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Title: An Analytical And Descriptive Model Of Sustainable Development
Author: And Society Research Unit Environmental
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_361, Representation ID: 91, Object ID: 1705
In 1998, the Environment Agency of England and Wales commissioned the Environment and Society Research Unit and the Department of Geography, University College London, to develop a conceptual and visual model that will help the Agency to contribute to sustainable development. The outcome is this Report which is based on a desk study of relevant literature and. three empirical studies undertaken with sthe Agency during 1998. The studies comprised: - interviews with senior staff; - an evaluation of the Action at Home programme designed to promote sustainable lifestyles and undertaken by Agency staff in the North West region; - and a stakeholder approach to a Local Environment Agency Plan (LEAP) conducted for the New Forest area team. A review of international and national government thinking on sustainable development shows that the new Labour government in the UK places particularly strong emphasis on social welfare dimensions of sustainability and involvement of the public at all stages in a process of decision making designed to progress sustainable development. This is in contrast to earlier approaches which have been guided by economic and environmental concerns rather than social and institutional (governance) concerns. The Report pursues a decision-path approach linked to a series of key questions to demonstrate that the two idealised models of society generate different ways of moving in the direction of sustainable development. The models lead to different conclusions about: l the individual in society; - the role information and institutions play in engaging with the public; - the way in which the environment interacts with society; - the economic and political processes which determine how society ‘works’; - and the role of expert and lay knowledge. The outcome of this analysis is the presentation of a new, contextualist model of sustainable development which is dynamic rather than static, and which conceptualises sustainability as a process of negotiation which seeks to identify the correct trajectory society should take. Based on the findings of the literature review and the empirical studies, the Report offers a new, socially-informed model of sustainable development. This model is underpinned by principles of inclusion, equity, precaution and the polluter-pays principle. The model serves to reposition the working practices of the Agency by embracing the social and governance issues of sustainable development. As a practical means of taking forward this approach, it is suggested that the Agency uses a decision pathway based on the questions raised by the reductionist and contextualist models of society to inform all their polices, programmes and projects.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: OrganisationsSustainabilityPlanningBrackishwater environmentFreshwater ecologyMarine environment
Extent: 84
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