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Outcome from the National Sustainable Development Strategy Public

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					……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Outcome
from the

National Sustainable Development Strategy Public Consultation Days

Planning Action for a Healthy Planet
At University College Cork

Monday 9th July 2007

Compiled by the Centre for Sustainability, Institute of Technology Sligo.

Compiled by The Centre for Sustainability Institute of Technology Sligo. Contact: Michael Ewing 071-9155414/086-8672153. Email: ewing.michael@itsligo.ie

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The Consultation day began with a number of speakers, setting the scene for the day’s main work of intense discussion in groups of 4 people at each table, responding to four questions over the course of the day. The questions and the responses are all listed below. To make for easier reading the responses are arranged into topics. In doing this the facilitator is not placing any weight on any particular response.

Pat O‟Flynn, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Jerry O‟Sullivan, P.R.O. Cork County Community and Voluntary Forum, Jacqui Hodgson, Cork Environmental Forum

The other speakers included: Fr Sean Mcdonagh, St. Columban's, Dalgan Park, Dr Peter Horan of Queens University Belfast, Noel Casserly and Thomas Legge of COMHAR

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The responses to the four questions posed on the day are listed below.
1. Looking back over the last 10 years since the publication of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, what stands out for you as memorable highlights (successes) as well as the low points (failures)? As can be seen by the comparing the lengths of the two lists, the failures vastly outnumber the successes. The biggest failure of all was the fact that very few of the generally well informed participants, many of whom are active in the environmental field, actually knew of the existence of the current strategy.

(a) Successes      Plastic bag tax (mentioned by most people) Smoking Ban (mentioned by c.1/3 of participants) Smoking ban and health At least it was there. Waste  Education households (waste management)  Waste management  Increased waste awareness  Better Recycling infrastructure Better understanding of environmental issues Put S.D. on map Change in attitude Increased awareness More citizen awareness and environmental activity. Better environmental awareness in schools. More open discussion of sustainable factors.
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 Awareness       

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 Sustainability a real concept in peoples minds.          Enshrined rights of stakeholders (verbally) Free transport for OAP and others. Bus corridors in cities. Things are improving but there are problems with the legacy of intense agricultural practices in the 1970‟s. Higher rural population-more local infrastructure. Funding put in place Formation of local bodies (public & private) Showpiece sustainability building An Bórd Pleanala

The participants, with Fr Sean McDonagh, keynote speaker in the foreground.

(b) Failures  Lack of awareness of the Strategy  Did not know content of Plan  Who has heard of it (only 25% of table)  Lack of communication re existence/content of 1997 NSDS.  Lack of public awareness – not publicised.  Didn‟t know there was a strategy
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 NSDS not known by general public  Lack of education for society. Information should come from bottom up rather than top down.  Not aware of the existence of any National Development Strategy  Failure of communications re existence/content of 1997 NSDS.  Did not know there was a strategy.  Lack of knowledge about strategy  Lack of awareness of issues  Little effect on convincing public of need for responsible attitude towards environmental degradation.  Lack of effectiveness of the plan  Plan itself – failure  All words – no action.  Addressed symptoms instead of causes.  Failure of strategy  Words, Words and no action  Lack of Government initiative.  Sustainability concept misused to promote economic activity – contradiction.  Transport  Transport – not a priority  Transport – failure – policy not implemented.  Public Transport – Disaster  Need bus information times at bus stops  Failure to encourage really economical personal transport.  No effective use of biogas in transport.  Public transport too expensive.  Lack of rail corridors.  Contradiction re. Transport Policy of NDP.  Transport at bottom of list
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 Measuring progress  No indicators to measure effectiveness or progress on issues of S.D.  Concept of S.D. misused to promote economic activity – contradictions  No indicators to measure consumption or progress.  No measurement against sustainability indicators.  Governance  Loss of democracy  Lack of consultation  People who hold ultimate power are not accessible. World Bank, WHO, IMF – growing number of borrowers.  Civic society at bottom of list  Lack of co-operation between interest groups.  Energy  Energy Policy-Disaster (repeated by several participants)  No proper access to National Grid.  No metering of energy use by individual users.  Not sufficient funding for wave power  Waste  Waste Management –failure – policy not implemented  Waste Recycling facilities  In waste policy „prevention priority‟ not successfully implemented.  Recycle goes abroad  Landfill  Some waste recycling facilities inadequate.  In „Waste Policy‟ „Prevention‟ priority of 1997 HSDS not successfully advanced.
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 Policy making  Policy Processes Inconsistencies  No joined up thinking  Sustainability not an overall policy.  No “sustainability proofing” of national policies (e.g. NDP).  Is there any provision for monitoring and evaluating progress under National Plan?  Plan for economic growth not S.D.  National Spatial Development came out after  No spatial strategy  Demolition of factories – communication. Sugar factories could have been converted.  Objectives require to be mandated to achieve positive results, e.g. our sugar factories could have been converted to produce ethanol from home produced sugar beet for l00m to displace 25% of imported gasoline.  Lack of joined up thinking at highest level (e.g. government departments).  Enforcement  Lack of enforcement from government.  Internal inconsistencies e.g. NRA, EPA.  EPA-not independent o Lack of funding o Lack of accountability  EPA needs to separate Licensing from Monitoring.  Land use planning  County Councils/Local Authorities-Developer led „Town Centres‟.  Lack of Planning  Lack of Planning – communities are not being built. Housing units built without any facilities-schools, social infrastructure. 
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 Development without appropriate infrastructure is a major problem.  Sustainability failed to reach ordinary buildings

The participants hard at work.

2. What should a National Strategy for Sustainable Development offer to stakeholders and citizens?  Understanding Sustainability  Decide what is sustainability or not  Interdependency of all elements in the environment – needs to be understood as an obligation to defend and protect it which transcends most perceptions of individual human „rights‟.  Governance  More representative of citizens views over more powerful organisations, e.g. business & developers.  Proper consultation (not lip service)
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 Strategy must be sold and agreed by majority of stakeholders (residents).  Funding for community groups  Should have direct access to those in power and reflected by those in power.  Better & More frequent interaction between bodies & stakeholders.  Empowerment  Real support for voluntary groups  Economic & Social sustainability – with the right ot participate in local & National decision making. Provision for monitoring/evaluating process & progress e.g. NDP, PFG (Programme for Government).  Participation in decision making process following consultation  Local decisions on what effects them  Community Council framework  Internet  Participation  Acknowledgement  More representative  Easy access  Social Justice  Should provide a material safety net for less successful residents in Celtic tiger economy.  Need to enshrine a plan for sustainable lifestyle for all peoples.  Include a citizen based, fair share, carbon quota system, e.g. „cap and share‟.  Should ensure each get equal rights to emit CO2.  Include poverty alleviation  Ensure citizen based CO2 share (cap & share.org)  Motivations
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 Direct economic incentives to reuse/recycle packaging, e.g. deposit on plastic/glass, bottles etc.  Should offer a better life  Provide positive alternatives  Should offer „possible solutions‟, i.e. better rail over car etc.  Benefits – well being/quality of life, future generations, realistic targets, implementation, carrot/stick, EU Fines, Lack of Enforcement.  Incentives to change our ways  Ownership of SDS – feel they are part of the strategy & its development.  Delivery/implementation of strategy=confidence.  Influence all aspects of our lives (not add on)  Positive impact in people lives.  Marketing strategy – Target everybody (not just the converted) Potential to save money by being sustainable. The Green Age. Make sustainability sexy.  Benefits to stakeholders need to be publicised widely.  Tax incentives  Behavioural attitudes.  Offer people alternatives that improved their lives.  Comm. Effectively – means emphasise the benefits (Policy doc)  Benefits  Have a strategic vision – Big Picture  Awareness of different options  Incentives (targeted)  Penalties (carrot & stick) for waste  Transgeneration  Understanding of trans generational consequences (or action or inaction) needs to be better understood or publicised.  Tran generation of action  Interdependency/obligation
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 Information provision  Clear Guidelines  Better information & transparency by Government & Local Government  Access to legislation  Accessibility to information would lead to greater take up.  Education           Central to education „Government led‟ Renewed understanding-Hijacking S.D. Accurate & real Educational element –information through schools, public bodies. Should be in simple English-Non technical summary. Effective communication Education at household level Everybody should understand sustainability Education – the timely dissemination of accurate & relevant information. Training/knowledge of sustainability should be a prerequisite for national government jobs & representatives Use National TV to propagate, publish, discuss the strategy. Information locally & globally Simple clear concise information everyday issues Tell us what works Awareness programmes Publicity drive Education opportunities

      

 Policy making  All encompassing (joined up)  Properly enforced standards  Long term, joined up thinking.  Sustainability basis of all national and local policy  Implement strategy
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 Actually implemented  Interdepartmental coordination on policy  Sustainability needs to be defined (as per RIO) in every page of every document-viz: provide for the needs of the present without compromising the interests of the future.  Integration – Informing other strategies- Planning, Energy, NDP, Water, Waste Housing. Legal implementation.  SEA – New Industry, New Developments, Policy.  Enforcement/implementation of SEA  Sustainability is basis of all national & local action policy.  Acknowledgement that proposals adopted were actively promulgated and even mandated.  Disjointed policy/design  Measuring success  Ability to measure objectives  Indicators of effectiveness  Check lists  Measure every decision „software or hardware‟ against a sustainable agenda.  Economic measures  User friendly policy-i.e. recycling is deigned for company‟s betterment.  Tax relief for ECO products & services  Greater investment in eco technologies  Levies on non sustainable goods & services  Industry  Licences-industrial  Sustainability defined-needs of present without company ownership.  Incentives (targeted)  Prevention

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 Licencing and control of industrial activities must be separated and properly resources to maintain proper ethical standards.  Building  Should ensure that all development should be ecoaudited before commitment to action.  Clear statements re impact (local & national) of new developments.  Enforcement and inspection (building)  Enforcement of laws (construction)  Actual enforcement of building regulations, especially for energy performance.

 Waste Management  Enforcement/illegal dumping  Active recycling  Re-enact bottle deposits/plastic/glass  Penalties (carrot & stick) for waste  Reuse/recycle packaging  Packaging goes back to producer  Transport –             OAPS free transport Improving public transport LUAS Integrated transport policy Reintroduction of railway lines Bicycle corridors Bus charge/bicycles Consumer/Fashion trends/Large models Mileage Rates Bus Eireann-Bio fuel – one bus only Less time spent commuting Holistic approach to public transport
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Participants engaged in constructive dialogue

3. What are the simple and key messages that need to be in the Strategy and who should they be aimed at?  Social Justice  Not equal growth  What is a fair share, look at rationing. If we have more someone has less.  Not greed  Justified livelihood  Resources and Growth  Protect 4 Principle Capitals –Biodiversity, Family & Community, Education and Resources.  Common ownership of resources.  Ownership of property caries an obligation to protect it and not despoil it.  Build a sustainable economy around our natural resources.  A shift in mind set aware from economic prosperity/consumerism
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 Growth-a deterrent to sustainable  How to change/developer/manage  Development-a certain type of growth.  W.T.O. greatest global disaster of our age  The urgency of the message  Solutions to problems around sustainability should be developed as a matter or urgency.  We demand less talk and more action from our decision makers.  The public should be informed in clear terms that we only have on earth and it is in great danger.  Population rose three fold in the last 70 years to 6.5b. This is set to rise to 9b by 2050. Currently we have acknowledged environmental degradation so simply to maintain the status quo we have to reduce our impact by 2050.  Population to rise  To maintain the impact need to reduce 1/3 by 2020.  Underlying Messages  Transformation essential  Shift mindset/away from consumerism  Its time to go beyond  Inform public of danger  Business as usual not an option  Cost of inaction  End of business as usual  The problem is serious  Development does not equal growth.  Transformation is essential & may not be easy.  The ethics of where we are at and where we are going.  Aimed at everyone  Move forward  Hopefully – not good enough  Helpful/enjoyable  Don‟t be a do-do
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 Specific Messages  If you‟re short of something use less of it  Intelligence & care we can make it last  What will it be like if we do this/don‟t do that.  Need not greed  Zero waste pays.  This is the future of us all- the time to act is now.  Climate change is real (Anthrop)  Cost of inaction is greater than cost of action.  Message- Economic benefit of sustainability. We have the responsibility to lay the foundation for future generations.  Prevention rather than cure. „Refuse reduce recycle & revitalise.  Tipping points are out there  The 6th great extinction (Bio Diversity)  How vulnerable we are to oil supplies and its implications to our food supply.  Climate change-floods, etc. sea level rise.  Economic positive/development  Think outside our immediate time  Aimed at future generations.  Sustainability is an economic positive both in savings & economic development (to all)  Leadership  Govt/leadership: Bertie‟s legacy „Walk the talk‟  Policy makers and politicians, citizens at large (the people that live here)  Civil Society – Private Sector – CSR Beyond motherhood & apple pie now.  Citizens „Break the cycle‟ time for parents to lead by example too.  All party commitment to sustainable agenda as some issues can be unpopular
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 Taking Responsibility  Message of collective responsibility.  Target-everyone (collective responsibility)  Simple and key messages to be included in Plan. Who should these messages be aimed at?  Shared responsibilities  People need to be brought to understand that we all have a responsibility. They all need to play their part.  Gov. inclusive of relevant stakeholders.  Collective responsibility key message.  Work in parallel  Agenda 21 should be signed into law forthwith  Public should be informed widely of Agenda 21 and its provisions.  Feedback  Education               Public Sector Aim day to younger audience Keep the language REAL Non technical info. Urgent Action Young people/school children informed Taking the message in to the classrooms. Taking the message to public representatives. Better education-raise awareness-School teachers, NGO, Media, Community/Church. Citizens – Education for SD, for ALL. Accessibility info Citizenship- A common Future. Young people informed clearly & concisely Set up Blog Give people non technical information; what to do & how to do it. Definition of unsustainable practices.

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 We need clear labelling: Eco Labelling. Use your purchasing power. Procurement. Environmental Education by doing, e.g. Workshops, Energy, Compost.  Creation of awareness of available technology, services in understandable language.  Incineration  Listen to people: Aimed at Government – policies such as waste (of resources). Incineration. This is a waste of energy not waste to energy.  Moratorium on commercial incineration.  Economic Tools  Micro credits scheme for both urban & rural dwellers  Reduction of interest rates (banking) on loans for sustainable developments.  Increased access to markets for products  Ring fencing of levies on unsustainable products & practices to provide funding for tax relief on eco production.  Waste  Separation of organic waste-Treatment by anerobic digestion by-product is methane.  Separation of waste streams-Provide proper recycling at one accessible location  Paper, Glass, Tin, Plastic etc. all at one location, easily accessible.  Zero waste strategy

 Accountability  Easier legal access to courts, to ensure local authorities complies with sustainability legislation.  Accountability.  Those who make the law should abide by the law.  Address „Enforceability‟ (target Govt)  Name & Shame (Switching for Sustainability) (Target parts of private sector).
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 Transport

 Viable alternatives (public transport).

 Greenhouse Gases  Old houses producing smoke  Insulate house to lessen smoke through heating  Emissions Trading-This shift/alters the problem but does not solve the problem.  Reducing Impacts  Negative impacts on an environment should be mitigated. Provide alternatives.  EIA of major industrial activities/of all activities.  Transparency in the government  Energy     Acknowledgement & Energy Vulnerability Waste of energy Emissions trading/doesn‟t solve problems Energy- identify usable policies.

 Tourists (see our Green image abroad)

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Still hard at it after four hours of intense dialogue.

4. What key elements will need to be addressed to ensure implementation and delivery of the strategy?  Accountability                Monitoring Enforcement Penalty Polluter pays Enforcement of policies Enforcement-accountability, penalties. Penalties for non compliance (with targets should be lined into production or profit of company. Require/enforce accountability Hit them where it hurts Enforce new & existing guidelines Accountability of decision makers Name & shame Enforcement of policies-penalties Investigations (Tribunals) must achieve results. Enforcement – resources must match need (e.g. smoking ban).
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 Far more robust system of law, enforcement, sanction & accountability.  Leadership Enforcement and leadership-political leadership Courageous leadership All party consensuses at government level. Courageous leadership Responsible Government – policy need to be long term, ie more than any 5 year government.  There must be a responsive and responsible leadership in governance.  Leadership – courage to speak out-support all the way down.       The Strategy        Itself It has to put into a legal framework with teeth. Need to be able to ensure progress Has to be do-able. Has to be ambitious Has to have the correct funding Top down commitment This policy needs to be seen as a priority so that what ever future state of the economy, this SDS still receives the funding and the political will it needs. Get the logistics right Time needs to thought, we prefer a five year plan. Targets need to be set and kept to. Long term consequences. Strengthen institutional mechanism Clearly defined guidelines. Openness-non technical Sufficient resources to effect implementation. Joined up government Long term policies
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        

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 Practical and implementable  Ensuring Progress  Build into the plan a review process without scrapping the plan, every 2/3 years. Evolutionary plan.  SDS sets what is to be achieved.  SDS sets result outcome.  SDP regular reviews to say how plan set xxxxx and how fast, share assumptions.  Measurement of monitoring & implementing.  Evaluate progress properly  Time frame for implementation  Set targets-kept to plan-reviews-how and how fast.  Clearly defined targets for each sector.  Reports should have timeframes, priorities, measurability.  Use an agenda or minutes format growing timeframes/actions.  Integration of SDS into Wider Government Decision-Making  Ideas implemented into policy  Joined up Government depts & thinking.  In order to ensure implementation institutional mechanisms should be set up and empowered.  There should be policy guidelines for decision making.  That the OECD/UNDP resource looks on SDS states that NSDS should provide a strategic approach to help achieve a country‟s desired long term SD path, containing clearly defined long term and immediate policy objective, and specific actions and timetable to achieve them. Should contain provisions for monitoring and evaluations, progress and periodic review.  Implement ideas into policies  All decisions must consider sustainability  Implementation & delivery

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 Joined up thinking (out of the bunkers)- more engagement/communication when making/implementing policy inter & intra departmental interdisciplinary.  Forward planning – Long term goals, short term goals.  A habit of long term thinking.  Remember it is our civilization. Take something out and put SDS in, teach long term thinking.  Moving away from local policy to national policy.  Governance

 Involvement of all stakeholders in preparing the strategy.  Implementation depends on how the target audience appreciate the objectives.  This conference of today is in accordance with Chapter 8 of Agenda 21 of RIO declaration. Ireland adopted its National Sustainable Development strategy in 2001 before the Johannesburg plan of Implementation in 2002.  Clearly defined roles for different sectors of society  Each person can make a difference. Develop concept of personal responsibility.  Governance for sustainability must be inclusive of all relevant stakeholders.  Agenda 21 signed in law  Speak up/Active listening. Information/communication.  Get everyone on side

  Social Justice

 Inclusion-addressing social inequality  Having defined a sustainable policy, public all sectors involved in its completion.  Environmental & social
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 Socioeconomics

 New & innovative social economic developments, e.g communal farming in urban areas.  Sustainable livelihood not sustainable development.  Development does not mean growth.  Sustainability is economic  Remember the Social pillar

 Beneficiaries

 End users must benefit not middlemen (future generations)  Should ensure that the target audience benefits from the objectives.

 Citizen responsibility   Over population  Resource overuse – highest   Availability of information  Do not dilute-filter/spin/fictionalise information.  Education o Education by far a better option than ignorance. Put environment into curriculum – global warming o Make it understandable o Media responsibility, accountability & awards o Encourage alternative media o Everybody needs to be educated for sustainability o Education: schools & public. o Not preaching-higher quality of life for all o Environmental & social education o Urgency of question to be driven home o Educating the wider public/introduce in school curriculum. o Happiness indicators (quality of life indicators)
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o Quality of life put first for all & effort made to develop & agree measurements of well being. o Educate strategy  Messages

 Localisation of enviro issues  Ethics of inaction (failure to engage with issues) needs to be fully understood.  Your actions will have a direct impact on your children‟s survival.  Exploit a crisis (political)  Insulation versus isolation.  Transition is going to be painful but worthwhile  The cost of inaction is greater than that of action  Our children‟s future health & well being is totally dependent on our conduct – Ethics – follow by example.  Availability of a clean & healthy planet for their use.  Future of planet depends on ethical behaviour  Need not greed  Precautionary principles-if in doubt don‟t do it  If in doubt don‟t do it-need not greed.  Tax incentives – make sustainable things cheaper. Make unsustainable things expensive.  Tax the unsustainable and use money  Incentives to implementation (money)  Tax unsustainable products & services to provide finance for sustainable products & services, e.g. transport whilst protecting economic fairness.  Incentives for people when it comes to buying products.  Incentives for public  Viable alternatives

 Financial Tools

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 Climate change-eco labelling  Unsustainable Activities  Don‟t give me packaging so I won‟t have to burn it afterwards.  Address/limit promotion & advertising of unsustainable activities.  Provide level playing field for industry to address competition issues.  Need to improve our position by 1% per annum.  Environment needs to be protected for future generations.  Barriers  Vested interest in maintaining status quo  Vested interests (addressed)  Dismantle world trade organisation & World Bank. No accountability, supporters are accountable to noone.  Vested interest in stopping Sustainable development being addressed lobby groups etc.  Review of spatial planning.  Review of planning  Stop planning madness

 Spatial planning

 Biodiversity  Legislate morality  De-list An Taisce  Energy  Energy supply-level playing field when it comes to competitive.
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 Energy accountancy – see what goals were set, see what targets were reached.  Peak oil  Climate change

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