Tweet with us !!
#MGCYRiowebs @earthcharter @UNCSD_MGCY @EOTOWorld
what is sustainable development?
UNCSD Major Group of Children and Youth In collaboration with Earth Charter International and EOTO World
Welcome to the first webinar!
This webinar will cover the following materials: • What is sustainable development • Why does it matter for young people? • What is my role in it? • How to create your own message and talk about sustainable development. After the webinar: • You will be equipped with knowledge of what sustainable development is • Be confident enough about the topic to do your own research • Be able to talk about it with other people and spread the message!
Before we start…
One person can make a difference…
…and everyone should try
J F Kennedy
Youth are the most important actors in sustainable development. It’s about our future.
What is sustainable development?
The term “sustainable development” has become commonplace in mainstream politics. However, not everyone is aware what sustainable development truly means because there is no fixed definition and politicians have used the term in various ways.
What do YOU think sustainable development is?
The Brundtland Definition (1987)
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
A brief history of sustainable development
1962: Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” becomes the catalyst for modern environmentalism
1972: Stockholm UN Conference on Human Development, first bringing together heads of state on a massive scale to address the question of environment and development
1987: Brundtland Commission: “Our Common Future”
2000: Millennium Development Goals
1997: Kyoto Protocol
1992: Earth Summit • Rio Declaration • Agenda 21 • CSD • CBD • UNFCCC
2002: Johannesburg Conference on Sustainable Development • Johannesburg Plan of Implementation
2009: COP15 Copenhagen 2010: COP16 Cancun 2011: COP17 Durban
And now… Rio+20…
Sustainable development is more than just caring about the environment, or generating money through economic growth.
It is the intersection of three pillars: Environment, Economy, and Society.
When we think of sustainable development we must think of a system where the decisions taken ensure that every component of the system – man, trees, environment, society, wealth, is capable of flourishing without hindering the capacity of the other component to do so, whether in the present or in the future
THE PRINCIPLE IS TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING AS PART OF A WHOLE: THE ISSUES WHICH WE FACE ARE MULTIPLE, AND COMPLEX. WE NEED A HOLISTIC VISION, WHICH LOOKS AT THE WELLBEING OF MAN AND THE PLANET TOGETHER.
The approach towards sustainable development should encompass all aspects and take into consideration the fact that everything is connected: across generations and across countries (and communities etc)
How do we keep track of everything?
This may seem daunting – how do we keep track of everything? But if we all understand the principles behind sustainable development: principles such as equality, green living, social progress, responsible consumption and so on, it is easy to reach agreement about what sustainable development truly is, and what conditions are necessary to achieve it.
Can you list some principles for sustainable development?
To put it in context…
Imagine what would happen if, for example, all the forests were to be destroyed for the sake of building an industry. Imagine if there were no trees at all on earth: would life be possible? … Imagine, on the other hand, if we based an economy which tried to protect those forests, make good use of them but keep them in good condition for the next generations, as well as dividing the profits equally among everyone involved. Thus, the wealth would grow, the people would have a fair share not only of the wealth, but also the access to those resources. That’s sustainable development. Check out this video called “Tragedy of the Commons,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFkUeleHPY
A look at the three pillars of SD:
• • • • opportunities for growth increased GDP and benefits system stability and security Green jobs and eradication of unemployment • Prevention of practices which misuse resources • Regulation of over-exploitation and harmful externalities
• Participation and inclusion of everyone • eradication of poverty and exclusion • food security • equitable distribution of resources • better life chances and opportunities • protection from exploitative practices
• Protection of ecosystems and biosphere • increased quality of air, land, water • better management of waste and pollution • respect and protection for all species - flora, fauna, marine species • measures to ensure resource sustainability and harmony • Protection of marine resources
Sustainable development – the economic dimension
The economic pillar is often made to be the strongest or even the only pillar in “development”. To ensure economic development and sustainability at the same time, we need to look at issues such as: • Fair trade • Debt eradication • Putting in place mechanisms which ensure that everyone gets their due reward • That corporations, industries and governments or Industries do not use up resources and put a strain on the environment
We need mechanisms to “measure” sustainable development. This is why indicators are used. One of the current issues is that the indicator used, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not appropriate for measuring sustainable development. Firstly, it is based on money. Secondly, using GDP as measure does not reflect social inequality or resource overexploitation.
WHAT IF WE USED HAPPINESS AS AN INDICATOR INSTEAD?
Sustainable development – the social dimension
Health: everyone having access to healthcare and leading healthy lifestyles, and diseases (such as HIV) being eradicated
Education: everyone, esp. girls and people from poor background having access to education
Equality: everyone should be equal, and not be discriminated against because they do not have the same resources or wealth as others, or because they are a girl or belong to a specific community etc.
Peace: many of us may take peace for granted; however, last year, over 30 conflicts and wars around the world were taking place and lack of security is a very real issue for a lot of youth. Food security, technology and communication, equal opportunities etc
Sustainable development – the environmental dimension
The environment pillar of sustainable development is crucial; once we understand that the resources that the planet offers are finite it becomes clear that current methods of consumption are using up more resources than the planet can afford.
Examples of how human activities have altered the planet are:
Climate change and global warming Human activities and choices (esp use of fossil fuels!) have released huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, which are naturally trapped by our ozone layer – thus contributing to the “greenhouse effect” and global warming. This has in turn led to changes in weather patterns, more dramatic and destructive natural occurrences, drying up of water resources and melting of polar icecaps – themselves contributing to the rise in sea levels.
Deforestation Humans have destroyed huge amounts of trees to make place for agriculture, construction, industry, and to use as resources eg for making paper or houses. This has had a huge impact on the planet as trees are not only a huge sink of the planet’s CO2, but they also provide “ecosystem services” such as preventing erosion, harbouring countless species and so on.
Loss of biodiversity Human activities have disrupted ecosystems and also led to the disappearance – extinction – of countless species of plants and animals.
Many conflicting views of sustainable development believe that it is actually anti-growth and anti-wealth. On the contrary, SD is about balance and a holistic approach to development. This means that some things need to be preserved and sustained while others should be given the incentive to be developed. ~What more could be added to this list?~ ~What can be improved? What things need to be protected?~
What needs to be sustained
• • • • People and cultures Natural Resources Biodiversity Environment and Ecosystems
• • • • • • •
What needs to be developed.
Quality of life Justice and social equality Equal opportunity Institutions Culture of sustainability Fair income Dialogue and Communication
What is my role in sustainable development (SD)?
Sustainable development requires the active involvement of all stakeholders: governments, NGOs, private sector but also civil society. It is not just politicians, or policy makers, who decide what SD should be like. The most important stakeholder in SD is YOU! You have to remind policy-makers to make decisions which protect your future: you can remind them that you want better jobs, cleaner cities, more equitable resource distribution, and above all, a guarantee that your future is secure, full of opportunities, a pleasant world to live in and a healthy planet.
And for young people?
Sustainable development is especially important for young people! The implementation of sustainable development policies going into effect now will determine the future which we will inherit tomorrow! Because it is youth who will inherit this planet, by advocating for sustainable development, and adopting sustainable practices, you are actively participating in shaping your own future.
Making those decisions…
The challenge is to devise policies which balance economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality and which look at the long term, but as long as you stick to the core principles, this is possible! Established Indicators must be used to measure progress of sustainable development policies, so you can evaluate if more needs to be done! Thus, you need to think outside the box, and think about others, and view your contribution as part of a system, where you are helping SD policies achieve goals that are beneficial to everyone including the planet.
And now, the practical part of this webinar!
How to talk about sustainable development and Rio+20 –
develop your own message
Talking about sustainability can feel intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier. Perhaps the best part about talking about sustainability is that you do not have to be an expert to spread the word. After all, sustainability affects all of us, so relating your cause to that of others is already easier than you think!
First, know some quick facts about sustainable development and Rio+20! 1. People participate in Rio+20 through the 9 Major Groups. Our group, the UNCSD Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY) focuses on engaging youth in the Rio process. 2. Sustainability is not just about climate change, it includes how to conserve and replenish in ways that are helpful for future generations, in all that we do! 3. You can count on the MGCY as the official voice for youth at the Rio+20 conference, so keep in touch so we can work together!
4. There are seven critical issues that are going to center discussions at the conference. These are: Jobs, Oceans, Energy, Water, Food, Cities and Disasters.
(Note: we have a 7 issues explanation graphic which explains the importance of each issue. You can even use it as a handout! If you’re interested in receiving this graphic along with other materials, please leave your email addresses here)
Next, know where to direct people for more information. Everyone processes information differently, and having a clear way to access resources is always helpful. The best place to direct people with Internet access is the Rio +20 official website for Children and Youth: uncsdchildrenyouth.org. If Internet access is not available, share the country overview drafted by outreach team leaders about the issues instead.
Getting the message across: what you need to remember
· Do your homework—learn a bit more about the topic so that you feel more confident · Know WHO your audience is · Know WHERE your audience is located (find out their background) · Know WHAT your audience already knows · Make it interesting! Sustainability does not have to be formal or boring!
Are you familiar with quick facts about sustainable development and Rio+20? Do you know where to direct people for further information? You can start to develop a strategy for how to talk to people about sustainable development and Rio+20. Key elements you should think of are:
WHO is your audience? WHERE is your audience located? WHAT does your audience already know?
Where is your audience located?
• Eg it may not be necessary to talk about consuming less in a place where there is not enough for people to consume • Instead, it may be more appropriate to speak about how to deal with waste or ways which are easier on the earth • You decide the information you want to use to open up the dialogue; you know best what makes the most sense in your area of the world
Who is your audience?
• Be ready to give more, or less information, depending on who you are talking to! This is where knowing where to direct people for additional information comes in handy! • You do not have to be an expert. Just talk about what you know. • People become interested in what you believe in. So speak about SD from your own experience and perspective. This will make you more comfortable speaking about it.
What does your audience already know?
• One way to open up a conversation is to start by talking about what information you found interesting • Talking about SD does not have to be discussed formally, just speak as you would with friends, comfortably, in a language which you all understand
Questions? Thoughts? Comments?
The MGCY capacity building team: firstname.lastname@example.org UN CSD Major Group of Children and Youth: http://uncsdchildrenyouth.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNCSDYouthCaucus
EARTH CHARTER INTERNATIONAL Website: http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EarthCharter Twitter: @earthcharter EOTO WORLD Website: http://www.eotoworld.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EOTOWorld Twitter: @EOTOWorld Thank you for joining us! Now go and spread the word, youthful sustainability leaders!