In addition, we also investigated material intake, production processes, discharge from each process, and collection and storage of waste at the site in order to learn more about the companyâ€™s efforts to deal with industrial waste they were generating. The results show that problems related to industrial solid waste are increasing quite alarmingly in HCMC. Firstly, the companiesâ€™ consciousness of their environmental performance was extremely low. In almost all cases, on-site surveys showed that large amounts of industrial solid waste were generated from old-fashioned manufacturing processes and equipment every day. A large amount of generated waste, along with the low of consciousness in environmental protection, is a threat to the environment. Secondly, due to a lack of both treatment facilities and techniques, problems arising from industry continue to be a pressing issue threatening the environment and health of people. Furthermore, the problem of illegal disposal of industrial solid waste is a recent frequent topic in pollution control. Finally, the results also revealed that the incoherence of the revised Law and regulations in industrial solid waste management caused serious pressures on current domestic landfills. Development in sanitary landfills for treated hazardous waste is very late due to lack of funds in environmental protection. We conclude that there is a strong need for changes in the current regulatory and management systems to make them more effective for future sustainable development. It is required to examine environmental policies for urban 47
World Bank (2004): Vietnam Environment Monitor, 2004 - Solid Waste
sustainability not only from a very broad aspect but also from very specific aspects in all industrial activities. Besides addressing the current environmental issues on industrial solid waste management, this report suggests solutions for future sustainable development in developing countries.
The World is Now a Different Place. How Should we Move on to the Future?
A Review of Living through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism. Paul Wapner, 2010, The MIT Press. Reviewed by: Dr Paul Perry Sociology Programme School of People, Environment and Planning Massey University Palmerston North 4442 New Zealand P.E.Perry@massey.ac.nz Paul Wapner talks about a large magnolia tree in his suburban backyard, grown from seed, nourished by the sun and the water that falls about it. It grows upward driven by innate biological forces. Is it a natural thing separate from the human world? First classified in 1703, various species of magnolia have been identified and crossbred over time. His tree is likely a hybrid, deliberately planted in the spot maybe 50 years before, and tended to by various people over decades. For the author, the tree is natural but not completely so. It is not the wild tree identified centuries ago, nor is it a completely human created object like an automobile. It is a hybrid. The story of the magnolia illustrates the central theme of this beautifully written book; humanity has fundamentally altered nature and the wildness that many think of when that word is used. The hand of humanity is all pervasive, managing the entire planet. Nature, as something separate from human society, is coming undone. We now live in a postnature world. This is a not an unfamiliar theme. The book, in a sense, revisits and extends the idea popularised in the 1989 work of Bill McKibben, The End of Nature. If this conclusion about nature is correct, then Paul Wapner certainly recognises that there is much to be concerned about. He also sees this as an opportunity for environmentalism, particularly American environmentalism. It is an opportunity to refocus, to move away from the doom and gloom and find a new path, a middle path; a path that Professor Wapner feels is the appropriate response to the complex and hybrid character of the interface of humanity and nature today.
Issue 3, 2011 of this newsletter (pages 28-31) contains a clearly stated overview of the main ideas of this book, written by the author himself. It is worth referring to. The eight chapters begin with an introduction to the issues and an outline of the content that follows. Next is a useful chapter on American environmentalism and its underlying distinction between humans and nature, and the critiques of such boundaries. Two chapters follow that are fundamental to Wapnerâ€™s analysis: a chapter on the dream of naturalism and another on the dream of mastery. These dual dreams are ideal types, setting out two different perspectives central to environmental thinking, disputes and politics. The first places emphasis on the importance and primacy of nature, as something separate from humans; the latter places its emphasis on the importance and primacy of human beings, as something separate from nature. Chapter 5 explains why both of these dual dreams are no longer sufficient for dealing with contemporary realities. A middle way that involves elements of both seems to the author a better path. Chapter 6 is a kind of case study on the nature of wilderness today. What wilderness there is seems more of a concept than a reality in a social constructionist sense. All such areas are highly managed, with clearly delineated boundaries (reservation ecology). Another case study of sorts is found in Chapter 7, where the issue of climate change is examined as the most serious contemporary environmental problem, illustrating the pervasiveness of human intervention. Wapner reminds us that climate stability is a relative thing and considers both the reducing emissions and geoengineering perspectives. Neither is fully up to the task. Here a middle path is set out that involves: (1) moving beyond thresholds and boundaries, (2) establishing a new relationship to energy and (3) expanding the meaning and practice of adaptation. The final chapter elaborates on the idea of a middle path, a general guide to a postnature world, not a direct answer to environmental problems, nor a set of principles for environmental politics. We must embrace the politics of ambiguity, and be confident in knowing that we do not know everything. It is about humans and nature, not humans versus nature. Wapner incorporates both dreams by suggesting we must take an active role in shaping our world, while respecting the wildness that can be found within it. This book is very well crafted, organised and clearly written, in almost a literary style, with a conclusion section at the end of most chapters. There is much easily understood and insightful food for thought, even if one is not always comfortable, or in agreement with the conclusions. If I were still teaching Environmental Sociology I would find a lot here that would be a valuable addition to the class reading list. A review is not a review without some critical thoughts, no matter how worthy the piece.
Much here is not new or profound (freely admitted by the author) and that is not really a problem for me. Of more concern is that much of social science has been minimised. Environmental Sociology, for example, has for decades been concerned precisely about this interface of society and environment, as has a recognition that social justice and environmental problems are closely tied. The two dreams are useful ideal types, very familiar as two major streams of environmentalism. Yet many would argue there are also other major environmental streams that don’t fully fit within either dream. The American emphasis is understandable, but unnecessary and frustrating. This is one book that could have easily avoided it. Being an American who has lived and taught elsewhere for 3.5 decades I would strongly argue that most of Wapner’s basic themes are far from uniquely American. In such an interdependent world, changing just American environmentalism may not be enough. My most fundamental concern is about the middle path being insufficient to the task. As far as it goes I really have no argument with what is here. I do wonder how the middle path will overcome some very evident obstacles, largely of a political and economic nature. Note just two that are very evident in contemporary America, but not uniquely American: (1) the “know-nothingness” of those who would deny science, no matter what the evidence, apparently for the sake of an ideology and the prospect of political power; (2) the political economy of capitalism, at least as recently manifest, that dominates the world today. Even as a general guide, will the middle path help much to deal with such massive obstacles? As I write this the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations are prominent in the news, and Sea Shepherd is preparing for another season of campaigns in the Antarctic. I can’t escape the feeling that the world needs a bit of this sort of thing as well, if for no other reason than to make those environmentalists of the middle path seem to those in power like reasonable people to listen to. (ii)
Capers and Capabilities: Stories from the economics of sustainable development.
A Review of Cents and Sustainability : Securing our common future by decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures. Michael H. Smith, Karlson Charlie Hargroves and Cheryl Desha. London; Washington, DC: Earthscan, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-84407-529-4 Reviewed by James Ockenden, a writer based in Hong Kong. James.Ockenden@gmail.com In the 25 years since the Brundtland Report, the very phrase “sustainable development” has been hijacked, green-washed, misappropriated, twisted and bent out of shape by actors and stakeholders legitimate or otherwise. It has become something very difficult to sell to business – and when Cents and Sustainability first landed on my desk, I had high hopes for something useful in persuading business to take a fresh look at the concept.
With dollar signs in the title and a promise of a “clear sighted response to sustainable development and economics”, I hoped this might be something new I could take to my clients, people who work hard to squeeze every last cent from their business, believe “carbon” is the only issue of the day and avoid social responsibility like it’s Yersinia pestis. Alas, while the book may help you make friends at Green Drinks or provide no end of anecdotes of how cities, countries and corporations around the world have saved resources, the book as a whole offers no coherent strategy or approach for policymakers wishing to decouple. The book gets off to a strong start, with a foreword from Gro Brundltand herself and a candid view of sustainable development’s progress from an original Brundtland Report author Jim MacNeill. MacNeill talks of his surprise at how the concept of sustainable development took hold so quickly. “I sometimes think that a new way to define ‘infinity’ is the ever-expanding number of interpretations of sustainable development,” he writes. He laments how only the intergenerational aspect sustainable development in Our Common Future grabbed headlines, to the detriment of other social, ethical and ecological aspects. He then goes on to talk about the “forgotten imperative”, the strategic imperative of merging environment with economics in decision-making across nations, corporations and homes, setting the stage perfectly for a book on how to achieve this. The volume, however, falls flat, from a corporate point of view. Because much of what follows MacNeill’s excellent introduction is so academic, fragmented, and removed from the world, it is practically useless in the business setting. Yes, the planet will have nine billion people by 2050. Yes, Lester Brown says we are on the brink of civilization collapse. But what can we actually do in the next quarter? For example, the second chapter, ‘Achieving Economic Growth and Reducing Environmental Pressures’, is a disappointment. Instead of a practical guide for the young executive, student or policymaker, it consists of a disconnected series of bon mots or anecdotes on “best practice case studies”. These are the kind of anecdotes that large corporations use to pepper their sustainability reports … Company X saved Y by doing Z … but they don’t really help at all. A project which reduces pollution, saves lives and pays back in just three years is a no-brainer – but here’s the headlines, greenies: corporations love money. They do not want to have a long distance relationship with their cash and they really do not want to wait around three years to see it again. “Long D”, like SD, is not part of the corporate lexicon. The frustration continues into Chapter 3, which aims to talk about “Factors that can Undermine or Block Efforts to Achieve Decoupling” and yet misses the mark entirely. Why does this chapter repeat nonsense such as a misquoted Goldman Sachs report that environmental sustainability leaders outperform the general stock market by 25%? Goldman Sachs, in that same report, admitted, in fact, it was too early to correlate sustainability performance directly with financial performance. Why is this not mentioned in the book? Are environmentalists so desperate for a link between sustainability and profitability that they will delude themselves into thinking there is one? Do we need only good news in this business? The danger is, armed only with a rosy inaccurate view of the world such as touted by Cents and Sustainability, we look
incredibly stupid when taking these stories to people who actually know how markets work. “Sustainability increases stock market performance” may sound good at a hippy green gathering, but it’s going to turn the private equity investor away rolling his eyes. Not because he’s a cold-hearted greedy Wall Street bastard who won’t listen to the truth, but because it’s simply not true. Being based in Hong Kong, my worldview is probably too Sino-centric, but for me the most disappointing omission in the book is the absence of China. Aside from a brief introduction to China’s Top 1,000 Energy-Consuming Enterprises program in Chapter 6, most of the 50+ references to the world’s economic powerhouse are passing dinner party tidbits (“panda smugglers in China are subject to life imprisonment”); vague statements (“China, Brazil and India are all now making increasingly significant commitments to improving energy performance”); or, three separate instances of reporting the fact that the OECD estimates China’s air pollution costs it 3.8% of its GDP. However, there is no mention of China’s 11th five year plan, the boldest political manifesto of our time in terms of tackling the issue of “cents and sustainability”. That a country of 1.3 billion people chastised itself for putting economy over environment in the previous 30 years and then committed to putting environment ahead of economy for a five year period in its national plan is surely worthy of more analysis in a book about decoupling, sustainability and economy. The highlight of the book is the last chapter, which covers a case study of the air pollution in New Delhi, India. It’s an interesting story, told by lawyer Dhruv Sanghavi, and the level of detail is impressive. It sets the context of India’s environmental legal landscape well, and then goes into specifics of Mahesh Chandra Mehta’s public interest litigation case against India’s environment ministry, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. The results of the case were startling, leading to a court order in 1990 requiring all new vehicles in New Delhi to be fitted with catalytic converters, and, as Sanghavi writes: “the beginning of the court’s proactive involvement in abating the problem of air pollution in Delhi.” Sanghavi goes on to talk about subsequent successes, as well as providing a critical analysis of the role of such judicial activism in environmental issues. Is such an approach sustainable? It is great to see such a question asked, and answered critically and intelligently. This is the sort of thing you could take into the boardroom or policy think-tank, as it is based on hard facts and unimpeachable legal proceedings, not tabloid sensationalism or worn out tales from tall ivory towers.
A review of This Little Kiddy Went to Market: The Corporate Capture of Childhood. Sharon Beder with Wendy Varney and Richard Gosden. UNSW Press, 2009. Reviewed by Dr Delyse Springett Honorary Research Associate – Business and Sustainable Development Massey University New Zealand D.V.Springett@massey.ac.nz Beder’s ‘Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism’ (1997) exposed the means by which corporations exercise overt and hidden ways of assuming power to influence government policy making, ‘create’ the news and manipulate the environmental agenda. ‘This Little Kiddy Went to Market’ is the natural successor to that critique. Here, Beder casts a steely eye over the ways and means employed by corporates to ‘capture’ childhood, creating not only ‘hyperconsumers’ of their products and services, but, in the longer term, submissive employees and passive citizens for whom ‘what they have’ is more important than ‘who they are’. Beder’s introductory chapter summarises the content of the book. Lack of contentedness, stress, poor health (especially obesity), academic failure, peer pressure, lack of confidence, anxiety and depression, self-harm and suicide all speak of a profound lack of wellbeing amongst our children. Beder argues that this can largely be put down to the interference of corporations in children’s lives and psyches. By fostering discontent in children from the earliest stages of development, they turn them into hyper-consumers; they transform children’s play into commercial opportunities; and they prey on childish anxieties and insecurities, reshaping their identities. The education system has played its part in this transformation, government funding cuts having made the schools themselves vulnerable to corporate pressure: business increasingly sells its products to children via schools through sponsorships, competitions, communication technologies and classroom materials that help to grow brand loyalty. Business coalitions influence government policy to transform schools into competing business enterprises – factories where children are inputs to be processed. Education funding cuts have driven the goals of education from ‘quality’ to ‘efficiency’, with responsibility for performance devolved to inadequately funded school managers such as principals and boards. Beder claims that the emphasis on standardised testing since the 1980s has also been driven by the corporate sector and she exposes the powerful business coalitions, advocacy groups and campaigns that promote such educational ‘efficiency’ at the cost of real learning. As corporations take control of schools, they not only produce submissive employees, but also crush the development of critical faculties. The emphasis is on long hours, discipline, rewards and punishments and a narrowing of the curriculum that focuses on numeracy and literacy, computer skills and a business-friendly view of history and society. Corporate-sponsored classroom materials provide a distorted view of
environmental, health and social issues that suit industry public relations needs and promotes an ideology of free market economics. The trend towards private provision of educational services is also part of the corporate push. Beder evaluates the outcomes of these privatisations. Schools have to compete for students. Under the guise of ‘school choice’, this move has manifested itself in the open enrolment systems in the UK, Australia and the US, and the school vouchers system in the US. In terms of equity, this erodes the right of all children to receive high quality education. Corporations and the foundations they fund promote privatisation of schooling and competitive education markets. What happens to children who are bored, naughty, lively, inattentive or depressed as a result of these interventions? They are identified in the schools, disciplined, often through the use of psychiatric drugs, with the pharmaceutical industry portraying these interventions as ways of ‘normalising’ thinking and behaviour while actually expanding their market for child and adolescent psychiatric drugs. This corporate capture of childhood has produced a generation of children who are manipulated, shaped and exploited. They are not allowed to play or develop at their own pace, and Beder claims that their psyches become damaged and their worldview profoundly distorted. Trained and tested rather than educated, taught to seek happiness through possessions, to treat relationships as a means to an end, they compete, constantly under pressure to ‘succeed, conform and look good’. As Beder notes, it is small wonder that so many children grow up to be ‘unhappy, stressed, fat, delinquent or self-destructive’. The chapters that follow demonstrate the penetrating research and observation that has led to these claims. For example, how can parents allow this to happen to their children? Beder shows that the power of marketers who study child behaviour means that even at the age of two, a child is being co-opted to ‘bypass the gatekeepers’ – parents. Children’s nagging is powerfully promoted through shopping centres and ever more sophisticated media and technology because it causes family stress and undermines the values parents may wish to inculcate in their children. The gatekeepers give in. Moreover, children lack cynicism and are easily deceived through advertising. One of the most damaging forms of exploitation is in the promotion of junk food and the tricks that go with this, ever more frequently resulting not only in profit but in obesity, making more customers for the pharmaceutical industry. Of course, as Beder has demonstrated in ‘Global Spin’, such charges lead to a litany of denial and a frenzy of activity from the powerful industry lobbies. Some European and Scandinavian countries have taken steps to curtail advertising aimed at children, but the power of advertisers makes it difficult for these standards to be effective. It is natural for children to play, but the changing ‘toy culture’ and the ‘cult of childhood’ has developed many ways in which childhood can be commodified and parental approval bypassed. Toys, movies, television programming, cartoon characters promote not only the desire for the current toys, but introduce children to adult habits, normalising smoking and alcohol consumption, for example. Whereas, historically, play was a socialising activity, the emphasis today is on materialism and individualism. Friendship is reduced to relationships with toys and, increasingly with
technology. ‘Creativity’ is replaced by ‘scripted play’. In these ways, children learn a consumer culture that is addictive and self-replicating. Branding is a powerful tool that is used in the capture of childhood. Brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand ‘coolness’ help to define status and identity. ‘Viral’ marketing – that which does not at first seem like marketing – defines ‘cool’; and underground marketing that uses social networks creates virtual worlds that children come to inhabit. Anxieties and insecurities are played on to maximise materialism. Corporate ‘education’ materials also pervade the ‘real’ world of school, as do product sales, fund-raising, and other kinds of direct advertising and corporate promotion that are at odds with any real educational agenda. In fact, schools themselves are being transformed into businesses, where the new ‘managerialist’ model and the drive for ‘efficiency’ mirror the business model. Lack of funding and devolution of responsibility play important roles in this shift. Accountability is largely based on testing and measurement, not only of pupils, but also of schools themselves with adverse effects on teachers and students. Teachers may deploy inappropriate methods in order to ‘teach to the test’, while children may find themselves punished for poor test scores, particularly since standardised test scores are designed so that a significant proportion of pupils will fail. Fundamentally, standardised tests measure knowledge rather than understanding and ‘test-savviness’ rather than critical thinking skills. As in ‘Global Spin’, Beder exposes the campaigns run by business coalitions, and underlines the massive business opportunities that lie in the development of a standardised testing regime that consumes funds that might otherwise be spent on teacher training and reduced class sizes. Learning is turned into work; discipline, rewards and punishment are emphasized; and schools are turned into vocational training establishments through work experience, on-the-job schooling and ‘enterprise’ education: they increasingly provide training rather than education. Beder claims that this results in a ‘dumbing down’ of future citizens. The curriculum is narrowed and standardised to provide ‘core knowledge’ that promotes views that suit corporations; progressive educational methods are discouraged or teachers have too little time to employ them; and teacher autonomy (and creativity) is eroded. Values education becomes the teaching of corporate values; nutrition and health education starts to fall into the hands of food companies; environmental and energy education is taught using materials and views prepared by the industries that cause most impact on the environment; and children are introduced to programmes that teach them to be assiduous shareholders, understanding the ins and outs of the stock market. Not only is the move to privatise education increasing, schools are increasingly encouraged to become for-profit organisations, marketing education as a commodity. Equity is one of the first victims as school image becomes increasingly important and as funding becomes biased towards schools with a middle class image and intake. The once assumed norm of all children being entitled to an equally good education is eroded as market ideology infiltrates education. Perhaps the most frightening outcome that Beder exposes is the way that ‘wayward’ children may be controlled. Marketers can take over here, too: drugs may be used to normalise the thinking and behaviour of ‘misfits’ who are deemed to have ‘mental health disorders’. Learning disorders, communication disorders, attention deficit and disruptive behaviour disorders can be identified using diagnostic criteria and ‘treated’.
The outcomes of this are often beneficial for drug companies – in the longer as well as the shorter term. Beder ends by summarising the corporate goals that she has sought to expose: children targeted as potential hyperconsumers; the creation of a submissive workforce; the erosion of state/public schooling that furthers entitlement, equity and notions of public good for schooling as a commodity to be purchased. For those interested in education for sustainable development, it means that schools will increasingly present an ideologically hostile environment. Is Beder going too far, perhaps? Unfortunately, her despair about the corporate influence on education is shared beyond the school system, most recently revealed in the concerns expressed about ideological premises that increasingly dominate the tertiary system of education.48
See, for example:
Collini, S. (2003) HiEdBiz. A review of the UK Government White Paper: The Future of Higher Education. London Review of Books, Vol. 25 No. 21, 6 November, 2003, pp3-9 Collini, S. (2010) Browne’s Gamble. Review of ‘Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education: An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, by Lord Browne et al. London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, 4 November, 2010, pp. 23-25 Collini, S. (2011) From Robbins to McKinsey. A review of Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System. UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. London Review of Books, Vol. 33 No. 16, 25 August, 2011, pp. 9-14. McKibbin, R. (2010) Nothing to do with the economy. London Review of books, Vol. 32 No. 22, 18 November, 2010. pp12-13 Slaughter, S. and Rhoades, G (2004) Academic Capitalism and the New Economy. John Hopkins University Press
(i) Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All Human Development Report, 2011. UNDP–HDRO, New York. http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2011/ Overview This year’s Report focuses on the challenge of sustainable and equitable progress. A joint lens shows how environmental degradation intensifies inequality through adverse impacts on already disadvantaged people and how inequalities in human development amplify environmental degradation. Human development, which is about expanding people’s choices, builds on shared natural resources. Promoting human development requires addressing sustainability— locally, nationally and globally—and this can and should be done in ways that are equitable and empowering. We seek to ensure that poor people’s aspirations for better lives are fully taken into account in moving towards greater environmental sustainability. And we point to pathways that enable people, communities, countries and the international community to promote sustainability and equity so that they are mutually reinforcing. (ii)
Managing Institutional Complexity. Regime Interplay and Global Environmental Change. Oberthür, Sebastian, Olav Schram Stokke (eds) (2011). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (2011) From the Editors Institutional interaction and complexity are crucial to environmental governance and are quickly becoming dominant themes in the international relations and environmental politics literatures. This book examines international institutional interplay and its consequences, focusing on two important issues: how states and other actors can manage institutional interaction to improve synergy and avoid disruption; and what forces drive the emergence and evolution of institutional complexes, sets of institutions that co-govern particular issue areas. The book, a product of the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change research project (IDGEC), offers both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Chapters range from analytical overviews to case studies of institutional interaction, interplay management, and regime complexes in areas including climate change, fisheries management, and conservation of biodiversity. Contributors discuss such issues as the complicated management of fragmented multilateral institutions addressing climate change; the possible “chilling effect” on environmental standards from existing commitments; governance niches in Arctic resource protection; the relationships among treaties on conservation and use of plant genetic resources; causal factors in cross-case variation of regime prevalence; and the difficult relationship between the World Trade Organization and multilateral environmental
agreements. The book offers a broad overview of research on interplay management and institutional complexes that provides important Insights across the field of global environmental governance. (iii) Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Subhabrata B. Banerjee (2007). Edward Elgar Publishing. From the Publishers This challenging and somewhat controversial book provides a critical perspective on contemporary discourses of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee questions the win-win assumptions of CSR and identifies the limits of the good that corporations can do, illustrating that the ability of firms to enhance social welfare is constrained by their current form and purpose; that of a shareholder value maximizing entity. The book shows how supranational institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are complicit in an â€˜economic captureâ€™ of social issues through a combination of material, institutional and discursive power that results in undermining economic democracy. Taking a political economy perspective, the author analyzes recent conflicts between transnational corporations and local communities in developing countries and exposes the limits of stakeholder theory in addressing the needs of marginalized communities. He concludes by discussing alternatives to the current system that could result in meaningful social outcomes, and provides a critical research agenda for CSR. Linking theory to practice, this critical look at corporate social responsibility will provide much material to fuel the debate amongst academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of management, international business and management. (iv) Food, Globalization and Sustainability Peter Oosterveer, David A. Sonnenfeld. (2011) Earthscan. From the Publishers Food is increasingly traded internationally, thereby transforming the organization of food production and consumption globally and influencing most food-related practices. This transition is generating unfamiliar challenges related to sustainability of food provision, the social impacts of international trade and global food governance. Distance in time and space between food producers and consumers is increasing and new concerns are arising. These include the environmental impact of food production and trade, animal welfare, the health and safety of food, and the social and economic impact of international food trade. This book provides an overview of the principal conceptual frameworks that have been developed for understanding these changes. It shows how conventional regulation of food provision through sovereign national governments is becoming elusive, as the distinctions between domestic and international, and between public and private spheres, disappear. At the same time multinational companies and supranational institutions put serious limits to governmental interventions. In this context, other social actors including food retailers and NGOs are shown to take up innovative roles in governing food provision, but their contribution to agro-food sustainability is under continuous scrutiny. The authors apply these themes in several detailed case studies, including 45
organic, fair trade, local food and fish. On the basis of these cases, future developments are explored, with a focus on the respective roles of agricultural producers, retailers and consumers. (v) Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet. Tim Flannery. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011. From the publishers Credited with discovering more species than Darwin, praised for his ability to promote awareness of the most important issues facing our planet, Tim Flannery is one of the world’s most influential scientists. In his newest book, Here on Earth, he has written a captivating and dramatic narrative about the origins of life and the history of our planet. Beginning at the moment of creation with the Big Bang, Here on Earth explores the evolution of Earth from a galactic cloud of dust and gas to a planet with a metallic core and early signs of life within its first billion years. In a highly compelling narrative, Flannery describes the formation of the earth’s crust and atmosphere, as well as the transformation of the oceans from toxic brews of metals to life-sustaining bodies covering 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Here on Earth is not just a dazzling account of life on our planet, it will change the way you live. Today, we stand at a crossroads, where comprehension of our place in nature — of our true abilities and our history — is supremely important. We have formed a global civilization of unprecedented might, driven forward by the power of our minds — a civilization that is transforming our Earth. We are masters of technology, and of comprehension, but it’s what we believe that may, from now on, determine our fate. 7
Rio+20 News www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/ Keep up with events and resources and read the Rio+20 newsletter. (ii) Sustainability and Rio+20 In preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), the sustainability debate will dominate the coming year in development negotiations both inside and outside the EU. In order to combat unacceptable levels of environmental degradation and chronic poverty, as well as the growing threat of climate change, progressive action needs to be taken at both an EU and UN level. Rio+20, to be held in June 2012, is a precious chance for decision makers to take such action. More (iii) UNCSD Adds Online Submission Option for Compilation Document The Secretariat for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) has added a new option for submitting input to the compilation document
that will lead to the draft Outcome Document. It is now possible to submit input online through the UNCSD website. More (iv) firstname.lastname@example.org Contribute to the Rio+20 discourse on this site.
Global Transition 2012: New Initiative from Stakeholder Forum and the New Economics Foundation Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and NEF (New Economics Foundation) are working in partnership to develop the Global Transition 2012 initiative – an international coalition of organisations and leading thinkers from the global North and South - with the aim of developing alternative solutions to redress inequalities and global environmental change. (vi)
Bonn2011 Nexus Conference, November 2011: a workshop on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus
‘Bonn2011 Conference: Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, Solutions for a Green Economy’, 16-18 November. More The United Nations Department of Public Information 64th NGO Conference, September 3-5, 2011: Declaration The Conference agreed a Declaration that covered Rio+20 and the 10 year anniversary of voluntarism: it can be downloaded here. The Rio+20 text is the first attempt to put together some ideas on Sustainable Development Goals that were put on the table by Columbia in June. The expert group that managed the process was made up of 15 people from developing countries and ten people from developed countries. The Declaration was accepted unanimously by the 1500 NGOs and other stakeholders present and will be submitted to the zero draft. It will also be tabled in the UN GA by Germany and will be circulated to the UN GA debate on voluntarism. You can also watch the plenary and round tables on video here. (vii)
ISDRS NEWSLETTER, ISSUE 1, 2012
Copy for Issue 1 of the Newsletter for 2012 should be submitted to the Editor by February 28: D.V.Springett@massey.ac.nz Student articles should be submitted to the Associate Editor. John Telesford, copied to the Editor, by the same date. Contact John on: email@example.com Author Guidelines are available on the ISDRS website: www.isdrs.org/
Published on Nov 22, 2011