Wangari Maathai from Kenya founded the Green Belt Movement by erie028for

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									Meeting the Challenge of
Sustainability:

Theory                Practice

Conference on                            Sue Senecah, Ph.D.
Connecting Global                        Associate Professor
                          Environmental Studies Department
Challenges &                    State University of New York
Collective Local         College of Environmental Science &
                                                     Forestry
Action                                         Syracuse, NY
October 24-25, 2007                      ssenecah@esf.edu
             My Agenda
• Reinforce: “Sustainability” Everywhere

• The Challenges of Sustainability

• Motivate to create opportunities for
       Engaged Scholarship
What Do We Know??




  Humans are degrading
ecosystems faster than
existing programs can
address them.
                   Sustainability
• protection of ecosystem structure, functioning, and key
  processes based on science
• place-based
• long term view with short-term trade-offs
• interconnectedness among systems
• integrates ecological, social, economic, culturtal, and
  institutional perspectives
• collaborative, actively involving all stakeholders
         What Do We Know??




  Our definition of sustainability
is not important

 our agreement on the common
vision is important
What Do We Know??




  The challenges
of sustainability are
Wicked Problems.
Wicked Environmental Problems

                   •Every wicked
                   problem is
                   essentially
                   unique.

                   •Every wicked
                   problem is the
                   symptom of
                   another wicked
                   problem.
  Wicked Environmental Problems
•There is no
immediate,
and no
ultimate test of
a solution to a
wicked
problem.

•Wicked
problems do
not have an
enumerable
set of potential
solutions.
Wicked Environmental Problems
                   •There is no
                   definitive
                   formulation of the
                   problem.

                   •Wicked problems
                   have no stopping
                   rule.
Primary 21st Century Theme:
     Sustainability



               Environment



     Human Needs        Security
                         “We can't solve
                         problems by using
                         the same kind of
                         thinking we used
                         when we created
                         them.”
(1879-1955)
Physicist and mathematician
Nobel Prize for Physics 1921
Dealing with Complex & Contentious
         Environmental &
     Natural Resource Issues??
 If Complex &
Contentious issues
 are not managed
 effectively,
 the costs are
 high:

•   Social
•   Financial
•   Legal
•   Environmental
•   Institutional
          What we know:
      Achieving Sustainability
is as much about managing ourselves
  as it is about managing ecosystems.


requires short-term   trade-offs for long-
  term gain.

depends on building unlikely and enduring
partnerships.
Business & Industry
Farmland protection
Coastal Resource
Management
                      Trails &
                      Protected Areas

Trails & Protected Areas
          2004 Nobel Peace Prize

          Kenya’s Wangari Maathai
           Green Belt Movement

  For "her contribution to
sustainable development,
 democracy and peace."
                  2007 Nobel Peace Prize

                  • Al Gore &

                  • United Nations
                    Climate Panel

Gore is “anexample of the
crucial role that individuals
and civil society can play in
encouraging multilateral
responses to global issues.''
                 What we know:
             Sustainability issues are
1)   Multi-disciplinary

2)   Multi-agency

3)   Multi-stakeholder

4)   Multi-objective

5)   Multi-sector

6)   Multi-jurisdiction

7)   Multi-cultural

At watershed and ecosystem scales
  Addressing Wicked Problems

• Effective planning & program
 implementation requires more than
 science and technology knowledge

• Successful program implementation
 requires more than simply informing
 and educating the public
               What we know:
The Need for Knowledge Building & Application



1. The appeal of Collaborative
   Governance is skyrocketing.

2. People don’t know how to do it.
             What we know:
             Sustainability
1. requires rethinking traditional,
   fragmented approaches to managing
   complex and interrelated challenges.

2. requires rethinking traditional,
   fragmented approaches to research.

3. requires rethinking traditional, limited
   opportunities for research.
            What Do We Know??



 Universities are filled with

students who

want to contribute.
            What Do We Know??



 Universities are filled with

researchers

with subject and process
expertise.
             What Do We Know??

  Citizens

want a sustainable future

have the fundamental conceptual
understandings of it

are motivated
            What Do We Not Sure Of??



  What role will university
researchers play to

assist people with the
knowledge, skills, and abilities
necessary to move the nation. . .
             . . .and the world??
    Opportunity & Challenge
    The Need for Knowledge


• Develop a coordinated research agenda
  responsive to the needs of agencies,
  funders, community groups, and
  analysts of such processes.
     Opportunity & Challenge
     The Need for Knowledge
• Develop a coordinated research
  agenda responsive to the needs of
  agencies, funders, community groups,
  and analysts of such processes.


• Plan for the wide dissemination of
  findings.
    Opportunity & Challenge
    The Need for Knowledge
• Develop a coordinated research agenda
  responsive to the needs of agencies,
  funders, community groups, and
  analysts of such processes.
• Plan for the wide dissemination of
  findings.
• Foster informed deliberation about the
  meaning of those findings.
In September 2002 King Carl
XVI Gustaf opened
Fulufajallet National Park.

This marked the happy
ending of a twelve-year long
process of establishing the
park, a road along which
there had been many
conflicts.

In the course of that
process, the Swedish
EPA learned many
valuable lessons about
what “local
participation” and
“popular democracy”
mean in practice.
  Attitudes                              Policies
  Opinions                               Laws
                                 Management Plans
                                    Regulations
Beliefs          “Realities” are
 Ethics
                created through
                  dynamics of
                                         Behaviors
                                           Actions
              COMMUNCATION

              Verbal
                  Experiential
                     Visual
       Community-based research

         Active Living Research

            Action Research

    Community-Campus Partnerships

Service Learning & Community Engagement

 Community-based Participatory Research

           Living Knowledge

         Application Scholarship
     Community-based research

                   University
                  Researchers

                Contribute to theory
        Use quantitative & qualitative methods

            Expand sources of expertise

             Contribute to sustainability
                                              Community
                                            members
Agency managers                             & groups
           Service Learning
   incorporates community service opportunities
                into the curriculum




Classroom Learning
                         Community Needs

         Agency Missions
 Community-based research is guided by
           three principles:
* CBR is a collaborative enterprise between
academic researchers (professors and students) and
community members.

•CBR validates multiple sources of knowledge and
promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery
and of dissemination of the knowledge produced.

* CBR has as its goal social action and social change
              =sustainability.
       Directions in Research
• Building collaborative capacity :
  Who?

       –Agencies
       –Elected officials
       –Non-government organizations
       –Industry/business
       –Community/civic groups
       –Advocacy groups
       –Citizens
      Directions in Research
• Building collaborative capacity : What?
  – Internal accountability, within the
    organization
  – External accountability, with stakeholders
  – Program evaluation, monitoring
    effectiveness of process
  – Leadership for collaborative governance
      Directions for Research
• Integrating scientific knowledge with local
  knowledge

• Using complex and incomplete science in
  decision-making
• Recognizing & building capacity in best
  practices
    Collaborative Learning and
         Systems Thinking
• On-going discussions
• Mutual learning
• Open exchange of views
• Willingness to test one’s ideas
• Constructive skepticism
• Advocacy and inquiry
• Seeking the unpredictable
• Quantitative and qualitative
• Looking for connections: loops and
  relationships
• Awareness of external and internal
  pressures
A initiative being
created in my
Environmental
Studies
Department
               Dealing with
          Complex & Contentious
Environmental & Natural Resource Issues??
                     Maybe NOT!!
  We had

NO VOICE !!!
Primary 21st Century Theme:
     Sustainability



               Environment



     Human Needs        Security
The stakes are high.
Arctic ice cap
The time is short.
Scandinavian herring fishery
Research is changing.
                  Wicked Problems
                     SOCIETY & CULTURE
  uncertainty
                 incremental              history   leap of faith
                                 budget
  gaps

   cost    science                                          Negotiation &
                                                              trade-offs
    time
                                 public policy
                    politics
Cause - effect

                   preferences             behaviors

                               attitudes
                               & beliefs
For example, stakeholders are
concered with these Communication
Concerns

•How to handle conflict
•How to handle emotion/fear/distrust
•How to talk technical to communities
•How to work among different disciplines
•How to do “discourse based” process
•Effective visual communication
•How to frame messages
•How to deal with the media
•How to create decision space
•How to create safe civic space for dialogue
Questions easily addressed about engaged
   scholarship in an academic setting
• Is it “real” research? Is it rigorous? Objective?
• Can you publish it in academic journals?
• How is it evaluated for promotion & tenure?
• Can you get funding for it?
• I have concerns about how to manage it.
• I have concerns about working in these
  partnerships.
• How can I work it into my classes?
• How can I expand my current research?
• How to work in interdisciplinary teams?
          What we know:
      Achieving Sustainability
is as much about managing ourselves
  as it is about managing ecosystems.


requires short-term   trade-offs for long-
  term gain.

depends on building unlikely and enduring
partnerships.
             What we know:
             Sustainability
1. requires rethinking traditional,
   fragmented approaches to managing
   complex and interrelated challenges.

2. requires rethinking traditional,
   fragmented approaches to research.

3. requires rethinking traditional, limited
   opportunities for research.

								
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