CHANGES IN THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PARADIGM 31
ple, many local projects facilitate small-scale agriculture through better soil management and harvesting techniques and through improved markets and connections, which directly affect local food security and diet. Projects often develop local infrastructure, such as water and sanitation systems, schools and health clinics, which directly support education and health goals. Often the extra income is used to pay school fees. Many local projects centre on women. As a result, local actors in many areas are more dynamic, innovative and progressive than actors at the national or international level. Leadership at the international and the national levels often emerges from such “grassroots” activities. Local actors also demonstrate the complexity of the challenges to sustainable development and of their solutions. The success of the Green Revolution and the power behind the Washington Consensus mean that global processes are susceptible to the big idea, the “silver bullet”. The core challenges facing most countries are, however, complex and require many parallel actions, something that is very evident at the local level. A critical question at the international level is how to link the ad hoc nature of these activities to global goals and needs. In particular, the issue is how to stop free-riding, whereby some countries derive an unfair advantage from the sacrifices of others (United Nations, 2010a). Since 1992 there has emerged a more systematic approach to supporting these local-scale projects by the international community and donors. Programmes where international donors establish an international mechanism to directly support small local-scale projects have been an im portant success for sustainable development. Under these programmes, which offer financing and technical assistance, communities identify their own development priorities, hire assistance, manage project funds and manage and sustain the project. Many donors now have such programmes. The Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was one of the leading initiatives in this regard. Many others have followed, including the Community-Driven Development Programme of the World Bank, the Community Based Adaptation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Equator Initiative of the UNDP. Despite their increasing popularity, local-scale projects are still a minor part of many organizations’ work. Their success and potential warrant a scaling-up of support for these projects and programmes.
Key lessons Sustainable development is well developed politically and legally, but implementation remains patchy and elusive, especially in relation to
Published on Mar 6, 2013
Published on Mar 6, 2013
Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...