United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

Commission on Sustainable Development            Background Paper No. 27
Sixth Session
20 April-1 May 1998

                 CASE STUDIES - MAJOR GROUPS IN 



INTRODUCTION                           PAGES  3 - 4

WOMEN                                  PAGES  5 - 14

CHILDREN & YOUTH                       PAGES 15 - 23

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES                     PAGES 24 - 38


LOCAL AUTHORITIES                      PAGES 51 - 61

WORKERS & TRADES UNIONS                PAGES 62 - 70

BUSINESS & INDUSTRY                    PAGES 71 - 79


FARMERS                                PAGES 90 - 98


The present collection of case studies on the Role of Major Groups in

Sustainable Development Education is prepared as a background paper for

the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development which will

discuss sustainable development education among other topics. 

The case studies were collected with two starting points in mind: 

(i)  the crucial importance of education and awareness raising in

achieving sustainable development, and


(ii) the particular role of Major Groups in sustainable development in

general, and in sustainable development education in particular. 

For the purposes of this collection, sustainable development education

was defined broadly, as forms of learning for a sustainable future

whether concerned with knowledge, skills, awareness, or attitude.

Similarly, the cases studies include learning in all contexts, informal

and formal, as well as learning for all stages of life.

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio

de Janeiro, June 1992), clearly indicated that participation of economic

and social actors from outside the governmental and inter-governmental

fora is crucial in achieving the goals of Agenda 21. To promote

partnership, Agenda 21 identified nine key economic and social sectors,

under the concept of major groups to underline the importance of broad-

based participation in follow up of the Rio results. The major groups

identified in Section III of Agenda 21 are women, children and youth,

indigenous peoples, non government organisations (NGOs), local

authorities, workers and trades unions, business and industry, the

scientific and technological community, and farmers. Distinct chapters

of Agenda 21 (from 23-32) put forth the framework of roles and

responsibilities for each major group as well as the kinds of support

they would need from Governments and UN Agencies to fulfill their tasks

as partners in sustainable development.

The nine major groups are the source and the authors of the case-studies

assembled here. Although certainly not exhaustive of all the major group

efforts in sustainable development education, the collection attempts to

be broadly representative of activities from a range of geographical

areas and socio-economic conditions. Additionally, it seeks to include

examples demonstrating the extent and diversity of the educational

activities being undertaken. To achieve this, the selection of material

was performed, whenever possible, in partnership with leading

organizations from the major groups concerned.

The case studies depict the major groups as much more than passive

recipients of education. They are revealed as dynamic and imaginative

providers of programmes that are of immediate relevance for building

sustainable development. It is hoped that the significance of the

enterprise and energy captured in these case-studies will be apparent to

all who read them. They present an eloquent case for support and

encouragement of the education initiatives of major groups.

The present collection is not  a comprehensive or exhaustive volume but

gives a sense of the ownership major groups demonstrate about the goals

of Agenda 21 related to education. There are many more successes in this

area which need to be identified, absorbed from and disseminated for


The case-studies also point to an important factor regarding the support

needed by major groups for their positive initiatives.  Major groups are

committed to carrying out their responsiblies in sustainable development,

but their continued success largely depends on enabling environments.

This is an area in which further and strategic action by governments and

international organizations is needed. 

Sustainable development requires significant changes in the mind-set

whether it is about changing the way goods are produced and consumed, the

way we set our political and social priorities, or about the way we sense

the dangers to the planet■s ecosystem. In other words, sustainable

development is about learning to make different decisions than we have

made in the past. Education is the key if we are to learn to make the

right decisions today and in the future. 


The Division for Sustainable Development would like to thank all the

major group organizations who submitted materials for use in this

collection. The Division would also like to thank and recognize the

assistance of Trevor Harvey, the Northern Co-Chair of the CSD NGO

Education Caucus, with the collection of materials, consultations with

the submitting organizations and preparing the first draft.


                         Agenda 21, Chapter 24


    Awareness about Causes of Breast Cancer as a Key to Sustainable

                              Living for All


The Women's Environmental Network (WEN) is a non-profit organisation

that aims to educate, inform and empower women who care about the

environment. It is the only environmental group in the UK representing

women that addresses not only environmental issues particularly

affecting women, but also and those affecting the wider population. We

are also one of the few groups in the country to make the connection

between health and the environment. This has been so since WEN's

launch in 1988.

WEN considers environmental issues from a female perspective. Our

campaigns and projects address issues that are directly relevant to

women's everyday lives - yet have an impact on us all. Some WEN

members are men, and organisations can affiliate. In all our

campaigns, raising public awareness of the issues covered, and

uncovering and disseminating information are integral components.

Through educational activities of this type WEN gives people a choice

of actions they can take at various levels, such as in their personal

lives, shopping habits, or by their own activism.  Other current

campaigns include:

- Food Transport Campaign - (promotes locally produced food, farmers'

markets and local food projects);

- Waste Prevention Campaign (initiated the Waste Minimisation Bill which

now has Government support; this gives local authorities a new power

to address the sources of waste); and

- Test Tube Harvest Campaign adopting the precautionary principle, this

calls for a moratorium on genetically engineered crops

All of the above campaigns have a local as well as national focus and

fit well with gaining greater understanding and control over local

influences on health. WEN campaigns have generally had excellent

scientific backing.


Background to breast cancer project

WEN started soon after its launch in 1988 with a campaign to eliminate

chlorine bleaching from paper production to prevent dioxin

contamination around paper mills and in the paper products themselves.

The campaign was centred around sanitary protection and babies'

disposable nappies, and received an enormous response from women.

These products had been perceived as clean and sterile, but were

revealed to be industrial products that were causing considerable

pollution, and actually contained measurable amounts of dioxins from

the bleaching process. The campaign had a world-wide impact. It

achieved a drop in chlorine use throughout the range of paper

production. This included products in contact with food such as milk



At that time, dioxin contamination in body-fat was just coming to the

notice of the Government, and concern was raised about levels in

breast-milk. WEN brought together a group of organisations concerned

with breast-feeding and held discussions with environmental

scientists. A published report Chlorine, Pollution and the Parents of

Tomorrow (1991) resulted. This looked at the sources for dioxins in UK

body-fat, and the possible health effects that might result

(especially on the foetus). It found that the main source of chlorine

in the UK was not bleaching, but incineration - mainly of municipal

waste. Many industrial products contain chlorine in forms such as

polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Incineration resulted in the

production of airborne dioxins that entered the food chain via grass

and cows. The report concluded that damage to the foetal nervous

system was likely in a small percentage of babies in the UK. In

addition, it concluded that breast-feeding did not add to this

problem. On the contrary, it had other health advantages. This report

helped many grassroots anti-incinerator campaigns and contributed to

the work Greenpeace is now doing on PVC phase out which now has

mainstream acceptance.


WEN's study of dioxins led to awareness of other synthetic chemical

hormone disrupters such as the oestrogen mimics. WEN gave lectures and

published articles on this at the time in 1993-4 when the first modern

studies of sperm count reduction were being published, and responded

to media interest in oestrogen mimics. These are now recognised to

include pesticides such as DDT and endosulphan; other chemicals that

can disrupt oestrogen pathways in the body include lindane, widely

used in the UK. Because of our concern that these chemicals might be

contributing to the high death rate from breast cancer in the UK, we

became involved with the UK Breast Cancer Coalition. WEN organised a

National Breast Cancer Petition that was submitted to the Department

of Health in October 1995. The petition called for the government to

pour more money into research into the prevention of breast cancer as

well as into treatment and aftercare. We had an amazing response from

people all over the country and collected 80,000 signatures. People

wanted to do something to publicise the breast cancer issue and they

wanted to do more than just sign their name on a piece of paper. 


"Putting Breast Cancer on the Map" thus grew out of all the work we

had previously done on polluting chemicals. It aims to give people the

skills to investigate possible causes of high breast cancer incidence

and death rate in their areas.

Environmental pollutants seemed to have substantial links not only

with breast cancer but with a variety of other diseases and illnesses

that affect women. To campaign on each illness was beyond our scope,

both physically and financially, so a rational way of choosing a

manageable issue was needed. We chose breast cancer because it is a

serious and often fatal disease affecting one in twelve women, and

because tackling it would also help remove the causes of other health

problems. Polluted air, soil and water can contribute to a myriad of

health problems including allergies, male reproductive disorders,

fertility problems, asthma, cancer, etc. If we clean up the

environment for breast cancer then this will generate a healthier and

cleaner environment for all. Even the dietary changes that are

recommended for cancer prevention (eating lower in the food chain)

could improve the environment by reducing agricultural pollution.


Breast cancer could be an indicator that our way of living is

unsustainable. Perhaps it has been allowed to rise partly because the

opinions of women about illness and the environment have been shut out

of the mainstream of society. By beginning to reinstate them in this

project, we will bring in new ideas for action that will contribute to

a new sustainable culture.


Breast cancer rates vary from country to country, and immigrants

rapidly acquire the risks of their adopted country. This suggests that

there are factors we can change. Although known causes (heredity and

diet/hormonal factors) account for only 30 per cent of cases, other

factors are strongly suspected. These include chemicals, reproductive

history and breast-feeding, radiation and electromagnetic fields, and

factors such as alcohol, the Pill and hormone replacement therapy.


Last year we submitted a successful bid to the UK National Lottery

Charities Board, who granted us œ135,000 to undertake a two year


The debate on what to do about breast cancer is usually confined to

medical and scientific experts. They are effectively taking decisions

about prevention and cure influenced by their own unspoken

assumptions. For example they frequently treat women as passive

patients who are not expected, for example, to be able to change their

lifestyles. In fact, our experience indicates that women want to be

active in tackling causes, and often find that experts are unwilling

to discuss them. A new channel of communication is needed.


The UK has the highest death rate from breast cancer in the world. If

we change the conditions and lifestyle that cause it, a more

sustainable society will be born. 


Objectives of the Project

The objectives of "Putting Breast Cancer on the Map" are as itemised

below. The project aims to:

- act as a channel of communication for women concerned about the

environment in which they live and the adverse impact it is having on

their health and that of their family, friends and community;

- create a map of various "hot-spots" around the country which show a

specific increase in breast cancer incidence and death rates while

also mapping the local area for sources of pollution;

- raise awareness, stimulate discussion and participation and generate

a network of organisations, individuals and groups who want to prevent

breast cancer but who may be looking at different causes among the

range of likely contributors;

- increase access to information by sharing information between

groups:  sometimes everyone has a different piece of the jigsaw;

- put emphasis on true prevention of breast cancer. Screening is often

portrayed as prevention but real prevention involves looking at the

causes and finding ways to change them;

- give information about all known aspects of breast cancer prevention,

including changes in diet, more exercise for young women and girls,

breast-feeding, as well as avoidance of suspect chemicals in the home

and workplace; and

- produce evidence and awareness that will result in a rapid phase out of

chemicals and pollutants suspected of instigating or promoting illness

especially those associated with breast cancer.


The ultimate vision of the project is to bring about a drastic

reduction in the incidence and deaths from breast cancer in this


Project Activities

The objectives will be achieved by providing individuals and local

communities with information and a questionnaire to create a map of

their own locality.


The project has two full time staff (the co-ordinator and an

administrator with scientific knowledge and IT skills). There is also

a part-time local groups' co-ordinator who promotes the project to WEN

local groups, and works with them on other WEN issues.


There is a steering group of three women living with breast cancer,

who are activists on environmental issues and/or involved with

mainstream breast cancer organisations such as the UK Breast Cancer

Coalition. They became involved through the petition and through WEN's

past work.


The project has advice from research organisations, scientists and

medical statisticians who have vetted the questionnaire (and in one

case added questions), which will enable the results to be drawn upon

by university based researchers. Advice is also available from an

expert in geographical information systems (GIS), which will enable

the local maps to be made and put together into a UK map at the end of

the project.


The maps can be compiled from either a personal or community

perspective. They can be used as a campaigning tool for women who want

to make an extensive study of their own localities and any suspected

sources of pollution influencing health. All information collected

will be compiled onto a database and used to draw attention to certain

areas that display considerable circumstantial evidence of

environmental links. 


An information pack will be provided covering mapping skills,

campaigning skills and positive preventative information as well as

relevant local and national organisations. Its contents are as

detailed below:


- Background to project

- Risk factors associated with breast cancer

- Questionnaire, with explanatory notes

- Steps to help people to map their area

- Contacts - useful organisations; groups already active; websites;

useful journals and directories;  book list

- Publicity information: how to write press release and sample; poster

for local publicity

- Funding sources

- WEN's general advice sheet on healthy living with lower environmental


- Evaluation sheet

Results Expected

The culmination of this part of the project will be the production of

a report and map that will highlight any links identified between

breast cancer and environmental pollution in the UK. 


The results depend on the active groups that respond to it. This is an

open-ended project which may produce results we do not expect, and

creative ideas that surpass our expectations.


We hope that the project will build a cohesive network of groups that

support each other. We also hope that the project will stimulate other

awareness raising and campaigns. It could provide publicity, by

approaching the issue from a different angle, for the many existing

women's groups campaigning for something to be done about the high

toll from breast cancer


Lessons Learned

Over the course of our work on dioxins, we have become aware that it

is very difficult to interest illness support groups in the idea that

an environmental cause may be involved. Individuals may be receptive

to these ideas, but the group as a whole often resists them.


Likewise, research scientists and medical experts are generally

resistant not only to the suggestion that environmental pollution is

implicated, but also the idea that sufferers should discuss the causes

of their illnesses. Some are very sceptical about women's power to

change their own lifestyles.


The project started in April 1997, and time has been taken in

appointing staff and preparing the mapping system. During this time we

have modified our ideas about what is practicable in mapping.

Individual communities may also learn in a similar way and gain from

our experience, but the potential is there for them to invent new

techniques of their own that can be shared and publicised.


This project is like much of our previous work in that it involves a

fairly abstract purpose, but has a strong practical element (the

mapping) with which people can engage. This approach has generally

been successful for our organisation.



                  Contacts for Further Information

                       Helen Lynn and Ann Link 

                    Women's Environmental Network

                  87 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BE

                        Tel: (44) 171 247 3327

                        Fax (44) 171 247 4740

                       E-mail: wenuk@gn.apc.org


PROJECT MORATA - Women Support Skills Training for Sustainable

Development in Papua New Guinea



The Morata Local Community Development Foundation (MLCDF) and AIESEC -

Papua New Guinea have combined their efforts to help the people of Morata

help themselves. MLCDF, a grassroots NGO, primarily staffed by indigenous

women from Morata, is benefiting from the experience of AIESEC trainees,

within the framework of the Youth Development Exchange Program. These

trainees are developing the young people of Morata into entrepreneurs,

thereby fulfilling AIESEC■s commitment of utilising exchange to train

individuals who have a real impact on the sustainable development of the

local community.


The majority of Morata■s population is under 25, and most of them are

6th-grade dropouts with little or no future prospects. The community is

in urgent need of providing the people of Morata, and most critically the

youths, with income-generating activities. However, to accomplish this

they need skills training that is unavailable to them.


Project Activities

The project provides women and youth from Morata with the skills and

attitudes they need in order to start their own small entrepreneurial

venture. It then assists them in the development of their business,

especially in terms of business design according to environmentally

sustainable practice, financing and monitoring principles. Close

monitoring of and assistance to these ventures once they have been

created represents an important stage of the project. The people

participating in the project will be developing into community leaders,

as their ventures will contribute to the common good, creating jobs,

satisfying needs and raising living standards.


The project activities also aim to raise the cultural and social

awareness of AEISEC■s Youth Development Exchange Program (YDEP) trainees.

Through exchange programmes of the type described in this case, the

trainees are exposed to very different social and cultural realities.

These empower them to bring about positive change, both in the community

they visit and in their own communities after they return home. 


The Morata Local Community Development Foundation planned Project Morata

for a duration of three years (1997-1999) in co-operation with AIESEC.

The time frame adopted is sufficient to see significant improvement in

areas. The evaluation of these improvements will be carried out on an

ongoing basis. 




Sustainable development issues specifically addressed by the project are

as follows:


- poverty eradication in indigenous communities

- capacity building for women, youth and local leaders, by providing

education and training in support of sustainable development

- partnership with local business

Further very important objectives of the project relate to the

empowerment of the community through the Morata Local Community

Development Foundation. This means that the project (and through it the

Foundation) must become sustainable by late 1999, in at least two ways:


- Financial sustainability: all costs unrelated to the YDEP trainees (but

including one full-time salary for a national person) must be met by the

project's generated revenues (training fees and interests on the credit


- Human sustainability: the community must be able to manage all the

aspects of the project that they feel must continue after 1999. A

trained, full-time national person should be able to take over the

overall management.

Another important aspect of this project is the link that AIESEC

establishes between existing companies and the small businesses of

Morata, through a godparent system. Through this, Project Morata develops

a sense of social awareness and responsibility among Papua New Guinea's

business community who support the start-up businesses in Morata. 



The project started in February 1997 with the first AIESEC trainee

arriving in Papua New Guinea. Two more followed in July and August. A

pilot -Start Your Business■ (SYB) workshop was successfully organised

from 28 July to 12 August 1997, with nineteen participants. Another is

planned for early February 1998. As a result, eleven small businesses are

currently being set up, after which they will be monitored for a period

of at least one year. Assistance is being provided to the entrepreneurs

in terms of access to credit, for which a small scale credit scheme is

being implemented. Another very important aspect is that these small

businesses must answer a need in the Morata community, which will be

their primary market. In parallel with the SYB workshops, AIESEC is

running Micro Enterprise Development Workshops, specifically targeted

towards the women of Morata. These workshops have been mostly focused on

the development of vocational skills such as food processing, handicrafts

or gardening, and have been resulted in the creation of micro

enterprises, that require very little capital. 


In order to determine those needs, a survey of the areas was carried out

by members of the MLCDF and AIESEC-PNG. The results of this survey were

used to carry out a preliminary feasibility study for each of the

businesses proposed during the pilot workshop. Before starting each of

the formal training phases, a series of informal sessions are run in the

community in order to work on the people■s mind-sets and attitudes,

especially emphasising vision-building, initiative, proactivity and the

integration of sustainable solutions on a community level. 


Lessons learned

Implementing the project has taught us a lot:


- The concept of micro enterprise development fits the need of community

women, who often lack even basic education. It was a better approach than

the standard SYB scheme.

- The involvement of women in this project has helped to instil a sense

of responsibility and solidarity among the youth, and from there

strengthen the community links in Morata as a whole. 



- International Association of Students in Economic and Business(AIESEC)

- Small Business Development Corporation (SBCD)

- University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) 



                    Contact for Further Information

                 Mr. Frank Kepson, Project Co-ordinator 

              P.O. Box 326 - University of Papua New Guinea

                    Waigani, NCD, - Papua New Guinea

                           Tel: +675 326 2357

                           Fax: +675 3267187

                      E-mail: morataf@hotmail.com


                           CHILDREN and YOUTH

                          Agenda 21, Chapter 25





The "Rescue Mission Network" is a loose affiliation of schools, eco-

groups and individuals who have worked on one of the Peace Child books

over the last five years. The network is continuously expanding as a

result of the success of the "Rescue Mission Planet Earth" book - a

children's edition of Agenda 21 that to date has sold 320,000 copies in

18 languages, generating new inquiries daily. Currently, many Rescue

Mission groups are engaged in the creation of a children's book of human

rights which attempts to link the disciplines of sustainable development

and the field of human rights. Most of our groups are composed of

activists with a keen interest in getting the job done. As such they are

generally not much impressed by UN conferences except insofar as they

free up new resources, point in new directions, and spur governments to

support them.


Rescue Mission has always followed closely the work of CSD, hoping to

persuade governments to do more to re-orient education towards teaching

sustainability studies as they promised in Agenda 21. In preparing for

the Youth Intersessional (for CSD in 1996), we decided to monitor whether

governments were fulfilling their promises effectively especially in the

area of enabling young people to participate in decision-making. The CSD

was then deep in discussion about Indicators for Sustainable Development

for the whole of Agenda 21. The CSD Secretariat invited Rescue Mission

to do for indicators what it had done for Agenda 21:  that is, simplify

them, make them accessible to young people, and enable young people to

use them to participate in sustainable development processes. Although

the task was daunting, the young people of the Rescue Mission network

readily accepted the challenge. Thus, the Youth Sustainability indicators

project was born, directly inspired by the CSD.


The "Rescue Mission Youth Sustainability Indicators Project" has since

become a massive response from Children and Youth, one of the Agenda 21

Major Groups who have an immediate stake in the field of education for

sustainable development.




The objectives of the project were to:


- help young people, especially those in the developing world, understand

the meaning of sustainable development in the context of their local


- create a hands-on learning programme that leads directly to action for

community improvement,

- create new indicators that would enhance and bring new information to

the work of the CSD on Indicators,

- provide a fun activity for young people that would put them more in

touch with what is happening in their home community,

- get the indicators programme embedded in school systems so that every

student in school would, at some stage, get out and measure her/his

community's progress towards sustainability, comparing results with

previous year's findings.

By creating the indicators through a partnership between young people

from different parts of the world and top environment and development

experts, it was intended that the project would promote the concept of

partnership between youth and adults in decision-making.



Project Activity

- July/August 1995: Created First Draft Indicators Pack - questionnaires

arranged eco-regionally on environmental, economic, social and

attitudinal factors (stage I).

- February 1996: Prepared First Report, Mission Made Possible; and Second

Draft Indicators Pack in English, French and Spanish:- 16 questionnaires

arranged by topic to cover all issues related to sustainable development

covered in Agenda 21 (stage II).

- April 1996: Presented new Indicators Pack and reported to CSD 4 at the

Youth Intersessional Meeting.

- May-October 1996: Conducted training meetings throughout Africa, Asia

and Latin America on the use of the Indicators Pack.

- February 1997: Reviewed results from over 1,000 groups in 48 countries

and created Second Report, FutureWatch; prepared French & Spanish


- April 1997: Presented report and Indicators Stage III proposal at CSD5.

- June 1997: Continued to lobby for government support for indicators

programme, and the new components of Indicators Stage III - wider

outreach to countries that had not yet participated in the programme;

setting up of self-sustaining Sustainable Development Training Centres;

New Country-specific Indicator Packs for Secondary School students and

youth eco-groups; Junior Indicators Packs for Primary Schools; Action

Funds to support small action projects that groups wish to undertake

based on evidence discovered during indicator investigations.


Results Achieved

The impact of YSI has been enormous. An estimated 45,000 people took part

in the "Indicators for Action" project, learning about and monitoring the

sustainability of their communities. In 17 countries they organised

national evaluation meetings to share the results of their findings and

to discuss further plans. Results from a few countries include: 


- Pakistan - the go-ahead has been given for a project called the

Pakistani Girl Child Project which will be setting up an Agenda 21 for

Pakistani girls. Nation-wide girl councils are being set up to empower

marginalised young girls and provide a platform for their opinions.

- Peru - the Rescue Mission group in this country has been working with

their national government to develop an environmental curriculum that

involves a monitoring function for young people. This will be officially

recognised by the local government,

- Benin - The local Rescue Mission Group, Mission Terre Benin, has

established a waste collection system as a result of doing the Indicators

programme. The group is recycling biodegradable waste to use as compost

for the village vegetables. The money generated from the vegetable sales

is paying for the cost of collecting the rubbish,

- Senegal - Rescue Mission group on this country published a report on

the sustainability of Senegal with the assistance of the Dutch Embassy,

which involved a nation-wide consultative process,

- Zanzibar, Tanzania - Rescue Mission has been working with local

village-women to implement a solar-box cooker project which was in

response to findings that the need for fire-wood has devastated forest

reserves on the island. The project was developed as a partnership

between the local women and this group of young Tanzanians who were

building the solar-box cookers.

These projects and many others have been carried out by dedicated young

people from around the world. The effects of their work in assisting

schools with education for sustainability is immeasurable and we hope

that generations of young people will grow up educated in the skills that

they need to build sustainable futures in their countries. 


Feedback from thousands of students showed that the Youth Indicator Pack

helped them learn for the first time about Agenda 21 and sustainable

development as well as about concepts such as "Factor Four".



Lessons Learned 

We learned three interesting things from the first two stages.


First, Secondary School Students do not have much time for extra-

curricular activities. Their minds are focused on their examination and

classes. At a Youth meeting held to discuss this two courses of action

were recommended, both of which we have taken up. These were to:

- prepare a Junior Indicator Pack for primary school students. They have

more time and are equally adept at getting out and finding out what is

happening in their local communities. This we have done, and have had the

joyous experience of working in partnership with some very talented 9-11

year olds, who have ideas every bit as practical about the disciplines

of sustainability as older young people with whom we have typically


- prepare an Examination Course in Sustainability Studies. Ten pilot

schools are being selected and the examination course will be created in

partnership between the teachers, students and examiners. New Text Books

are being created, and hands-on action projects based on the Indicators

Programme included as course-work which earn examination credits. 

Both these initiatives are being prepared for the UK initially but may

be quickly adapted to other country situations. Another part of the

feedback, this time from the teachers, was that they would find it useful

to know how their local indicators related to national trends. Our new

indicator packs and exam courses are linked directly to national

information and conditions.


The second lesson that we learned was that getting young people to create

their own indicators and take action based on their findings is hard.

Like pulling teeth!! The representatives of participating groups

discussed this at length at last year's planning meeting: they were all

extremely frustrated as they are all from activist backgrounds and they

had a problem with the indicators as young people and teachers felt that

just by doing them, they were contributing to sustainable development -

which of course, they were not! They might have learned the meaning of

sustainable development - but until they took action, they had not made

any contribution. Thus the idea of Action Funds was set up - small sums

of money($50-$500) for which groups could compete to do projects. The New

Indicator Packs were designed to build action integrally into the

programmes - and they have done, but, of course, the funds need to be

there to ensure it works. 

The third lesson, however, was the most depressing; currently, we cannot

distribute these Indicator Packs, as we have no funding for the project.

We have learned from the past three years the enormous difficulty in

attempting to undertake a major international education programme without

commitments to "sustainable funding".


Many young people continue pressing for sustainable development education

and support from governments and international organisations for their

efforts in this direction. As Sheku Syl Kamara, co-ordinator of Rescue

Mission Sierra Leone said when he spoke to the Special Session of the

General Assembly on Agenda 21 in June 1997: 


     "Young people need to learn the principles of sustainable

     development and we are anxious that Education for this noble concept

     does not remain a "forgotten priority" for the next five years. In

     the absence of a formal curriculum, we have found in Sierra Leone

     that doing the Rescue Mission indicators of sustainable development

     in our communities, we learn very well the meaning of the concept.

     But I come here today to issue an ultimatum to governments:

     particularly in Africa, you have to do more to educate us in this

     concept. You are failing us. If we are going to learn how to sustain

     life on this planet, you have to work education on this concept into

     school curricula."


We continue responding to the challenge of sustainable development and

looking for new and innovative ways of delivering sustainable development

education to young people in the developing world. Through the World

Bank's InfoDev programme and the EU, we are hoping to receive funding to

set up Sustainable Development Training Centres - Internet Cafes which

provide sustainable development training to schools via the internet and

hands on activities, while at the same time earning their keep by

providing business services for profit to business and individuals. We

are also seeking to mainstream education for sustainable development by

making an attractive course for students to study alongside other

mainstream subjects. Without such mainstreaming, we fear the impetus for

education in this area will be lost.



                   Contact for Further Information

                          David Woollcombe,

                 Director, Rescue Mission Planet Earth 

                 Peace Child International Headquarters

              The White House, Buntingford, Hertfordshire,

                           England SG9 9AH

                         Tel:+44 176 327 4459

                         Fax:+44 176 327 4460



Development Mission in TierradentRo Columbia: Youth Learn Leadership and

Entrepreneurial Skills for Sustainable Development



The word Tierradentro signifies an obscure land, apart from civilisation,

where indigenous people buried their dead, making the land sacred, full

of rituals and myths that shape the region■s identity. The Tierradentro

region is located in the south-western, mountainous part of Colombia,

about 15 hours from the country■s capital Bogota'. The region■s

population, mainly indigenous, lives off small scale (average 3 acres)

farming, growing coffee, corn and Colombian banana. An earth quake in the

1980s, coupled with guerrilla activity that continued until recently,

caused a virtual cessation of further development in the region. Despite

this hardship, Tierradentro was declared Cultural and Historic Patrimony

in 1996 by UNESCO. This recognised its archaeological richness and also

its cultural diversity (the region■s population consists of a mixture of

black, white and indigenous people).


The project "Misio'n de Desarrollo en Tierradentro" is the result of an

initiative held by the indigenous student group "Protierradentro" and

"the International Association of Students in Economics and Management"

(AIESEC). The project contributes to the development of the Tierradentro

region, through the international action and co-operation of youth. The

focus of the project is community- and youth-based. After conducting a

joint investigation into the community needs, Protierradentro and AIESEC

decided to focus their work on: 


- development of leadership and entrepreneurial skills among local youth;

- awareness building for sustainable use of natural resources; and, 

- improvement of participation in local political institutions. 



- Developing training workshops on sustainable agriculture for local farmers

through partnerships

between the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros (National Federation of Coffee

Farmers) and the

AIESEC trainees 

- Developing entrepreneurship and leadership towards poverty

eradication in indigenous communities

- Educating local leaders, youth and women on sustainable


- Development of youth through international exchange

Project Activities

The project■s core is the work of an interdisciplinary group of

international students who live and work in the Tierradentro

region. The students are selected from AIESEC■s world-wide

exchange network. Upon their arrival in Bogota', AIESEC Andes

provided an intensive preparation and introduction module for

the international trainees. During the nine month duration of

the project, three teams of students worked for three months



In co-operation with the local school board and the region■s

government institutions, AIESEC trainees helped local youth to

develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. These included

how to set up micro-enterprises, and how to become aware of the

potential for sustainable use of the natural environment. The

development of "leadership and entrepreneurial skills" stands

at the very top of the project■s priorities. Entrepreneurship

is more than creation of enterprises, it empowers the community

to address local development issues for itself. The trainees

developed a complete cycle of leadership workshops with the

following groups: students, community leaders, and community

organisations. Main topics were the development of personal

potential, the motivation of others in teams, the strategies

for an independent assessment of community needs and education

about the ways and means of political participation such as

bringing community issues and claims to local and regional

government. Participants were taught how to effectively design

community based projects and how to access international and

national funding for those initiatives. 


Results Achieved 

The project provided an enormous learning and personal

development experience for everybody involved, including young

people, the greater community of Tierradentro, the project■s

organisers from Protierradentro and AIESEC-Andes, and AIESEC■s

international students from countries such as Italy, Germany

and Switzerland.


"Young people" of Tierradentro learned not only how to set up

small businesses and community projects but, as importantly, to

value their own initiative and creativity. The project helped

half a dozen micro-enterprises whose progress is being

monitored by AIESEC students.


The "local community" learned how to link their projects into

national, regional, and international efforts of government and

aid agencies, as well as basic skills such as application for

funding and technical support.


Community leaders learned effective techniques to integrate

their work in local government and to press for their

community■s needs through the local political system. 


"AIESEC trainees" gained experiences they can put to work in

their home countries - bringing southern community knowledge to

their northern social environments.



Lessons Learned

The project provided important experiences about the tremendous

power that can be generated when people of different

backgrounds (youth and indigenous people) co-operate with local

government and international agencies. Among the partners of

the latter type were the Universidad de los Andes, the National

Coffee Farmers Association, the Mayor■s office of Inza, and the

farmers■ co-operative NAZAQUIWI.


Project Tierradentro clearly showed that youth initiatives can

have lasting impact on community development of communities and

on the development of the youth who participate in the process.

The importance of a continuing and built-in evaluation process

was recognised. On-going feedback from participating community

leaders, NGOs and trainees helped to resolve problems and

bottlenecks quickly.


The partner indigenous youth association, Protierradentro, has

been working on issues of community education before this

project, but it found that co-operation with AIESEC and its

global network and contacts made a significant difference.


All in all, the project showed the importance to develop

individuals as such and their communities in general. Personal

leadership development and business creation went hand in hand

with the development of local government involvement and the

formulation of civil-society needs and pressures.



                For Further Information Contact


                      Mr. Eliecer Morales

                        Guanacas - Inza

                      Tierradentro, Cauca

                    Colombia South America

                      Tel: +57-28-252546

            AIESEC Andes - Mr. Carlos Sanchez Casas

           Cra 1E No 18A-10, Universidad de los Andes

          Santafe de Bogota', Colombia, South America

       Tel: +57-1-286 9211 Ext. 2228, Tel: +57-1-256 8015

                       Fax: +57-1-284 1890

                 E-Mail: aiesec@uniandes.edu.co

                E-Mail: car-sanc@uniandes.edu.co

          URL: wwwprof.uniandes.edu.co/~aiesec/home.html



                        INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

                       Agenda 21, Chapter 26


in Mae Wang, Thailand




The "Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand

Association" (IMPECT) was founded with the intention of supporting,

promoting and revitalising the traditional belief systems, agricultural

systems and cultures of the hilltribes in Northern Thailand. At the heart

of this aim is the need to educate the youth, the future of the tribe,

in traditional knowledge. Therefore it was decided that IMPECT would

become involved in the development and implementation of local curricula,

to be taught alongside the Thai curricula already being taught in all

village schools. Obviously these curricula are incredibly complex and

completely different for each of the tribes concerned. They involve not

only the language and beliefs of each tribe but the site-specific

agricultural systems that have evolved within each community. 


Throughout Northern Thailand there is a serious threat to the

"sustainability" of the hilltribes■ distinct cultures. This threat is

posed by the influx of consumerism, lack of land security, large

migrations to the cities, and to the formal schooling being used at

present in these communities. This schooling has some very basic problems

that must be addressed if the children are to get the education they

need. Three main problems can be seen with formal schooling, (i) the

teachers are not hilltribe persons and lack basic understanding of the

traditions and way of life of the communities, (ii) the communities

themselves have no input into the education given them, and (iii) the

curriculum is biased towards industrialisation and has no provision for

the retention of traditional knowledge.


These problems with the existing curriculum have led to community

children becoming alienated from the local wisdom and values. In some

communities there are large gulfs between parents and their children in

terms of what is held as valuable and what is considered unworthy. Such

gulfs feed the "unsustainability" of the communities. Therefore it is

necessary to link the school into the life of the community, to make it

a valuable and relevant part of the community■s life. One way to ensure

this was to institute a curriculum designed by members of the community

that can address the real and distinct problems facing hilltribe youth

as they try to become part of the Thai society while retaining the values

and wisdom of their culture.


In 1996 the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development at its

Fourth Session, focusing on education in support of sustainable

development, called for education programmes for indigenous peoples that

valued traditional knowledge. The present project contributes to the

implementation of that policy.




The development and implementation of a locally based curriculum had

seven main objectives, namely;


- To provide the children with the educational opportunities as a basic


- To make the children and youth proud of their culture and enable them

to master local wisdom and help them adjust to the multi-cultural society

of modern Thailand.

- To create a situation in which the children can be happy, have hope and

are proud of  their locality.

- To prepare the children for their future careers and help them make

effective career decisions as they face the many choices now available.

- To prepare children and youth for taking leading roles in the

perpetuation of their cultural heritage and at the same time function

effectively as a member of the society 

- To create a partnership between school and the community, making the

school system a relevant and valuable part of the community.

- To develop locally created curricula that best suits the local needs

of the community and to start pushing for educational policy concerning

these local curricula to be culturally relevant.

For each of the hilltribes of Northern Thailand, and especially for the

Pgakenyaw living in the villages where this project was implemented, the

relationship between the traditional lifestyle and the conservation of

their natural surrounding is integral. By supporting the retention of

these agricultural systems in the locally developed curriculum,

sustainable management of natural resources of the villages can be

ensured. It is hoped that the curriculum will ensure that these farming

practices are able to continue, by being supported by knowledge about the

importance of maintaining the environment. Towards this end additional

activities were held to educate the youth in environmental issues.



Project Activities

In the area of Mae Wang the idea of a local curriculum was new; therefore

the initial emphasis for the project was on educating and strengthening

the community organisations in the area. Once the support for the

curriculum was in place there were two distinct stages to be carried out.

Firstly the curriculum itself had to be developed, involving the

development of the learning media itself and the training of the teachers

who were to use it. The second stage was the actual implementation of the

new curriculum. In this state, it was found necessary that the curriculum

be used with not only the children still in school but also with young

people who had left the school system. 


Details of Specific Activities towards the development and testing of the



- A series of meetings (six in total) were held with peoples'

organisations in the five villages of the project

- Data collection throughout the area and translation from the local

dialect into Thai and production of the teaching materials.

- A seminar with 100 youths from the five villages was held on

environmental education and study visits were organised for 25 of these


- Consultative meetings were held with 24 officials from governmental

institutions, NGOs, members of the academia and community leaders.

- The developed local curriculum was tested in five schools, for a total

of 12 periods.

Results Achieved

The process of implementing the curriculum is just beginning with the

project advancing to its completion in May 2000. The results expected at

the completion of the project will be far reaching with the knowledge

gained by the children standing them in good stead for the difficult

decisions that lie ahead.


To analyse the results at this early stage, then, is perhaps a little

presumptive. Nonetheless, it can be said that there is an increased

feeling of the value of traditional knowledge among the children and

youth in the target villages. Additionally, strengthening peoples'

organisations in the Mae Wang district has resulted in a revitalisation

of the traditional respect systems, such as the respect traditionally

accorded to the elders of the villages as the chief educators of the



Lessons Learned

The process of formulating a local curriculum is long and difficult. Its

success in Mae Wang district must be taken as an encouraging sign.

However the very nature of "a local curriculum" means that there are no

rules for easy transfer to other communities, peoples or areas, as each

place different values on aspects of their cultures. Perhaps the most

valuable lesson learned was the importance of information collected on

which to base the curriculum. The community needs to see that the

curriculum is truly reflecting their culture and their needs for it to

foster a closer link between the schools and the communities.


It is also necessary to spend some time to strengthen organisations

already working in the areas, such as local peoples■ organisations and

traditional leadership systems. It was clearly seen in the Mae Wang area

that the local curriculum would succeed only if it had the support of the

community. This is a lesson that is transferable to other communities.




                   For Further Information Contact



                  Inter-Mountain People Education and

               Culture in Thailand Assosication (IMPECT)

               252 Moo 2, Amphur Sansai, Tambol Sansainoi

                      Chiang Mai 50210 THAILAND

                         Tel.  66 53 398591

                         Fax.  66 53 398592


WE CAN DO IT! A Hope For Sustainable Development of Forest Resources in The

Solomon Islands




The indigenous peoples of the Solomon Islands are forest dwellers and

depend heavily on their forests for survival. The forest provides them

with food, shelter, medicine and clothing. Unlike most other countries

where most of the land and forests are owned by the state, ownership by

people is more than 80 per cent. 


Logging operations started in the 1960s, and by the 1980s it had become

a major concern for both the government and the indigenous peoples of the

Solomon Islands. Since then, despite many awareness campaigns on

sustainable development, both the number of logging companies, and the

unsustainable rate of harvesting of timber resources have been

increasing. The local communities (resource owners) are determined that

they can carry out sustainable logging and milling once proper training

and financial assistance are made available. 


"Soltrust" is one of the major local indigenous non-government

organisations in the Solomon Islands dedicated to promote sustainable

forest management. Established in 1986, it has more than ten years of

experience in outreach, extension, training and awareness programmes in



In 1990, Soltrust established an Integrated Eco-Forestry Programme (IEFP)

to complement its awareness campaigns. Lack of investment capital to buy

the equipment necessary to start sustainable milling projects was

identified as a serious obstacle.


In 1992, the Eco-Forestry programme was launched to give communities

training on forest management, resulting in 17 projects being assisted.

In 1995, a small revolving fund was established to assist resource

owners. This has funded 9 community-based Eco-Forestry Model Projects



This case is about Soltrust■s more recent effort involving the Rarade

Community of the Isabel Province. Although this island province has been

out of reach by loggers until recently, it is now threatened as logging

companies look for new forest resources. Its growing concern led the

Rarade Community to request Soltrust■s assistance. A partnership has been

created as a model for future eco-forestry activities, not only in Isabel

and in the Solomon Islands at large, but also for neighbouring countries

facing similar situations.


As part of its design, the partnership will also test the applicability

of the timber certification programme, initiated by the Forest

Stewardship Council in the Solomon Islands. The Smartwood Program of the

Rainforest Alliance an international NGO based in the USA, conducted a

preliminary certification assessment on this operation in December 1997.

Timber certification is envisaged by 1998.



- To conduct a training programme for Rarade Community Timber Milling


- To train members of the Rarade community on how to manage their forests


- To produce 40 cubic metres of timber, initially, to cover costs of

machines and training

- To make the people understand what and why certification is important.

- To train the people in how to produce quality timber in an

environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

- To have something concrete to prove to the people that there is a

substitute and better alternative to large scale logging.

Project Activity

The planned training and activities were conducted. Their progress was

covered in Soltrust■s newsletter, "Sol-Tree Nius", as well as being

broadcast on the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Co-operation (SIBC) through

the awareness and education programme "Can We Do It?" every Sunday at

8.30 - 9.00pm.


Five Officers engaged in this operation were sub-divided into three

groups, according to the three areas to be covered in the training (two

persons for forest management training, two persons for timber

milling/production and one person for chainsaw/equipment maintenance and

servicing training). These five officers had to spend the period of three

months (September - December 1997), training in all aspects of starting

and continuing their milling operations.


At the end of the three months, the community will be able to master the

skills needed for managing the project themselves. Also, this period of

time will give enough time to produce  enough timber to meet the cost of

machines and part of the training costs. Training sessions were held on:


- Forest Management - land demarcation, forest inventory and selecting

the trees to be felled.

- Land Demarcation - setting up blocks using forester■s compass and

linear tape measures.

- Forest Inventory - taking stock of the demarcated blocks to find out

the approximate volume of timbers that can be extracted from the area.

- Tree Selection for Felling - assessing trees for felling with emphasis

on standing volume, natural tree lean, topography and volume per hectare


- Timber Milling (Production) - how to fell a tree in a way that will

cause less damage to the surrounding vegetation and how to obtain maximum

and quality products out of trees. A production target of 40 cubic metres

was targeted which was an order for Holland. Recording of timbers

produced for timber certification purposes (chain of custody, etc) is

also part of this training.

- Chainsaw/Equipment - maintenance and servicing.

Results Achieved

- 28 m3 of timber was produced within the time specified. Of this 18 m3 was of

export quality and sold to Germany.

The remainder was sold locally.

- Rarade community is now able to obtain milling equipment for their

future operations.

- Six resource owners from Rarade Community were able to master skills

and techniques for sustainable milling operations, thus increasing their

commitment to harvest their own timber resources. The six trainees are

also able to identify among themselves which roles each of them will play

in their operations.

- Greater understanding by the people regarding sustainable development,

as they are able to physically see a sustainable milling operation.

- Resource owners able to see what quality control and eco-timber means,

(good and high quality timbers harvested in an environmentally friendly

manner, meaning better and competitive prices).

Rarade community is able to understand better what forest certification

is and why it is important.

Lessons Learned

As a result of this case study, a lot has been learned as important areas

to be considered for sustainable small scale milling projects. These

areas were identified during general discussions with members of the

Rarade Community in the course of training.


- "Training" is key in this type of operation. Such developments are new

to the people, and their operations as well as the success of their

projects depend on the training given. Follow-up training also has to be

organised and arranged according to need.

- "Monitoring and Evaluation" of the project on a regular basis is essential

to ensure that operations are in line with sustainable standards and also

to identify training needs.

- "Transportation" will become an issue as the project expands inland, because

a.bulldozer would be needed to construct road access (though not to use

in the management area). Such an operation would require planning and

training to minimise damage. Financial and technical expertise would also

be needed.

- "Financial & technical" assistance is an area of need by forest resource

owners of the Solomon Islands. The resource owners have the natural

resources but are unable to harvest them due to the lack of investment

capital to purchase the required equipment for their operations.

The resource owners are more than willing to harvest their own timber

resources in a sustainable manner. Thus it is not a question of their

willingness or commitment but lack of understanding among the donors

about the situation facing the indigenous people.


Soltrust believes that the approach it has developed is the only

effective means, if the forest resources of the Solomon Islands are to

be sustained for future generations. This will enable indigenous peoples

to take control over their own forest resources. With this kind of

approach, we can effectively work as partners with the people to achieve

sustainable management of their forest resources. Thus, training and

education will be incomplete without such support and assistance. The

export of the eco-timber provides the indigenous resource owners and the

country with better economic returns compared to income earned from



Finally, Soltrust concludes that experience including that of the Rarade

Community has shown that awareness programmes can only be effectively

carried out if attached to the financial and technical sources required

for actual establishment of indigenous peoples■ projects.




                         Contacts for Further Information

                              Solomon Islands Contact

                               Soltrust, P.O.Box 748


                                  Solomon Islands

                               Phone: +677 30947/48

                                 Fax: +677 30468

                     E-mail: soltrust@welkam.solomon.com.sb

                                 London Contact

                                  Ian Aujare

                  International Alliance of Indigenous Peoples 

                            of the Tropical Forests

                            Phone: +44 171 587 3737

                            Fax:   +44 171 793 8686

                           E-mail: morbeb@gn.apc.org


A UNIVERSITY OF THE ARCTIC - Indigenous Peoples Participate in the

Creation of a Higher Education Institution in Support of Sustainable





The "Circumpolar Universities Association" (CUA) aims at encouraging co-

operation and promoting higher education and research in the northern

circumpolar region of the world. CUA was established in the late 1980s,

when the universities and colleges in the circumpolar north started

recognising that, in addition to their own scholarly work, co-operation

with other northern institutions would considerably enhance their

northern knowledge and ability to serve their regions. CUA, with a

current membership of well over 50 institutions from all over the

Circumpolar world, focuses its activities around the biannual

multidisciplinary Circumpolar Co-operation Conferences. The conferences

provide significant opportunities for higher education institutions and

researchers to seek information on and partners for institutional

development and co-operation. Between conferences, the Association,

through a Secretariat at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland,

acts as a communication link for both member and non-member universities,

research institutes and individuals seeking contacts with each other on

issues relating to circumpolar education, research and institutional



The initial proposal for the establishment of a University of the Arctic

came as one branch of the "Rovaniemi process".The concept of a University

of the Arctic so clearly matches the aims and objectives of the

Circumpolar Universities Association, that its General Meeting decided

to be actively involved with the development process of the concept.

Further, it determined that its membership should be committed to

conducting a feasibility study on the initiative. As a result of this,

CUA, representing the academic community in the circumpolar north, was

formally approached by the Government of Canada to conduct a Feasibility

Study. This would be undertaken in conjunction with the Permanent

Participant Indigenous Peoples Organisations of the Arctic Council during



The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 1992, held

in Rio de Janeiro (Rio) provided a renewed impetus for the proposals.

Agenda 21, one of Rio■s major outcomes, devotes a chapter to the concern

for strengthening the role of indigenous peoples and their communities.

This identifies the need for the provision of capacity building,

education and research to enable indigenous peoples to contribute fully

to sustainable development practices. It was clearly seen that the

project was not only fully in accord with these, but was actively seeking

to implement them. Accordingly, we were encouraged to redouble our

efforts to bring our proposals to fruition. We felt that the immediacy

of the Arctic environment when combined with its strong influence on the

livelihoods of Arctic indigenous peoples and the character of their

political efforts made the need for sustainable development even more

obvious than it might otherwise be. As a result, it was acclaimed as the

guiding vision for the University of the Arctic.




The long-term objective is to create a University of the Arctic that

serves the needs of people living in the northernmost regions of the

"Arctic Eight" countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland,

Norway, Russia, Sweden and United States). The University should, as far

as possible, be for the benefit of, and exist through, the efforts of

people living in the Arctic. Since many indigenous peoples not only

inhabit the Arctic, but often constitute the majority population of these

regions, a concept of a University of the Arctic is inconceivable without

the central engagement of indigenous peoples■ representatives.


The clear need for such a university can be found first of all in the

characteristics of the Arctic itself. By usual standards, everything

about the Arctic is extreme - the weather, climate, the long distances

and remoteness, the low population density, the richness of the natural

resources, the cultural diversity, to name only a few factors. As a

consequence, its inhabitants often experience a lack of attention from

the economic and power centres of their respective countries. Differences

in standard of living, provision of services and degree of infrastructure

are some of the main categories of inequality that Arctic communities

must cope with when attempting to develop education systems that prepare

them for the challenges and expectations of life in a globalizing world.

And in the Arctic at least as much as anywhere else, it is clear that

this situation is even more acute for its indigenous peoples. At the same

time, a number of new autonomy arrangements - land claims agreements,

home rule governments and new territories - are calling for the creation

of entire public services from amongst the indigenous peoples.


The short-term objective has therefore been to ensure the full

partnership of indigenous peoples of the Arctic from as early a stage as

possible in the process of envisioning and creating a University of the

Arctic. This objective has been challenged by the fact that the

Circumpolar Universities Association is a non-governmental transnational

organisation whose members are already-existing institutions of higher

education and research, without any specific indigenous peoples■

participation, apart from various roles in some of those same

institutions. Thus, the objective has been re-stated as a question: how

can the Circumpolar Universities Association achieve the full partnership

of indigenous peoples of the Arctic in creating a new kind of university,

a University of the Arctic?


This objective has been broken down into several steps, or sub-

objectives, in order to cope with the complexity of the long-term goal.

The present case study concerns a clearly defined crucial step, which has

now been concluded, in this process.



Project Activity

Project Title: "Indigenous Peoples and the Formation of a Representative

Working Group for a University of the Arctic"


The long-term objective of creating a University of the Arctic has been

envisioned as requiring a number of clearly defined projects. These

should all contribute concrete results that strengthen the viability of

the overarching objective. Some of these have already been completed,

others remain to be developed and some are on-going.


The most significant project to date has been to secure appropriate and

interested representation, from the wide range of constituencies and

communities in the circumpolar north, on the Working Group that will

conduct the feasibility study of the University of the Arctic. This

representation will determine the essence of the Working Group, and in

turn, will determine the success or failure of this process. A

circumpolar university that did not represent the aspirations,

contributions and participation of indigenous peoples would be a failure,

as was indicated above. On the other hand, a feasibility study performed

by a Working Group composed of individuals who not only represent their

constituencies, but who are also strong academics committed to the

educational goals of indigenous peoples, has a much increased chance of

receiving support from funding agencies interested in creating a new and

different kind of university.


Although this understanding made our objectives clear, the key question

remained; to recapitulate, how could we be confident that the membership

on the Working Group was anchored not only with Arctic indigenous

peoples, but amongst indigenous people who were involved in matters of

higher education?


For guidance in assuring such a specific category of representation, we

followed the pattern of the circumpolar Arctic Council■s composition. In

addition to the eight member countries, the Arctic Council also has three

Permanent Participant Indigenous Peoples Organisations, (PPIPOs). This

is widely felt to be appropriate representation at the circumpolar level.

These organisations are the Association of Minority Indigenous Peoples

of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation

(RAIPON), the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), and the Sami Council.

The task appeared simple: we simply needed to contact the three PPIPOs

and they would nominate their representatives to the Working Group. Since

we felt that the University of the Arctic proposal was so transparently

and obviously in the best interest of indigenous peoples, everything

should go smoothly.



Results Achieved

Although we were in the end successful in being joined by three

wonderfully qualified and capable academic representatives of each the

three indigenous peoples' organisations, the process of getting to this

point demanded that the preparations for the beginning of the Working

Group's activities have been radically altered.


The situation with communications was eventually solved. Although in one

instance, a representative was informed late in the afternoon that a

Working Group meeting had been called for the next day he braved a 600

km drive over icy roads across Lapland and arrived intrepid if slightly

late. Accounts of difficulties faced by other delegates could also be



In spite of the difficulties and the resultant worry and expense, the

Working Group of the Circumpolar Universities Association is now formed

and has the strong commitment and engagement of the three largest and

most important indigenous peoples' organisations in the Arctic. It is

truly circumpolar. The representatives are highly qualified academics and

their organisations are feeling that they, too, own the process, and the

rest of us feel that we now have true partners in this endeavour.



Lessons Learned

The first round of contact was different from the experience of the

Circumpolar Universities Association. While the CUA is an organisation

of academics representing their institutions, indigenous peoples■

organisations represent a vastly broader spectrum of interests and

concerns. Thus we noted that the usual forms of academic and educational

contacts were insufficient.


This was also part of the reason behind the communications problem. It

was eventually explained that our attempts at contact were not duly

recognised because they had not been preceded by interpersonal, real-

time, live communication. In other words, using meetings or telephone

calls rather than our approach of using written materials such as fax,

regular mail, and e-mail. Although the latter had their value for us as

records, and as formal, well-considered and serious statements of intent,

we eventually found that there was a need to personally convince key

individuals, often through intermediaries, about the merits of the

proposal on the University of the Arctic. Once convinced in this fashion,

the commitment was total.


Another issue is language. It is today very common in academia to rely

on English as a universal medium, but as we were to discover, this was

not the case especially for the Russian-based indigenous peoples■

organisation. Even if that body appears to want to participate in

transnational discourse, it is a fact that its representatives■ skills

in English, as they themselves have expressed it to us, are almost

completely insufficient for what they would like to achieve. We have been

attempting to translate all of our materials into Russian. This effort

seems to have made a great difference in establishing our credibility

with our new-found partners in proceeding down the path to an eventual

University of the Arctic.




                       Contact for Further Information

             Dr. Richard Langlais, Research Project Director, or

                     Ms. Outi Snellman, Secretary-General


                     Circumpolar Universities Association

                            University of Lapland

                                 P.O.Box 122

                             FIN-96101 Rovaniemi


                            Tel.: +358-16-324-767

                            Fax:  +358-16-324-777

                     E-mail: richard.langlais@urova.fi

                       E-mail: outi.snellman@urova.fi

                     Web: http://www.urova.fi/home/cua



                          Agenda 21, Chapter 27


Partnership to Improve Supply Chain Ethics




The "New Economics Foundation" (NEF) is a UK based NGO which for over a

decade has worked to identify, design and encourage the take-up of

socially just and environmentally sustainable approaches to economics and

business. It has been a leader in the development of the "Ethical Trading

Initiative", which it is currently chairing.


The Ethical Trading Initiative was developed in response to a growing

concern among consumers that the goods they buy should be produced in

conditions that are safe and decent, and that enable working people to

maintain their dignity and a reasonable standard of living. Consumers,

citizens' groups, non-governmental organisations and trades unions have

in recent years put pressure on companies to ensure that acceptable

working conditions are guaranteed in the production and distribution of

goods, including those of their contractors and subcontractors.


Many companies have drawn up codes of conduct that cover these basic

standards. For example, in the USA up to 85 per cent of large companies

now have codes of conduct. In the UK, seven out of ten of the top

supermarkets have adopted ethical sourcing policies. This is a positive

step. However, these written commitments need to be backed up by action -

monitoring working conditions and working with suppliers to improve them

- if they are going to improve the lives of workers.


For many, this is a new process. Companies accustomed to monitoring the

quality of products in their supply chain are beginning to think about

how they can monitor issues such as child labour and workers■ rights.

Campaigning groups and NGOs accustomed to attacking companies through the

media are beginning to think how they can play a part in making this

monitoring effective. There is much to learn and much to be gained from

working together.


Thus, the Ethical Trading Initiative is based on a number of educational

elements: training, raising awareness, capacity building, and developing

resources. Essentially, the initiative is focused on "learning" about

ethical trading. It serves as a focus for mutual learning from the varied

experiences of its wide-ranging membership, as well as from other

stakeholders active in this area and from parallel initiatives.




The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) aims to improve labour standards

down the supply chains of the retailers supplying into the UK market. It

is a unique "civil initiative" that brings organisations to the table

that have traditionally fought each other, whether over ethics or market

share. Participants include many of the largest retail companies trading

in Britain, the international trade union movement, major development and

human rights non-profit organisations, and the UK government.


ETI serves as a forum for experimentation, learning, dialogue, and

negotiation aimed at reaching agreement on how best to improve the

situation of workers in supply chains through the adoption of codes and

associated monitoring and verification processes.



Project Activities

ETI emerged from the work of an alliance of NGOs which formed in 1996

under the umbrella of the Monitoring and Verification Working Group. This

group's initial work culminated in the report, Open Trading: Effective

Options for Monitoring, published last year by The New Economics

Foundation, in association with the Catholic Institute for International

Relations. Following this, a series of consultations involving companies,

trade unions, and government, was brokered by this group, in the main

chaired by the New Economics Foundation and organised jointly with the

Fairtrade Foundation. Finally, after over a year of hard work, ETI was

born, greatly accelerated by the interest in labour standards generated

by the campaigns of Christian Aid, Oxfam, and the World Development

Movement, and also the support of the UK Government through the

Department for International Development.


ETI was formed as a response to the danger that, in the international

flurry of activity around codes of conduct, creative energy would be

unnecessarily dispersed and wasted through a fragmentation of efforts and

outputs. ETI was therefore set up as a forum in which companies, NGOs and

trades unions could:


- dialogue with key stakeholders internationally

- try different approaches to monitoring codes of conduct

- learn from these experiences and also from the experiences of others

working in this and related fields

- link this learning into the development of local institutions which

would have the capacity to deliver monitoring

- develop a practical tool-kit of meaningful labour standards, monitoring

and independent verification procedures and training processes which can

be widely used by companies to improve working conditions within their

supply chains; and

- develop a common framework of quality for monitoring and verification

Results Achieved

The Ethical Trading Initiative has developed and secured funding for a

three year program of work including pilot monitoring, regional seminars

and an international conference, publications and regular briefings and

training development. At the time of writing it is only two months into

this program of work so the final results are some way from being

realised. However, the collaborative development of this work plan

reflects the exchange of ideas and understanding within the diverse group

of organisations involved in the Initiative.


The potential for ETI to support real changes to people's lives is

underlined by the breadth of participation even at this early stage. For

example, the companies involved in the Ethical Trading Initiative extend

across the food, textiles and household goods, and telecommunications,

sectors. Each participating company deals with hundreds or thousands of

direct suppliers, many of which in turn buy from other companies further

down the supply chain. Taken together, the current businesses

participating in ETI purchase from upwards of 5 million factories, farms

and plantations in 50 countries. These therefore affect the lives of tens

of millions of workers, their families, and the communities in which they




Lessons Learnt

The last decade has seen the emergence of a renewed and direct, dialogue

between business and civil institutions. The term, "dialogue", should of

course be used advisedly since it evokes a sense of calm interaction.

Often dialogue has been far from that. The business community is,

however, responding to civil pressure; the move towards adopting codes

of conduct and independent monitoring is just one example of how it is

doing this. Others include companies such as British Telecom. This has

announced that it will move towards measurement and public disclosure of

its social performance, following the path of innovators in this field

such as The Body Shop in the UK, Sbn Bank in Denmark, and Tata in India.


There is an emerging pattern in the manner in which companies and civil

actors work through their differences and move towards a common programme

of action. There is an increasingly typical cycle of public awareness

raising, civil action, corporate response, dialogue, remedial programmes,

and shifts in corporate performance. New structures and forms of

institution are evolving that are neither voluntary nor statutory. They

enable and help to stabilise what are otherwise volatile situations. The

Ethical Trading Initiative is one example of this type of institution.


The Ethical Trading Initiative offers an example of companies commencing

and maintaining a dialogue, and working together in partnership with

other sections of civil society. Partnerships are not made up of like-

minded people or similar institutions. Complementary differences,

together with understanding and respect for such differences, are more

important in building effective partnerships than mere sameness. Those

who are struggling against each other often have the most to learn from

each other and to gain from working in partnership.




                     Contact for Further Information

                             Maya Forstater

                      The New Economics Foundation

                       Tel: +44 (0) 171 377 5696,

                       Fax: +44 (0) 171 377 5720

                E-mail: maya.forstater@neweconomics.org




A CURRICULUM FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP - An NGO Contribution to Education for

Sustainable Development




"Oxfam" is a non-governmental development organisation (NGDO) with over

50 years experience in the field of poverty reduction and the alleviation

of suffering. It is based in Great Britain and has programmes in over 70

countries, working with the poorest people. Oxfam also works with policy

makers at a national and international level in order to promote the

interests of the poor. In Great Britain, it also has a strong campaigning

and education programme. This seeks to raise awareness about the nature,

causes and effects of poverty.


Oxfam has over 21 years experience of running a development education

programme which for the last 15 years has worked specifically with

educators in the formal sector to bring about curriculum change. This

programme is delivered through Oxfam■s own staff based in London,

Cardiff, Glasgow and Oxford, and by working with Development Education

Centres (DECs) and other like minded organisations and partners, on a

range of publication projects, lobbying and advocacy work.


Agenda 21 represented an acknowledgement by all the countries of the

world that poverty and environmental degradation are inextricably linked

and that sustainable development for all is not achievable without the

eradication of poverty. In the light of these concerns about poverty,

global equity and environmental destruction, Oxfam is seeking, by means

a "Curriculum for Global Citizenship", to show how education can

contribute to building a more equitable and sustainable world.


Oxfam sees the Global Citizen as someone who:


- is aware of the wider world and has a sense of his or her own role as

world citizen,

- respects and values diversity,

- has an understanding of how the world works economically, politically,

socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally,

- is outraged by social injustice,

- participates and contributes to the community at a range of levels from

the local to the global,

- is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable


- takes responsibility for personal actions.

Few of us will feel that we yet measure up to this description of a

Global Citizen but most of us will wish to encourage this for the next



We also wish to emphasise that this is a local Great Britain (GB)

response, although we hope that it will also have resonance and relevance

for other countries. We recognise that many people in the South may

already be good Global Citizens, both through the contribution they make

to their local communities and by the fact that they are making only a

minute global footprint. But, at a time when most governments are

emphasising the importance of literacy and numeracy programmes, we also

feel that it is important to ask "What is the purpose of our current

education curricula?"


An increase in basic skills will not, on its own, bring about the change

required to ensure a safer and more sustainable future for us all. Most

education systems in the world have been designed for the needs of the

past, not of the future, and we believe that they need to be looked at

again with the needs of the 21st century in mind, and re-orientated

towards sustainable development for all.


A curriculum for Global Citizenship should, therefore, be based on:


- The importance of re-affirming or developing a sense of identity and


- Valuing all pupils and addressing inequality within the school and the

wider world

- The importance of relevant values, attitudes and personal and social


- Learning from the experiences of others around the world

- Relevance to young peoples■ interests and needs

- Supporting and increasing young peoples■ motivation to effect change

and a belief that anything is possible

- A holistic approach to the curriculum and the general ethos of the


Objectives of the Project

To incorporate global citizenship into the GB formal education curriculum



- Producing and publishing a rationale and outline for a curriculum for

global citizenship,

- Setting up projects to demonstrate examples of good practice,

- Lobbying curriculum bodies,

- Organising a series of seminars for educationalists,

- Working in partnership with other development education and

environmental education practitioners to ensure wide dissemination of the

curriculum for global citizenship,

- Contributing to the work of development and environmental education

networks, such as the Education for Sustainability Forum (ESF) and the

UNED-UK/ESF Education Task Group,

- Producing and publishing relevant materials for teachers.

Project Activity

The first thing we had to do was develop a vision of a curriculum for

Global Citizenship. In order to do this, Oxfam education staff relied on

wide consultation with a range of key players in the field of education

in Great Britain. Inputs included comments from practitioners (teachers

and lecturers) as well as feedback from QCA (the Qualifications and

Curriculum Association) which is the lead body overseeing the curriculum

in England.


We were able to proceed to set up a range of projects to explore the

potential of Global Citizenship for the curriculum, and to develop

examples of good practice on which to build further support. Partners

include Local Education Authorities, Development Education centres, Local

Agenda 21 offices, and Initial Teacher Training colleges. These projects

build on Oxfam■s previous experience of working with teachers and other

educators. For most of the projects, teachers■ groups are brought

together with training provided around the issues of Agenda 21. Following

this, projects are being set up in the relevant schools.


Once the projects have been successfully tested and evaluated, further

partnerships are planned.


In order to encourage acceptance and implementation of these policies

Oxfam has been active in a number of ways as detailed below.


- We are holding a series of seminars in different regions of Great

Britain to which educators at all levels are invited. The aim will be to

encourage them to become advocates for the Global Citizenship curriculum

and to explore the potential for further collaboration.

- A formal response to the review process of the national curriculum in

England and Wales has been made to the Advisory Group on Citizenship. The

Global Citizenship document has also been sent to the Scottish and Welsh

Curriculum bodies.

- Lists of development education resource materials are being produced

to support teachers who are interested in global citizenship. All new

Oxfam Education publications will support the Global Citizenship


- It is intended to try to encourage exam boards to take on some aspects

of the curriculum for global citizenship. For example, work has been

carried out with the Welsh exam board to place sustainable development

at the heart of the compulsory modules for geography in the A level


Results Achieved

Our work in developing a vision resulted in a publication entitled "A

Curriculum for Global Citizenship". This includes a rationale for global

citizenship and an outline curriculum for pre-school to post 16. The

curriculum demonstrated progression of the key skills, knowledge and

values that are essential for global citizenship. The publication has

been widely disseminated to educators throughout Great Britain and



Our curriculum projects are steadily getting off the ground. A brief

account of the progress made in three of them follows.


"The Basic Rights Project" was based on a partnership with Sheffield

Development Education Centre in the area of personal and social

education. Working with a group of teachers, this has resulted in a

publication for secondary schools looking at the issues of basic rights

for all. It included case studies from the UK and from the South on, for

example, bullying and violence against children. One example encouraged

children in the UK to look at the common causes behind such violence and

to learn about conflict resolution. They learned from the experience of

street children in Brazil who had worked together to claim their rights

and establish legislation to protect them.


"The Global Footprint of Schools" is a partnership project being

undertaken by the Tower Hamlets Development Education Centre, Tower

Hamlets Local Agenda 21 Office and Oxfam Education. It aims to encourage

local schools to identify and then to reduce the environmental and social

impact that they are making both locally and globally by assessing their

Global Footprint. It is seeking to take the idea of the ecological

footprint one step further in order to include issues of social justice

and equity as well as the environmental perspective. It is a

groundbreaking project in that it aims to bring together the environment

and development agendas in a way that is accessible to teachers and

children and to develop activities for use in schools.


"The Global Citizenship in Croydon and Sutton Project" is being developed

in partnership with the relevant local authorities. The project seeks to

ensure that global citizenship becomes embedded in the curriculum and in

school policy. This work is building on previous collaboration when a

series of training courses on education for sustainability was run in

these boroughs by Oxfam Education staff in conjunction with Local Agenda

21 officers and Local Education Authority Advisers.


We have achieved results over a whole range of activities undertaken.

Examples of these are given below.


- A formal response by Oxfam to the national curriculum review has been

made and to the Advisory Group on Citizenship. To the latter we have been

asked to provide case studies of good practice.

- A training session on the GC curriculum was held with school


- Formal meetings have been held with the Qualifications and Curriculum

Association and the Department for International Development when the

document was very well received.

- The national geography advisers and inspectors group have discussed and

promoted the GC document.

- Oxfam has worked with the Geography Association Primary Group to

promote the GC curriculum document in an article for their journal.

- A paper was presented on the GC curriculum at the UNESCO / Government

of Greece conference in Thessalonika, Greece.

Lessons Learned

We learned a great deal about negotiating with competing agendas. Local

authorities have many priorities and education for global citizenship is

not at the top of their list. We have also learned that careful

strategies need to be put in place to bring them on board. For example,

linking with their Local Agenda 21 initiatives, and demonstrating how

global citizenship can help deliver other priorities in education, such

as literacy and numeracy.


Similar lessons apply to national government. Despite signing up to

Agenda 21 the UK government, like so may others, has many other

priorities for education. It has, therefore, been important to play a

part in all new debates and curriculum initiatives at a national level.

This has helped us to identify a niche for the GC curriculum within the

ongoing debates about citizenship and values. Achievements and success

need to be seen as incremental, building up over a period of time.


Whether at local authority or at national level, it is important to

identify key players and influentials and to bring them on board. For

example, key advisers and inspectors who are willing to support the GC

curriculum can make a huge difference to the success of the project.


The project has also reinforced our ideas about partnerships and

networking. Oxfam does not have the resources to make sufficient impact

on its own so working with a range of partners is essential. These need

to be relationships built up over a period of time, which can be tried

and tested. Partnerships need to be collaborative and flexible so that

we can learn from each other. Excellent communication is essential. An

inclusive agenda that does not seek to vaunt one NGO over another is

essential. This is not always easy as NGOs have their own internal

agendas too and there may be an element of competition between them.


Some of the difficulties in combining the development and environment

agendas have become very apparent as a result of the project. For

example, in the case of "trade": how do we make choices about products

on environmental and social grounds?  In some cases this is fairly

straightforward as in Fair-traded tea or coffee, which is produced by

small communities with a view to developing sustainable lifestyles that

do not destroy the environment. However, with other products, such as

"mange tout" peas from Zimbabwe, the choices are less obvious. Do we buy

the peas and accept the environmental damage caused by intensive

agriculture and aviation transport, or do we refuse to buy and put the

community in Zimbabwe in jeopardy?  There is little doubting that with

an increasingly globalised and interdependent world, such choices are

going to become more complex not easier. This underlines the need for

environmental and development practitioners to work together to find

common ground and mutual agendas.


Our final conclusion is that until governments are really prepared to

prioritise education for global citizenship within their education

agendas, it will always be an uphill struggle to achieve our long term

objective, of making this curriculum for global citizenship an

entitlement for every child in Great Britain. While there are numerous

directives on numeracy and literacy, the debate about citizenship and

values education goes on largely unheeded. Global citizenship needs to

be seen as an integral part of the curriculum with resources and training

to match. If we are to achieve the objectives of Agenda 21, this is no

longer an optional extra, it is an imperative.




                   Contact for further information

                       Ros Wade or Mary Young

                          Oxfam Education

                             4th floor

                          4 Bridge Place

                          London SW1V 1XY

                       Tel: +44 171 931 7660

                    E-mail: xch95@dial.pipex.com


                        LOCAL AUTHORITIES

                      Agenda 21, Chapter 28

VISION 2020 - Community Education and Awareness are Essential Components

in Planning for a Sustainable Future by a Canadian Regional Municipality




Located at the western end of Lake Ontario, "the Regional Municipality

of Hamilton-Wentworth" lies in the middle of Canada's manufacturing

heartland. The Region, which covers an area of 111,300 hectares, is home

to almost 469,000 people (1996). Regional functions and responsibilities

include waterworks, sewage, social services, public health, police

services, roadways, drainage systems, and transit systems. The Region is

also the central planning authority for the purposes of physical, social,

and economic planning and development. Like most municipalities in

Canada, Hamilton-Wentworth has a long history of community participation

in decision making and community involvement in addressing local issues

of concern.


This commitment to community participation is evident in the Region's

involvement in the "Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) Model Communities Programme"

(MCP), co-ordinated by the "International Council for Local Environmental

Initiatives" (ICLEI). ICLEI is an association of approximately 300 local

governments dedicated to the prevention and solution of local, regional,

and global environmental problems through local action. The LA 21

Initiative was launched by ICLEI at the United Nations "Earth Summit" in

1992. To support the process of developing LA 21s at the municipal level,

ICLEI launched a world-wide action research project, the MCP, in early

1994. Fourteen communities, including the Regional Municipality of

Hamilton-Wentworth, from countries around the world participated in the

MCP. ICLEI has worked with these local governments to develop, test, and

implement sustainable development planning processes.


"VISION 2020", Hamilton-Wentworth's sustainable development planning

initiative, evolved from a new approach to decision making used by the

Region for the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The RAP

initiative started in 1986 and involved a multi-stakeholder round-table

approach to the development of the plan. The success of this initiative,

which continues today, showed that organizations with divergent views and

opinions could work together to address community concerns. After the

success of the RAP, the Region organized the Chair's Task Force on

Affordable Housing. This initiative, which met with mixed success, was

the Region's first effort in opening up the decision-making process to

greater community involvement. The lessons learned from this project and

the RAP provided the framework within which the Sustainable Community

Initiative, which developed into VISION 2020, was started.


In June 1990, Regional Council created the Chair's Task Force on

Sustainable Development. Following the model of the Hamilton Harbor RAP,

the task force was set up as a multi-stakeholder roundtable. There were

originally eighteen members of the task force, each representing various

key sectors in the community - agriculture, business, community

organizations, education, health services, labour, natural environment,

social services, and urban development. Its mandate was integrated into

the decision-making process of the Regional Council.




The terms of reference for the Chairman's Task Force on Sustainable

Development required, as one of its six purposes, the establishment of

a public outreach program to increase public awareness of the concept of

sustainable development and to act as a vehicle for feedback on potential

goals, objectives, and policies for the Region. The nine goals of the

public outreach program fell into three general categories - education,

citizen input, and quality. The goals specific to education were:


- to inform the general population of the basic principles of sustainable

development and of the purpose and mandate of the task force;

- to inform citizens of the range of regional government activities, such

as public expenditures and investments, the Regional Official Plan, and

the Economic Strategy; and

- to communicate information generated by citizens back to the public.

These goals, which were developed by the task force at the early stages

of their mandate, were integrated into all subsequent phases of the

sustainable development planning process. This included partnership

formation; community consultation for issue identification and priority

setting; issue assessment and analysis; action planning; and

implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation.



Project Activity

From 1990 through the present, Hamilton-Wentworth has incorporated a

public education component in all phases of defining and implementing its

sustainable development planning process. Specific avenues of action to

increase community awareness included a media campaign, individual

feedback opportunities, community workshops, focus groups, and community



A broad media campaign that included the use of local print, radio, and

television media, the development and delivery of information booths in

local shopping malls and other locations, and the preparation and

distribution of 150,000 copies of the first "Task Force Newsletter", was

initiated in late 1990. The campaign informed the community about the

purpose of the Task Force and the upcoming opportunities available to

people to become involved in the work of the Task Force.


The major activity held at the time was the convening of seven community

workshops or Town Hall Meetings. Approximately 160 people participated

in these meetings, which included a brief overview of sustainable

development followed by brainstorming sessions designed to identify which

issues needed to be addressed and which values should guide the work of

the Task Force. Citizens' responses to specific questions about their

community and the values that should guide decision making were recorded.

The results of each Town Hall Meeting were summarized into a report

provided to each member of the Task Force and made available upon request

to the public. People who did not wish to participate in the Town Hall

Meetings were provided with the opportunity to contribute their ideas by

submitting written comments or phoning the Ideas Telephone Line. Almost

1,200 citizens from all walks of life were eventually involved directly

or indirectly in the community consultation work of the Chair's Task

Force on Sustainable Development, which also served as a vehicle for

educating the public.


The resulting vision statement, VISION 2020, describes a concept for

sustainable development in Hamilton-Wentworth by the year 2020. It has

been adopted as the basis for regional decision-making in Hamilton-

Wentworth, including such policy documents as the Hamilton-Wentworth

Official Plan, the Regional Economic Strategy, and the capital budget



Since 1993, the Region has annually held a VISION 2020 Sustainable

Community Day to bring the community together to examine the progress

made in relation to the goals of VISION 2020 and continue to educate the

public as to the importance of the environment and sustainable

development. Over the years, the event has turned into a month long

festival involving tours, workshops, a Children's Sustainability Fair

(attended by thousands of children), and various other special programs.

Another program, Young Citizens for a Sustainable Future, has been

developed in partnership with community organizations and is geared to

towards educating the youth of Hamilton-Wentworth on sustainable

development. Efforts are made to have exhibits at major community

festivals and staff are available to make presentations to interested

community groups. Other activities include special events such as the

Crazy Commute Challenge, which educates the public about transportation

issues and encourages them to leave their motor vehicle at home for the




Results Achieved

Over 10,000 copies of VISION 2020 have been printed and distributed

throughout the community, leading to an increase in community awareness

about sustainable development initiatives. Within the community there is

a heightened awareness about environmental protection and the need to

find a balance between economic and environmental concerns. This is

influencing the community and the types of decisions and actions being

taken. Although implementation of VISION 2020 has been a bit sporadic,

events and activities sponsored by the Region have received excellent

support from the community and corporate sponsorship. For example, the

Sustainable Community Day and Children's Sustainability Fair held in 1996

cost around $60,000 to develop and deliver. Almost 70% of those costs

were covered by in-kind and financial contributions from the community.

In addition, over 150 local organizations and businesses became involved

in those events.


Unfortunately VISION 2020 is still seen as an initiative to guide the

decision making of Regional Council as opposed to the decision making of

everyone in the community. The community led review process that has been

proposed for 1998 and is being developed by Regional Staff will try to

address the issue of creating stronger community ownership.



Lessons Learned

Despite these efforts, the Region identified lack of community awareness

and understanding as probably the most significant barrier to the VISION

2020 Initiative, and one that the Region perhaps should have spent more

time on at the outset  When the initiative started awareness was

extremely low. The efforts of the last seven years have increased the

proportion of people in the community who are aware of sustainable

development to between 10 and 15 per cent.


In addition to addressing the lack of initial community awareness, the

Region made a list of other recommendations for communities considering

a similar undertaking. Among these recommendations, Hamilton-Wentworth

identified the following key issues related to the public education



- "Empowerment" - There must be a clear willingness on the part of

municipal staff and Council to allow the community to become directly

involved in the decision-making process. The process must include

components where the community is allowed to take direct responsibility

for initiating and implementing projects.

- "Patience" - Within the community, there is a wide range of abilities

and knowledge. Time is required to bring everyone's understanding to a

common level. Also, at many times it has been difficult for the "experts"

to not take control for the process and direct it in a manner that they

feel is appropriate. If community responsibility and ownership are to be

developed, it is imperative that the members of the community investigate

and develop their own solutions.

development of other initiatives. For example, the Region has, with the

direct input of the community, developed a series of sustainable

development indicators. These indicators, which are monitored on an

annual basis and presented in "report card" format during the Sustainable

Community event, serve as an ongoing evaluation of the Region's progress

towards the goals in VISION 2020.


Looking to the future, the Regional Council has developed a Web page to

provide current information on these and related activities.

Strategically, the Council has established the "VISION 2020 Progress

team" to renew the policies and processes,  whilst perhaps more tangibly,

the Council has created a "Sustainable Community Recognition Awards

Programme" to mark significant achievements.


Through all the education and awareness processes described in this case-

study together with other ongoing public education, the Region hopes to

make the decision making process of government, especially as it relates

to sustainable development, more open and understandable to people in the



                 Contact for Further Information

                        Norman Ragetlie

                Policy Analyst, Strategic Planning

           Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth

                    Environment Department

                35 King St. East, Main Floor

                  Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A9


                  Tel: +1-905/546-2153

                  Fax: +1-905/546-4473

             Email: rhwplan@interlynx.net


                      Sheilagh Henry

             Local Agenda 21 Administrator

 International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives

                    World Secretariat

           City Hall, East Tower, 8th Floor

                   100 Queen St. West

                Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2


                 Tel: +1-416/392-1462

                 Fax: +1-416/392-1478

                 Email: la21@iclei.org

             Website: http://www.iclei.org




Corporation Works in Partnership with NGOs




Pimpri Chinchwad, located 150 kilometres west of Mumbai in the state of

Maharashtra, is one of the leading industrial cities in India with over

2,000 engineering, chemical, rubber, pharmaceutical, and automobile

factories. Many of the workers at these factories are recent migrants

into the city, and as a result, approximately 100,000 of the city's

population of 600,000 live in illegal slum settlements without basic

amenities such as safe drinking water and sewage systems. Although the

"Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation" (PCMC) and local non-government

organizations (NGOs) have put considerable effort into improving these

conditions, the lack of conscious environmental education and awareness

has hampered their initiatives.


For its part, the PCMC has addressed the conditions through its

involvement in the Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) Model Communities Programme

(MCP), co-ordinated by the International Council for Local Environmental

Initiatives (ICLEI). ICLEI is an association of approximately 300 local

governments dedicated to the prevention and solution of local, regional,

and global environmental problems through local action. The LA 21

Initiative was launched by ICLEI at the United Nations "Earth Summit" in

1992. To support the process of developing LA 21s at the municipal level,

ICLEI launched a world-wide action research project, the MCP, in early

1994. Fourteen communities, including the PCMC, from countries around the

world participated in the MCP. ICLEI has worked with these local

governments to develop, test, and implement sustainable development

planning processes.  As part of its involvement with the MCP, PCMC

consulted with 12,500 citizens to identify and prioritise the issues the

community faces.


NGOs such as the "Centre for Environment Education" (CEE), "Regional Cell

for Central India", and the "World Wide Fund for Nature" - India (WWF-I),

have long recognized the need for environmental consciousness, especially

among those living without adequate housing or amenities. However, with

adult members of these households employed in different sectors, it has

traditionally proven difficult to develop effective, targeted, strategies

for environmental education and consciousness. Children are the next

logical target group for environmental consciousness raising, in the hope

that they will carry the message home. Thus to address the issues facing

the community, the CEE and the WWF-I undertook an environmental education

initiative in 90 municipal schools in Pimpri Chinchwad. The PCMC was

selected to participate in the pilot phase of this initiative due to its

involvement with the MCP.




Recent trends in this region have shown a growing recognition by

governments of the importance of environmental education. Although there

have been significant efforts to infuse environmental education into

curricula, the results have not been very positive because of a lack of

community-specific environmental education resources, networking among

government and NGOs, overburdened teachers, and lack of funding. This

situation is far worse in schools catering for the needs of students

whose parents' incomes are below the poverty line.


Thus the two main objectives of the pilot phase of the environmental

education curriculum program were:


- to develop ways to overcome the obstacles mentioned above;

- to infuse environmental education into school curricula.


Project Activity

The pilot project, which received financial assistance from the Education

Department of the PCMC, began in July 1997. It was divided into the three

phases outlined below.


Phase 1: Production of Teachers Activity Handbooks

A series of handbooks was developed to provide teachers with a bank of

activities and reference materials in Marathi, the local language. The

CEE had already developed an activity handbook series, The Joy of

Learning, which outlined activities for students in standards 3 to 8. The

activities in the handbook series were developed in view of the meagre

resources available to most Indian schools; they had been tested by

several hundred teachers across the country, and therefore made an ideal

starting point. However, since this material was written in English, a

team of 25 primary, middle, and secondary school teachers and other

environmental resource people was assembled to oversee the translation

and adaptation of the handbook series for Pimpri Chinchwad. Three

handbooks were developed: Joy of Learning - Environmental Studies

(standards 3 to 5); Joy of Learning - Science (standards 6 to 8); and Joy

of Learning - various subjects (standards 3 to 8).


Phase 2:  Dissemination

A series of ten workshops for teachers was organized through August and

the beginning of September. Each of the first nine workshops had between

25 and 30 participants from primary schools; the last had 12 participants

from the PCMC's secondary schools.


The aim of the workshops was to expose the participants to the need for

environmental education, distribute and discuss the handbooks, present

various approaches to environmental education, and encourage the use of

what they had learned during the school year. A field trip on the second

day of each workshop helped the teachers get an idea of how to use the

outdoors for creating environmental sensitivity among their students.


At the end of each workshop, the teachers were asked to select at lease

five or six activities, along with one long-term activity, to be

conducted in the upcoming year.


Phase 3:  Trials and Feedback

Based on the activities the teachers outlined during the workshops, the

WWF-I/CEE team visited schools to discuss the project with the teachers

and maintain support for integrating environmental education

considerations in to these schools.


A more formal evaluation was undertaken later in the year to gather

information for further activities.



Results Achieved

In its pilot phase, the environmental education initiative achieved its

goals and led to areas for expansion of the project in the future.


An interesting aspect of the project was the working relationship of CEE,

WWF-I, PCMC, and the schools for a common cause. Because of diverse

experiences of each organisation, each one was able to play its role to

a fuller extent. Such strategic alliances are very important if

sustainable development is to be achieved.


The initiative also led to the development of Nature Clubs in each

school, and the beginning of an environmental education resource centre

and project newsletter, "Shrishti" (Creation). These activities will

continue to add support to environmental education in the schools, and

encourage the dissemination and sharing of knowledge between students,

teachers, the PCMC, and the larger community. Exhibitions, presentations,

and other activities by the students are planned for times when working

parents will be able to attend in order to further foster the

environmental message outside of the schools.


The nature clubs and the newsletter played a crucial role as a catalyst

for sustaining the program. It also helped in networking among the ninety

schools of the PCMC, which earlier were devoid of any channels of




Lessons Learned

Although the teachers were sceptical at the start of the project, they

started showing a keen interest on the importance of infusing

environmental education into the curriculum, once they became involved.

In their feedback, all stressed the need for a massive teacher training

initiative. They also identified the critical importance of having

specific environmental education resources for their communities and in

their first language. Given the activities planned for the coming years,

there are plans to further develop these suggestions.


The importance of communicating what is going on in the schools to the

parents was also realised during the pilot phase of the project. Unlike

in other areas, there are no Parent-Teacher Associations in the schools

where the pilot project was conducted. Parents are only available to come

to the schools during holidays when the factories are closed.

Exhibitions, presentations, and activities related to what students are

experiencing have been planned for these days, so that the parents can

understand the process.


In the long run, environmental awareness must move from the classroom to

the community, if the overall goal of increasing environmental education

in the community is to be achieved.




                  Contacts for Further Information


                       Mr. Rohddas B. Konde

                  Deputy Municipal Commissioner

             Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation

                      Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune

                           India 411018

                        Tel: +91-212/772970

                        Fax: +91-212/779999

                  Email: pcmc@giaspn01.vsn1.net.in


                        Mr. Rahul Barkataky

                        Programme Associate

                 Centre for Environment Education

                 Regional Cell for Central India

                            18 Green Park

                             Aundh, Pune

                            India 411007

                      Tel/Fax: +91-212/385875

                 Email: cee@giaspn01.vsn1.net.in




            A fuller account of this case can be found in

 " Teachers in Charge:  Environmentalizing the School Curriuculum"

 by Rahul Barkatay, Sanskriti Menon and Ajit JagtapSheilagh Henry

                    Local Agenda 21 Administrator

      International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives

                         World Secretariat

                City Hall, East Tower, 8th Floor

                        100 Queen St. West

                     Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2


                      Tel: +1-416/392-1462

                      Fax: +1-416/392-1478

                     EEmail: la21@iclei.org

                  Website: http://www.iclei.org




                     WORKERS & TRADE UNIONS

                     Agenda 21, Chapter 29

THE TCO 6E CHALLENGE - Learning to Change Attitudes and Create a

Sustainable Workplace




The "TCO 6E" is a working model for the development of the "sustainable

workplace", which embodies all of the major elements of the trade union

approach to environmental education designed for the workplace. It is

designed, produced and marketed by the "Development Unit of the Swedish

Confederation of Professional Employees" (TCO), and is the latest and

most all-encompassing in a series of successful projects undertaken by

the unit.


The 6 Es of the title are: Ergonomics, Economy, Ecology, Emissions,

Efficiency and Energy. The "challenge" is to implement high standards in

the 6 Es in the workplace. It accomplishes this through a step-by-step

method, which builds competence in the environment and 6E through the

phases of preparation, training, implementation, and evaluation.

Competence is built up progressively, through the process of carrying out

the 6E environmental work programme (compatible with ISO 14 001). Theory

is proved by practical application.


What is unique about the 6E is that everyone participates in establishing

and reaching the environmental goals of the company. All participants

receive some form of environmental education ranging from two to five

days, depending on their specific role in the programme. This is a new

approach for many companies, but as work progresses, they see that joint

ambition and high involvement are necessary ingredients to success.




The 6E aims to lead the whole organisation, and the workplaces that are

a part of it, to a consensus on a common set of values and respect for

the environment. This is accomplished by imbuing everyone at the

workplace with the idea that personal development, a good working

environment, and a sociable working climate are integral components of

their environmental work. More specifically, it aims to:


- eliminate unhealthy or environmentally incompatible equipment and

practices from offices and other workplaces.

- combine environmental practice with sound economics

- provide a practical guide for integrating considerations relating to

ecology and the work environment into everyday decision-making and

setting standards for all decisions, from the purchasing of products and

services, to the work process and environment; and

- corporate basic principles of environmental practice into the workplace.

The last-mentioned objective, incorporating basic principles of

environmental practice into the workplace, is generic. It is composed of

the elements identified below:


- "The Recycling Principle" - moving away from a "linear material flow"

to "a recycling loop" for all materials.

- "The Precautionary Principle" - that lack of scientific proof is not

to be used as a reason for delaying measures to prevent damage to the

external and working environments.

- "The Substitution Principle" - that materials or processes are to be

replaced by less harmful ones in routines and purchasing; and

- "The Integration Principle" - that all influences of humans on the

environment are taken into account, and environmental considerations are

integrated into operational business strategy, and long-term development


Project Activities

Each 6E-project begins by engaging a "study circle" of Environmental Co-

ordinators from each company in a series of training seminars. They

report every second week on their company's progress to a Project

Manager, with copies to the TCO. These reports provide information about

improvements made to the work and the external environments, as well as

any new ideas and contacts taken with other organisations.


It begins with a vision of a better workplace and a better environment

built on an analysis of the working environment. It develops an overview

how operations inflow, resource use and outflow patterns impact on



Environmental competence is then developed in every individual, to ensure

that they are capable of identifying, understanding and solving problems

that arise in the course of continual environmental improvement. This

increased understanding and commitment are pre-requisites for successful

environmental work. Training is carried through to active participation;

an "investigative working procedure" is employed in an influential

working procedure. This process occurs through working groups led by a

group co-ordinator and a project leader who manages the integration task,

and reports to management meetings.


Participating enterprises are provided with the following material to

guide and assist them at each stage of a systematic adaptation of the

organisation■s operations towards the vision. These include:


The Way to 6E:  a manual describing the 6E, its aims and implementation;


- A Project Binder: to guide the project and group leaders through the


- An Environment Binder: with instructional materials and articles on 6E


- Private Binders: for all participant to collect material and use

Checklists and Calculation Sheets, as well as notes, reminders, contacts,

and educational material.

- Checklists: to help map out both the internal and external work

environments, and support routines and working procedures for sustaining


- Calculation Sheets: to account for quantities and costs of materials and

other inputs.

- Computer Support: software to permit mapping and analysis,including

computerized checklists, calculation sheets, and legal search tools.

- A 6E Library: containing documents and booklets on the environmental


Results Achieved

The Project began in August 1997, and as many as 32 Swedish enterprises

are already working with the TCO 6E-model. Most notably, a group of 24

companies (SMEs) in the furnishing business has subscribed to the

Project. All are noticing a growing interest from competitors, customers

and governments.


The TCO is working with the "ECIC - European Continuous Improvement

Circle"  (European Union Directorate General XIII - Innovation

programme), and is also one of the partners in an EC-project that aims

to improve the competitiveness of SMEs and SMOs in Europe.


Companies and organisations choosing to adopt the 6E concept can apply

for 6E-approval, which means acknowledgement of achieving several

requirements regarding the way that they have integrated a long-term

approach to natural and work environment questions in their operations. 

The first companies are going to apply for the 6E-approval in the second

part of 1999.



Lessons Learned

The lessons to be gained from this Project are summarized in the 6E logo,

a symbol of "Responsible Practice■ that signifies total environmental

integration of the external and internal workplace environment. When 6E

Approval is given to a complete operation, or to just one part of it, it

shows that it has passed an important milestone in changing the way

business is done for the benefit of both humanity and the environment.


              Contacts for further information


          Bodil Ekstrom, 6E Project Co-ordinator, 

        or Per Erik Boivie, TCO Development Manager 

                 The TCO Development Unit, 

      Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO), 

                      Linnegatan 14, 

                         S-114 94



                   Tel: +46 8 782 91 00 

                   Fax: +46 8 782 92 07 






A Czech Trades Union Project to Improve Working and Living Conditions




"The Czech Mine, Geology and Oil Industry Workers Union" (OSPHGN) has

95,000 members in 207 employers■ organisations in mining, construction,

engineering, transport and other industries that have a direct impact on

the environment. It is affiliated to the Czech-Moravian Chamber of Trade

Unions (CMCTU) which links 34 trade unions with a membership of almost

2,000,000, as well as with the International Federation of Chemical,

Energy, Mine and General Workers Union and the International

Confederation of Free Trade Unions. After the political transition in

November 1989, newly created trade unions identified the environment as

a top priority, and vowed to participate in a process for better working

conditions and environmental action.




The overall objective of this joint project was to improve the working

and community environment among the membership of the Union of Oil, Mine

and Geology Industry Workers by increasing environmental consciousness

of members and their relatives. The Project would eventually affect about

450,000 people in the Czech Republic, about 4 per cent of the population.

In addition, it would put pressure on the State and other institutions

in this area. Specific objectives included:


- showing how negative effects on the work and community environment are

caused by action of individual employees at their jobs and in their

private lives;

- identifying and correcting technical deficiencies through the

implementation of an eco-audit process involving workers;

- improving the ecological consciousness of workers' families and community

members by means of training and participation in environmental

activities; and

- making its members aware that their responsibility for improvements to

working conditions extends to environmental conditions in the communities

where they live.

Project Activity

Training activities commenced at the same time as detailed eco-audits of

the participating enterprises were conducted. External experts provided

initial training to members in safety. During 8 hours of regular safety

training, 2 hours were dedicated to problems of the environment. This

training started with specialists and activists, and expanded to the

other members and finally to the public. The aim was to reach 6,500

voluntary labour safety inspectors, who could then train members and

other employees in a short time. This method would reach approximately

120,000 employees, who could influence family members, eventually

improving the ecological behaviour of some 400,000 citizens. The already

existent structure of work safety inspectors was utilised as follows:


- Project and regional co-ordinators were trained at Prague Technical

University, with additional training at Cornell University.

- All work safety inspectors at other levels were trained in regular

inspectors training courses.

- All employees received training during regular courses given by work

safety inspectors to improve environmental consciousness.

- Work safety inspectors carried out eco-audits to evaluate the effects of

work processes on the environment. A system of self-controls was


- Once every six months, an overall assessment of these activities is

carried out by all levels of the union structure.

Members of staff from the School of Industrial and Labour Relations at

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York were key partners in this Project.

They provided advice, training and other assistance through such manuals

as "Trade Unions and Audits of Living Environment", a recipe for trade

unions wishing to implement eco-audits and measures.



Results Achieved

Safety specialists are now in the first phase of eco-audits to evaluate

conditions in 12 companies with 30,000 employees, after which they will

conduct audits in other companies. The first audits have clearly

indicated a direction for education of the members, as well as the

problems that should be addressed in collective agreements, publication

activities and through the mass-media.


Eco-audits have resulted in a greater appreciation of the living

environment. While perhaps not at the same standard as those provided by

a specialized firm, they proved sufficient for the purpose of identifying



These activities led to pressure on employers through collective

agreements and media publicity to improve the working and living

environment, and illustrated the need for co-operation by employers.

Individual OSHGN unions and the OSHGN headquarters are exerting increased

pressure on lawmakers, the government, regional and local authorities,

management and environmental activists in order to improve work and

community environment globally. This can influence legislation and the

nature of technological change. It has led to activities designed to

promote eco-auditing and review eco-audits in already privatized

companies on the basis of their privatization projects. The results are

being published continuously in the media.



Lessons Learned

This Project is showing the feasibility of implementing a system of

environmental education and monitoring of work and community environment

as a part of education on safety at the work-site, making use of existent

organisation of work safety inspectors and their monitoring, lecturing

and prevention capacities.


It also shows that union members will not accept that environmental

protection or health and safety at work must be sacrificed or

compromised. Quite the contrary; they have a strong commitment to the

goals of sustainable development, especially the double dividend of

sustainable employment and a cleaner working and living environment. They

are impatient with solutions imposed from the top, as they have a shared

commitment to change and the creation of a new society.


In numerous enterprises, they have shown that they can promote realistic

programmes to clean up production without huge investment costs; e.g.,

saving energy, changing working practices, reducing waste by recycling,



In the changing political economy of Central and Eastern Europe,

enterprises that capture the knowledge and experience of workers have a

much better chance of survival. This is the focus of the Environmental

Action Programme. In October 1995, "Environment for Europe" the Sophia

Conference of Environment Ministers invited an EAP Task Force to draw up

a work programme, "to promote the implementation of cleaner production

programmes in all CEE countries by 1998 and to foster co-operation and

networking among all the stakeholders involved ..."


The overall objective of the EAP is to promote continuous improvement in

environmental performance and economic savings in industry in CEECs, by

means of the following:


- raising awareness among workers and their associations about benefits

deriving from Cleaner Production (CP) programmes and investments;

- multiplying the positive results of CP programmes by engaging workers and

trade unions in their design and implementation; and

- supporting a process to develop effective mechanisms for dialogue and co-

operation between national governments, managers and trade unions.

Although there are many examples of union-led initiatives in Central and

Eastern Europe, "there is a desperate need for more support". Assistance

at this stage constitutes a good investment in the global environment,

as it would lead to a more effective use of the knowledge, experience,

commitment and clear self-interest of workers and their unions. They are

still a virtually untapped resource.


To this point, most of the costs have been borne by OSPHGN. Projects

require extensive funding, especially at the beginning, when work

safety inspectors have to be trained on environmental issues. OSPHGN

welcomes participation of sponsors and non-government organizations in

at least part of the cost of training at Prague Technical University

and Cornell University. OSPHGN will make use of all available

resources to secure lecturing on this project including co-operation

with CMKOS and the FIM..



               Contacts for further information:


                      Vlastimil Altner,

                     Executive Secretary, 

    Czech Mine, Geology and Oil Industry Workers Union (OSPHGN), 

                     W. Churchilla 2 DOS, 

                       113 59 Prague 3. 

                     Tel: 0042-2-24462689 

                     Fax: 0042-2-24226397


                         Linda Gasser, 

                      Executive Director, 

       Central Europe Human Resource Education Initiative, 

                      Rm. 158 Ives Hall, 

           School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 

                     Cornell University, 

                    Ithaca NY 14853 -3901  

                      Tel: 607-255-1228 

                      Fax: 607-255-7774



                     BUSINESS & INDUSTRY

                    Agenda 21, Chapter 30

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS CHALLENGE - Youth in Partnership with Business and

Industry for Sustainable Development





A case of successful partnerships between major groups towards a

sustainable future is the Sustainable Business Challenge (SBC) - an

Internet-based examination for business school students (accessible at

http://www.wbcsd.ch/foundation). SBC is a co-operative initiative of

the "World Business Council for Sustainable Development" (WBCSD) and

"the International Association of Students in Economics and

Management" (AIESEC) in the promotion of WBCSD.


AIESEC has been working on responsible management of companies for

several years and aims to develop future business leaders through an

international traineeship exchange program and locally run projects in

this field. The SBC was launched by AIESEC at its Global Theme

Conference (Basel, Switzerland May 1997), using the presence of 300

youth leaders from over 70 countries.


The "Sustainable Business Challenge" fits well with AIESEC■s efforts

to raise awareness for global and environmental issues among future

business leaders. The fact that the exam is Internet-based makes it

both available for a large range of events that are developed by local

AIESEC chapters and adaptable to specific local needs.


The SBC underlines the strong interest of WBCSD■s 122 international

member companies in including "sustainable development" into the

education of their future employees. WBCSD■s members recruit several

thousands of young people every year. Passing SBC will be a first step

for students at the beginning of their professional careers to

demonstrate that they take an interest in the environmentally sound

management of the organisations for which they intend to work. At the

same time WBCSD provides a valuable piece of education material with

the SBC, drawing from the field experience of its member corporations.




The main objectives of SBC are to promote the development of:


- education towards Sustainable Development in Business Schools, and

- enabling partnership between Industry and Youth.


Project Activities

The exam tests a student■s knowledge and practical skills in the field

of environmentally sustainable management and company decision making.

General environmental and societal issues are addressed as well,

making sure the student understands the background environmental

issues that corporations face today. Upon successfully passing SBC,

the student receives (by surface mail) a certificate issued by the



AIESEC and the WBCSD plan to bring the SBC on a tour around Europe in

the spring of 1998 and host events related to Sustainable Development

and Responsible Entrepreneurship in 30 universities and business

schools. The tour will encompass an intensive week in Switzerland in

April on the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility with speakers

and workshop facilitators from the WBCSD membership. Similar events in

Scandinavia and the Netherlands will take place, this time mostly

integrated into the respective career-days and job-fairs of the AIESEC

local chapters, thus underlining the decisive role environmental

business skills will play today and in the near future. The SBC is

also being integrated into AIESEC■s student internship exchange

programs as more and more AIESEC affiliates expect students to take

the SBNC before starting a traineeship, working for a company, or

working with an NGO in a country other than their own.



Results Achieved

Since its launch, SBC has been taken more than 4000 times!  Of these,

around 30 per cent have passed the exam and have received their

certificate. The number of certificates awarded spreads equally around

the world. Any difficulties in accessing the exam due to insufficient

Internet access in some countries (such as in Africa and some parts of

Asia) are now compensated for with the paperback version of the SBC

Brief - an info package that serves as a basis for the exam. Designed

as a virtual corporate board meeting in the year 2017, the brief is

now being integrated by interested AIESEC groups or university

professors into local curricula and student activities.


The six most successful students from Canada, Kenya, India, New

Zealand, Italy and Sweden who took the SBC exam attended the annual

WBCSD Council meeting in Prague in the fall of 1997. At this high-

level meeting of WBCSD, the future business leaders presented to the

CEOs their views of a sustainable future and the role for business

towards a better world.


The successful co-operation of AIESEC and WBCSD in the course of the

SBC has laid the groundwork for future joint activities. These two

organizations who rally two important major groups of Agenda 21 (youth

and business) on a global scale, have demonstrated the ability to

bring global co-operation down to the local level. The dialogue

between the two organizations will continue with AIESEC students

contributing to WBCSD Commissions and WBCSD experts and speakers

helping AIESEC with local projects.



Lessons Learned

- The Internet based exam demonstrated two important features that

underline the success of the SBC: (i) the project is international,

accessible from any computer linked to the Internet anywhere in the

world, and (ii) by taking the form of a virtual board room meeting in

2017, the exam is interactive and hands-on which attracts the interest

of students.

- The SBC enjoys a great credibility among business students due to

the sponsorship of WBCSD and AIESEC. The issue of Sustainable

Development is often poorly understood and many business students

refuse to become aware of the issue if it is brought before them by

environmental groups at their campuses. The SBC allows a first

introduction to the concept and the importance of Sustainable

Development to a community of young people who are likely to shape the

future through decisions they make in their later business lives.

- The SBC demonstrated the growing need for management of knowledge

related to the environment and to the concept of sustainable

development in general. The integration of sustainable development

into university curricula will stay on the agenda of AIESEC and WBCSD

as students and businesses take an interest in a sustainable future

and in the environmentally relevant education of future employees.

- The fact that AIESEC is present at over 600 universities and

business schools around the world, coupled with the equally global

presence of WBCSD■s 122 member companies, provides the basis for

locally implemented projects with a global vision. The SBC has served

as a first case study of the synergism that can be fostered by such

partnership. Stand by for more co-operation in the future!


                   Contacts For Further Information


                         AIESEC International

                         Mr. Johnni Kjelsgaard

                       Teilingerstraat 110 - 128

                 NL-3032 AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands

                          Tel: +31-10-243-0603

                          Fax: +31-10-265-1386

                     E-Mail: aiesec@ai.aiesec.org

                      Web: http://www.aiesec.org


           Foundation for Business and Sustainable Development

                    Mr. Hans Christian Lillehagen

                 Postbox 301, N-1324 Lysaker, Norway

                         Tel: +47

                         Fax:+ 47-

                      E-Mail: foundation@wbcsd.ch

                  Web: http://www.wbcsd.ch/foundation



SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS NETWORK - An On-line Vehicle to Facilitate a Green





"The Sustainable Business Network" (SBN) is a focal point for the

sustainable business community on the Internet. The people behind SBN

believe that change occurs through the slow accumulation of thousands

of individual and group actions, and then suddenly accelerates in a

great leap(s), when the pressure builds to a critical point. Our goal

is to fuel momentum toward a green economy by using a resource only

available through the Internet: the ability to broadcast information

across the world instantaneously. We then to invite those same people

to feed back their needs and interact with each other through SBN. It

is our hope that by building SBN to support a huge web of interaction,

we will contribute to the sustainable transformation we believe is



We use education and information for several purposes. First, when we

provide high quality information we attract sophisticated thinkers

from many disciplines who form the basis for the "sparks" of

connection we wish to foster.


Second, we offer succinct, compelling information that ties the field

of sustainable business together. People are overloaded with

information these days and are hard-pressed to keep up with activity

beyond their small niche. Yet we believe a wider perspective fosters

connections and new ways of thinking.


An example is the potential that exists between the Natural Foods and

Green Building sectors. Natural food stores are expanding and adding

multiple stores; a perfect customer for green buildings. The natural

food industry customer base is among the most environmentally aware,

and appreciates green buildings, materials, water conservation, indoor

air quality and so on. To stay apprised of developments in the field,

people in the natural food industry would need to subscribe to green

building publications and vice versa; an unlikely prospect. The same

is true for people involved in social investing, renewable energy, the

recycling industry and other green business sectors.


Third, we believe people are inspired and rejuvenated through positive

information. Unfortunately, the overwhelming negative information

available creates feelings of depression and helplessness rather than

mobilising constructive energy.


At present our programme consists of "The SBN Journal", "The SBN

Library", "Sustainable Business Opportunities" and "Green Dream Jobs":


- "The SBN Journal" is a monthly, on-line snapshot of thinking and

activity in the sustainable business community. Known for its "can-

do", high energy approach, it covers the gamut of green business

sectors from recycling to green building, from renewable energy to

organic products, from social investing to certified forestry.

- "Business Opportunities" supports the growth of sustainable

businesses by encouraging people to find investors/partners,

distributors/licensees, and capital through solicitations.

- "Green Dream Jobs" is the first job and internship listing to help

people with business skills find employment with sustainable


This case study examines the viability of an on-line network focused

on the wide-flung field of sustainable business. We will discuss the

strategy behind its evolution, its successes, and barriers it is

working to overcome.




The Sustainable Business Network aims to:

- Inspire - rejuvenate - educate:  people involved in or interested in

sustainable business around the world.

- Cross-fertilise - connect:  people across the various sectors of

sustainable business.

- Create opportunity: for sustainable businesses to grow and increase

green employment.

Project Activities

The vehicle we chose for education and information is "The SBN

Journal". It is a free, on-line-only monthly publication. It unifies

the field by culling the most compelling news and articles from a wide

variety of leading trade publications in sustainable business. The

accent is on the positive, so that while people who are deeply

involved in their sector know the problems they face, they will also

sense the field as a whole moving forward. The information is high

level and sophisticated without being technical. It is comprehensible

to everyone from students to researchers to business people.


We developed our visitor base through the quality of this journal.

When the numbers of visitors were high enough to sustain interaction

between them, we developed sections to further partnerships and links.


The listings in "Business Opportunities" come from our visitors. We

identified the need based on our visitor feedback and requests they

made in their letters to us. The section was immediately successful

with many very high quality listings sent in from people around the



We also received many letters asking how to find a job with a green

company or organisation. Until recently, unless you were an engineer

or a forester, environmental jobs were not available. A very positive

indication of green economic growth is that enough sustainable

business jobs now exist to create a viable listing service. Green

Dream Jobs is a clearinghouse of job and internship listings to help

people with business skills find employment consistent with their

values, thus creating a better life for themselves and the earth.


Lastly, the SBN Library is a thorough collection of resources on

sustainable business. It includes organisations, government agencies,

publications, databases, mailing lists, funding sources, and

university programs.



Results Achieved

After only a year of operation, SBN attracts over 400,000 visitors per

month. This was greatly aided by our immediate access to a very large

visitor base. SBN is part of The EnviroLink Network, which receives

over 6 million hits per month. Being on EnviroLink's Home Page gives

us visibility that would be otherwise difficult to achieve.


SBN's consistent, subtle public relations effort is paying off.

Thousands of people have elected to be on our e-mail mailing list and

the editor sends them a letter updating the site each month. Through

concentrated effort replying to visitor mail, informing people when

they have been written up on the site, creating links with other

websites, and making all sorts of connections, the word continues to



We have developed a loyal following. SBN visitors return again and

again. Judging from the mail received, visitors include high level

people from environmental agencies, non-profit organisations,

businesses, and universities around the world. We have a file full of

letters lauding us on the quality of our work.


The SBN Journal "hums" along, the "Business Opportunities" and "Green

Dream Jobs" sections are full of listings and up-to-date. One of SBN's

greatest achievements is that much of its content comes from its

visitors. Many people have been contacted through Business

Opportunities posts and the Jobs section is very actively used.



Lessons Learned

It is indeed possible to start something from scratch, and quickly

develop an extensive network using the Internet. This project would

have taken much, much longer using traditional means (and, of course,

many more natural resources). It was possible for us to create

(maintain, and grow) this extensive service with few resources in

terms of staff and money.


For a small staff, the most difficult aspect of our work relates to

mainstream public relations. The press is slow to pick up on our work

and we do not have the time to properly reach out to them on an on-

going basis. To keep our interactive areas working, we need to attract

many more people, especially investors interested in the businesses

listed in Business Opportunities.


Our income depends on corporate sponsors and they also, have been slow

in signing on. Those of us in this field know that advertisers do not

jump onto environmental business sites. We believe as our field grows,

people who benefit from SBN will reciprocate and support us.


                    Contact For Further Information:


                           Rona Fried, Ph.D.

                           Executive Editor

                          Tel: +516-423-3277

                          Fax: +516-423-4725

                       E-Mail: rfried@bccom.com

                  Web: http://www.envirolink.org/sbn



                       Agenda 21, Chapter 31

COASTWATCH EUROPE - A Europe-wide Educational Contribution to

Sustainable Development by the Scientific Community




"Coastwatch Europe" is an initiative currently involving around 20

countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece,

Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway,

Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the

Ukraine. It was established in 1988 by the Dublin Bay Environment

Group with core funding from the European Commission through

Directorate General XI. It is essentially a large-scale, science-based

"education through participation" project that involves the general

public, educational establishments and scientific communities in

coastal management. The Europe-wide aspects are managed by a co-

ordinating group of scientists drawn from each of the participating



The participation of an educated and aware public is a key element for

successful sustainable coastal zone management, and is of direct

relevance to Agenda 21. It is clear from Agenda 21 that governments

cannot do everything required to implement the objectives it contains;

public participation at the local level is vital for success. A major

strength of activities linked to Agenda 21 is that they allow people

to be involved in local action to realise that they are part of a much

wider effort with a global impact. This helps to motivate them to take

their own responsibility in environmental improvement seriously.

Coastal management is an area of environmental action in which the

public can play an important part. In particular the public can be an

essential part of beach litter management and control. It is an issue

that requires specific management given its potential impacts for

sustainable recreation and tourism.




The project was initiated with the following aims in mind:


- to gather a large amount of baseline data in a form that is

comparable throughout Europe,

- to identify problems that threaten the sustainability of the coastal

zone of Europe,

- to raise public awareness throughout Europe,

- to aid formal and informal environmental education throughout



The project gathers a large amount of information concerning the

quality of the European coastal zone. Many of these data can be used

as "indicators" for:


- sustainable recreation,

- sustainable tourism development,

- maintenance of sustainable coastal zone ecosystems.

Project Activity - Europe

"Coastwatch Europe" organisation receives core funding from the

European Commission but individual countries are required to raise

national funds to organise their own survey. In the UK funding was

received from a commercial sponsor between 1989 and 1994. Since 1994

regional funding has been obtained through a consortium of local

authorities and through funding from the education sector. Funding is

the major constraint for the project expansion.


Creating links with schools is an important aim for many of the

participating countries. In several countries, such as Denmark,

Belgium, Iceland and Spain, over 80 per cent of the groups involved

are from schools (in the UK it is around 50 per cent). In addition, a

number of higher education establishments participate in the project

along with local and national environmental and interest groups.

Involvement of such groups, who are experienced in survey work,

ensures that volunteers are under strict supervision and well

organised. Each participating country has a national co-ordinator who

has a scientific background. They are based at a variety of

institutions, primarily universities and non-governmental




Project Activity - UK

The specific content of this case study relates to the activities of

"Coastwatch UK", which is co-ordinated from the Robens Centre for

Public and Environmental Health, University of Surrey, where the

national co-ordinator is based.


National co-ordinating scientists meet twice a year to refine the

questionnaire and to discuss national variations in the survey. The

survey is carried out annually over a two-week period between the end

of September and beginning of October in each country. Surveyors are

recruited by a variety of methods. Increasingly, a network of core

surveyors has been established who are familiar with the format of the

survey and their site. Currently, between 60 and 70 per cent of groups

have participated in at least one Coastwatch UK survey before.


Where possible, the same sites are allocated as a priority each year.

Each group of participants is designated a 5 Km block of coastline in

the location of their choice. On allocation, the volunteers receive

written notification of the name of the block, a six-figure map

reference of the start and finish of the block, the block code and

county code. All details of the block together with the contact name,

address and telephone number of the surveyor group are recorded in a



Training is important. Surveyors are provided with guidance to ensure

that, so far as possible, the questionnaires are completed with the

same degree of accuracy by each group. Where possible, regional

training events are held. However, due to staffing constraints these

are limited. All materials required to complete the survey are mailed

to volunteers approximately three weeks before the start date.

Telephone instructions are issued where appropriate. In addition,

surveyors are provided with the contact number of a regional co-

ordinator whom they can contact during the survey period in case of



All participating European countries are issued with identical core

questionnaires translated as necessary. Detailed instructions on how

to complete the questionnaires are issued by each country to ensure

consistency in methodology. In the UK this takes the form of a

■resource file■ containing all the materials required for completion

of the survey and support materials. The instruction sheets are

updated as necessary and each volunteer group receives additional

educational information in the form of fact sheets on marine issues

and ideas for follow-up activities. The fact sheets provide background

information on the issues covered by the questionnaires and with

completion of the survey.


Follow-up activities encourage surveyors to investigate the issues

further and to continue their involvement in related activities

throughout the year. The activities are designed to be adapted to suit

various age ranges and, where appropriate, the materials are

referenced to the UK National Curriculum to aid formal education and

cover a range of cross-curricular subjects. In addition, training

guides for environmental health officers have been provided.


Following completion of the survey, volunteers return the

questionnaires to the Coastwatch UK national co-ordinating office

where they are checked and analysed. A report is written and

distributed to all volunteer groups, central Government and all local

authorities with coastal responsibilities. The data is also made

available to other interested parties. The report of the survey is

made available within three months of completion of the fieldwork,

providing an accessible source of information on marine pollution.

Feedback to surveyors helps maintain the network. This is further

assisted by the extensive attention of the media in the release of the

results. In raising the profile of the issues surrounding the project,

this extends public awareness to a greater proportion of people than

would otherwise have been the case.



Results Achieved

Coastwatch Europe network has promoted educational exchanges between

schools in a variety of countries. For example, St Cyrus School,

Penarth, South Wales has travelled to both Russia and Sweden for

educational summer camps, undertaking environmental fieldwork and

exchanging cultural viewpoints.


Environmental information is a key element in achieving a good level

of public involvement and participation in the process of sustainable

development. To extend this beyond the annual Coastwatch event, a

number of groups have adopted a section of coastline and monitor it on

a regular basis. Results are recorded and used to monitor changes in

pollution levels. Groups are encouraged to submit these results to

their local authority, to the Environment Agency, or to other

appropriate bodies for action.


The large amount of media publicity that the project attracts has also

had a positive outcome in promoting action. Following publication of

the results several local authorities undertook beach cleanings in

problem areas.


The network organised a number of national and international

conferences extending the educational value to the project. In the UK

these have discussed such issues as public participation in coastal

zone management and pollution in the Solent; in Spain a conference was

organised concerning coastal zone management; and in Ireland dune

management is amongst the numerous seminars arranged. In addition, the

data collected through the project has been presented at a number of

national and international conferences, the most recent being the

Third International Conference on the Mediterranean Environment

(November 1997).


Coastwatch UK has recently been asked by the World Health Organisation

to help produce a balanced overview of recreational water use and

health in Europe. The results will be presented at the forthcoming

London Conference in 1999.


In summary, Coastwatch UK has provided an opportunity for thousands of

volunteers to participate in coastal management issues. By involving

as many people of varying ages, occupations and interests as possible

it has raised public awareness about coastline conditions. The

volunteers have no political, economic or personal motives for

influencing the data, which is therefore completely impartial, and

very influential. The establishment of local monitoring and evaluation

programmes using volunteers has been supported by a number of local

authorities and the Environment Agency in the UK. The practical

involvement of school and college groups, which are large and well

organised, promotes education for sustainable development in the

public sector.



Lessons Learned

The project generates a huge amount of enthusiasm from volunteers

throughout Europe and the data gathered is requested by numerous

organisations and regulatory bodies. However, despite the obvious

value of the project for education and sustainable development the

future of the project depends on securing adequate funding.


The project has grown to its limit with the current staffing capacity.

There is the potential to expand the project considerably both in

terms of the data-gathering exercise and its associated educational

activities. However, currently further activities are constrained





                    Contact for Further Information


                            Coastwatch UK

                            Dr Kathy Pond,

            Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health,

                        University of Surrey,


                            Surrey GU2 5XH

                         Fax: +44 1483 259971

                      Email: k.pond@surrey.ac.uk




Scientists and Technologists Educate for Effective Management of

Intellectual Property




"Intellectual Property Management Capability" is an essential pre-

requisite for developing countries to attain sustainable economic

development. In recognition of this, the "Committee on Science and

Technology in Developing Countries" (COSTED) has identified

Intellectual Property Management as one of its major thrust areas for

intensive activities in developing countries.


COSTED, a special interdisciplinary scientific organisation, was

established by the Paris based "International Council of Scientific

Unions" (ICSU) in 1966. COSTED is a non-government and non-profit

organisation, co-sponsored by UNESCO. The primary mandate of this

organisation is to promote science and technology in developing

countries by serving as the conscience of ICSU in ensuring the

interests of these countries are represented. COSTED acts as an

advisory group to ICSU and UNESCO on the range of their activities in

science and technology for developing countries, on their potential

applications to social and economical development, and how both relate

to other international development efforts.


The uniqueness and strength of COSTED lie in its ability to foster

both North-South and South-South Co-operation in science and

technology. Its affiliation to ICSU and its access to ICSU's

repository of intellectual expertise of the highest order

internationally enables COSTED to make this available to the science

and technology communities in the developing world. In the same

spirit, COSTED's outreach in the developing world enables it to

reflect the needs, priorities and problems as perceived by the

communities to the international efforts of ICSU and other

international bodies.


The present case study is typical of activities that are now high on

the COSTED agenda. These support sustainable development by exploiting

science and technology to satisfy local and regional needs. In an era

characterised by the advent of new generic technologies, and

unprecedented dynamism in the field of international economic

activity, developing countries will have to overcome many difficulties

if their development agendas are not to be compromised.


Many of the developing countries as signatories to the recently

concluded GATT agreement are grappling with the challenges now posed,

some of which offer tremendous opportunities. One such opportunity is

the new "Intellectual Property Regime" (IPR). Under IPR, intellectual

property now represents, a major national resource for developing

countries. Properly managed, intellectual property can make a major

contribution to sustainable economic growth. Yet, currently it is not

valued as it should be, and its potential will only be realised if

countries build capacity for its effective management


It is clear then that management of IPR will only be effective if this

is supported by a programme of education that disseminates

information, creates awareness, trains key people, sensitises policy

makers, and changes attitudes. Likewise, in the longer term, it is

vitally important that knowledge of IPR reaches students at

universities and schools. This aspect receives strong emphasis in

Costed■s work-plan.



- To create/enhance awareness of the recent IPR related developments

and the implications that these have for developing countries.

- To understand the linkages between IPR, scientific and technological

endeavours, and natural resources.

- To identify steps for institutional preparedness to meet the IPR

challenges for 2005 including human resource and legislative


- To study the relevance of IPR to the scientific and technological

communities, and to decision makers in developing countries.

- To encourage the percolation of awareness of IPR into university and

school curricula.

- Finally, to provide a service that gives information and advice to

developing countries on request.

Project Activity

This is an on-going programme that commenced in September 1996. The

activity comprises the following elements:


- Round Tables on IPR

- Regional Conferences/Workshops

- Information and Advisory Service

Round Tables on IPR

Four Round Tables were organised in India during I996-97, essentially

to provide a forum for free exchange of views and issues. Each Round

Table focused on a specific industrial sector namely Chemicals and

Agro-products, Pharmaceuticals, Electronics and Electrical industry

and Biological Resources and Natural products. These meetings helped

to "raise awareness" on the complex and urgent issues relating to

intellectual property management. They also highlighted the need for

capacity building, creation of IP professionals, reforms in the

educational and legal systems and above all sensitisation of

politicians and decision makers. The primary targets for these

meetings were the science and technology communities, members of which

are considered to be the principal generators of intellectual

property. Mechanisms to stimulate innovation and creativity by this

community were also discussed.

COSTED participated in a national IPR meeting in Sri Lanka, in

February 1998 and assisted in the sensitisation efforts and national

plan of action.

Regional Conferences/Workshops

Two regional meetings have been successfully organised on this subject

to pave the way for regional co-operation in addition to raising

awareness and preparedness of the participating countries in the

region. A regional workshop for Asian countries was organised in

October 1997 in Chiang Mai, Thailand in conjunction with the Council

Meeting of the Federation of Asian Scientific Association and

Societies. This workshop focused on the issues of priority to the

Asian region.

Very recently, a conference focusing on the Arab region was jointly

organised by COSTED with TWAS and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific

Research and Technology, Cairo, in February 1998. The conference

culminated in a number of important recommendations at the regional

and international levels. A Task Force in which the Egyptian Academy

is playing a lead role for the Arab region was set-up to look into the

implementation of these recommendations.

Three such meetings covering the African, Latin American and the

Caribbean regions are being planned for 1998-99. These are essentially

preliminary, sensitisation and capability building initiatives in the

developing regions wherein COSTED plays a catalytic and co-ordinating

role by stimulating local and regional initiatives. If these

initiatives crystallise into action programmes, COSTED will play a

supporting and advisory role.

Information and advisory service

Preparations are underway to set up an information and advisory

service for developing countries on Intellectual Property Management.

This will include information on the latest developments in the

international arena, state-of-art on the subject in other countries,

case-studies and advisory support for patent preparation, and other

related assistance. This service will function at the Central

Secretariat of COSTED in Chennai, India and will be operational by mid


Results Achieved and Lessons Learned

The programme is still at a comparatively early stage, and the

tangible benefits that will accrue will appear mainly in the longer

term. To attempt an objective assessment at this stage would therefore

be premature; quantification will only be possible in a further 2-3


Nonetheless, a great deal has already been learned:Developing

countries are in varying degrees of preparedness in managing

intellectual property. This is an area that has wide-ranging and far-

reaching implications for a variety of sectors of national and

economic relevance. Developing countries have enormous resources in

their natural biodiversity and traditional knowledge systems that have

the potential to be harnessed for sustainable economic development.

Effective management of these resources calls for a change in the

attitudes of scientists and technologists in order to identify, assess

and record these resources.An appropriate legislative frame-work,

within which IPR management can thrive is essential.Scientists and

technologists, as generators of and stakeholders in intellectual

property, are the key human resource. Efforts to stimulate and sustain

the creativity and innovative capability of this resource are vital to

reap the benefits of the new IP regime.  COSTED's efforts so far have

been comparatively modest and represent the first few steps on a long

path. COSTED seeks the co-operation and partnership of like-minded

international organisations in order to make a significant and

substantial impact in enabling developing countries to strengthen

their capabilities in Intellectual Property Management.




                 Contacts for Further Information


                      Scientific Secretary


                     Dr.Veena Ravichandran

               Senior Scientific Officer,COSTED 


                    Gandhi Mandapam Road, 

                       Chennai 600 025 


              Tel: 91 44 4901367/419466/443028

              Fax: 91 44 4914543/4911589/944444






                      Agenda 21, Chapter 32

FARMER EDUCATION IN KENYA - Education for Small-Scale Farmers Helps to Build

Sustainable Development


The case study describes a pilot project, carried out by the

"International  Federation  of  Agricultural Producers" (IFAP) and the

"Kenya National Farmers' Union" (KNFU), at the Mahiga Location in

Nyeri District in Kenya, during the years 1995-1997. The "pilot

project" involved the KNFU Farmers' Study Groups at the Mahiga

Location in Nyeri District in Kenya. KNFU Study Groups are grassroots

farmers' groups specialising "in participatory adult educationand

extension", where farmers regularly meet to read and discuss

agricultural topics of their own choosing. During the pilot project,

farmers identified soil conservation as their minimum research need.

They wanted to reduce their fertiliser use to sustainable levels but

they did not have access to soil sampling services.  While local

research centres can analyse soils, samples need to be taken to the

research centres. During the pilot project, farmers learned about soil

sampling through their Study Groups, and were able to get their soils

tested. They also were able to "learn about" adjusting their

fertiliser use and adjust their agricultural production methods to

suit their soils.This project is a direct response to Agenda 21,

Chapter 32 on the Role of Farmers, especially with reference to

paragraphs 32.5 and 32.7. These are concerned with the promotion of a

greater participation of local and village-organizations in

agricultural research, and the transfer of sustainable agricultural

methods through farmers' adult education schemes at village level.

"Implementing Organizations" The International Federation of

Agricultural Producers (IFAP), founded in 1946, is the world

organisation of farmers. It groups together nationally representative

general farmers' organizations. The Federation represents virtually

all the agricultural producers in the industrialised countries and

several hundred million farmers in the developing countries. The one

link that is common to the vast majority of IFAP's members, large or

small, is their attachment to the family farm. IFAP has Category 1

consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United

Nations. It is financed and governed by its member organizations. The

Kenya National Farmers' Union (KNFU) is a direct membership union of

farmers. Apart from individual farmers, it groups together 28 national

organizations, regional co-operative societies and commercial

agriculture related organizations. Small-scale farmers, women and men,

comprise a largemajority of KNFU membership. KNFU regularly analyses

farm policy and makes representation to government. It also runs a

number of services for farmers, including information services,

"education and extension", life insurance and savings schemes.


KNFU Study Groups are grassroots farmers' groups specialising in

participatory adult education and extension. Under the Kenya National

Farmers' Union Study Group Scheme, farmers regularly meet to read and

discuss agricultural topics chosen by themselves. Appropriately

written booklets and some training and guidance is put at their

disposal by KNFU for this purpose. As a general rule, farmers' study

groups consist of eight to ten farmers, who study a self-chosen

subject on an egalitarian basis. Farmers also receive certificates on

the completion of each subject matter. Study group schemes were

originally developed jointly between Swedish Co-operative Centre and

KNFU in the 1980s, and have since spread to Zimbabwean and Zambian

small farming sectors, through IFAP member organizations in those

countries.The Kenyan pilot project aimed to develop this tried-and-

tested scheme further by implementing the following agenda: Farmers

form their study group and discuss their actual research needs;

Farmers contact agricultural research and extension services for

answers and collaboration;To the extent that answers were available

from agricultural research and extension, new study   materials are

prepared in the form of booklets for farmers discussion groups, as

well as physical material and services; Farmers continue their cycle

of identification of needs, participatory preparation of their study

programme in consultation with research and extension, application of

what they have learned, and participatory evaluation. In specific

terms, the project objectives were to bring about: successful transfer

of at least one "sustainable" agricultural method to small-scale

farmers on a demand-driven basis; andestablishment of a dialogue and

consultation mechanism among farmers' study groups, agricultural

research and extension bodies at the local level.

Project Activities

The pilot project was formulated through joint discussions between the

KNFU local and national farm leaders, local and village level

meetings. Project formulation mission was carried out by an IFAP-

appointed consultant from the Dutch farmers' organizations and a KNFU

senior staff member. A Steering Committee composed of Kenya National

Farmers■ Union (KNFU), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

and Extension was established to facilitate and monitor project

activities.The draft project was further discussed at the "National

Workshop on Linkages Between Farmers' Organizations, Agricultural

Research and Extension", held in January 1995, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Briefing and planning meetings were held in the five areas of Mahiga

Locality with the participation of 830 farmers. Priorities for project

activities were set by follow-up meetings and Farmers' Study Groups

were formed. Farmers identified soil conservation as their main

research need. They wanted to reduce their fertiliser use to

sustainable levels.Farmer priorities were communicated to research and

extension at local level through direct contact as well as through

farmer tours organised to the regional research station in Embu, where

farmers discussed their priorities with researchers. A total of 120

farmers visited the regional research station and held talks with

researchers. While local research centres can easily carry out soil

analysis, samples need to be taken from individual farmers' fields and

brought to the research centres. Farmers learned about soil sampling

through their Study Groups, and were able to get their soils tested.

They also were able to learn about fertiliser and pesticide use and

were able to adjust their production methods to suit their soils. By

the end of the pilot project, twenty study groups were successfully

formed and trained in Mahiga locality. Demonstration plots were also

used by study groups as an activity.

Results achieved

As a result of the pilot project, small-scale farmers were able to get

their soils tested and adjust their production methods to suit their


Lessons Learned

Education should be an on-going and participatory process for farmers,

Farmers should identify their educational needs themselves, formulate

their own educational programmes in consultation with technically

competent authorities in an egalitarian mannerA strong negotiating

capacity by representative farmers' organizations, structured at

local, national and international levels, is essential for ensuring

the participatory nature of farmers' education. In other words, strong

farmers' organizations are guarantors of farmers' participation and



                Contacts for Further Information

                         Rashid Pertev, 

         International Federation of Agricultural Producers, 

                       60 rue St. Lazare, 

                      75009 Paris, France. 

                      Tel: 01 45 26 05 53 

            Fax: 01 48 74 72 12/ 01 45 26 67 98

            e-mail: 101476.3474@compuserve.com

                          Philip Kiriro, 

                  Kenya National Farmers Union, 

                         P.O. Box 43148, 

                 Adamali House,Nairobi, Kenya, 

                      Tel: 25 42 28 89 4/5 

                       Telegr. FARSUN KUF 

                       Fax: 25 42 33 99 05 



Developing Farmer-Community Partnerships for  a New Vision of

Agriculture and Food Security


Established and inaugurated at a ceremony at the United Nations in

1991, the "World Sustainable Agriculture Association" (WSAA) has

served as an educational, research, advocacy, and service organisation

that promotes agricultural sustainability. The goal of WSAA is to

encourage the regeneration of soil and society, and ultimately the

well-being of planet Earth and of all people, through food and farming

systems that are in harmony with Nature. With effect from April 1998,

WSAA will change its focus towards developing a demonstration

prototype of nature farming in Hawaii, USA under the auspices of the

Mokichi Okada Association (MOA). The other aspects of the work

described here will continue in a new entity. As food security emerges

to be an increasingly central environment and development issue, we

have chosen to refocus our efforts to achieving food security through

sustainable food and farming systemsWSAA has been active at the United

Nations including the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD). It

helped establish the Farmer-NGO Sustainable Agriculture/Food Systems

(SAFS) Caucus. Since 1993, farmers and sustainable agriculture leaders

have participated in the work of the CSD, ensuring that their views

are included in discussions and progress reports on the implementation

of Agenda 21. The Caucus helped co-ordinate the first

Farmer/Government Dialogue at the CSD (1997), featuring the

participation of farmers from several developing and developed

countries. For the first time, a farmer■s voice was heard at the UN

General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) at Earth Summit II, when Ms.

Denise O'Brien of Iowa, fruit and dairy producer from Iowa.USA, spoke

to them about the needs and concerns of small scale farmers. If our

generation fails to make agriculture "sustainable", humanity and Earth

will suffer unspeakable consequences. It follows then that sustainable

agriculture is not to be viewed as if it were an alternative to

conventional agriculture; viewed from any humanitarian and ecological

perspective, there is no acceptable alternative to sustainable

agriculture..Attending the United Nations Conference on Environment

and Development at Rio in 1992, over 400 farmers and NGO

representatives asserted:  "Sustainable agriculture is a model of

social and economic organisation based on an equitable and

participatory vision of development which recognises the environment

and natural resources as the foundation of economic activity.

Agriculture is sustainable when it is ecologically sound, economically

viable, socially just, culturally appropriate, and based on a holistic

scientific approach." If we are to achieve this goal, "education"

directed towards "sustainable agriculture" is essential.


WSAA aims to promote agricultural and food system sustainability

through:Disseminating Information (an essential component of any

educational activity) on Exemplary Models, Projects, and

PoliciesFacilitating Sustainable Agricultural DevelopmentShaping

Public Policies on Sustainable AgricultureObjectives for these three

areas of activity include:highlighting (through "education and

awareness" activities) the efforts of small scale grassroots

initiatives at the local level to achieve sustainable agriculture

under diverse conditions;contributing to the ongoing, dynamic process

of moving away from the philosophy of dominating nature toward working

in harmony with nature to produce food, by helping define and

articulate a systematic approach to sustainable

agriculture;demonstrating models which illustrate the principle that

ecological, biologically intensive farm management systems can become

profitable for peasant producers and local family farmers,developing

"education and awareness" by means of direct communication between

producers and consumers (such as farmers■ markets, community-supported

agriculture, subscription farming, and local food policy councils,

etc.)developing partnerships among farmers (women and men), consumers,

research scientists, non-governmental organisations and local

authorities to plan and develop ecologically, socially and

economically sound food and farming systems;raising issues of major

importance to food and farming in policy forums, and creating

opportunities for educating the public and policy-makers through

dialogue about broader visions and solutions.

Project Activities

"Disseminating Information and Creating Awareness" Through

publications, special events, and staff and guest presentations, WSAA

has publicised exemplary sustainable agriculture projects, programs,

and policies developed and demonstrated by organisations, agencies,

and institutions throughout the world, for example by the WSAA book, 

"For ALL Generations - Making World Agriculture More Sustainable".

This book describes the challenges of sustainable agriculture and

profiles 61 organisations world-wide that are contributing to the

goals of sustainable agriculture. The premise of the book is that a

world-wide transition to sustainable agriculture is both necessary and

attainable. Sustainable agriculture is not only a possibility, but a

determined effort often evolving through small scale efforts, mostly

at the grassroots level. The mission of the book is to encourage

efforts at all levels from the grassroots to the seats of power in

government and in corporations to make the world's agriculture more

sustainable, thereby contributing to the establishment of a more

sustainable, humane, and just society.Numerous farm and community-

based groups are active in disseminating information on exemplary

farms and gardens, local food projects and policies. They change the

way agriculture is practised, work in partnership to build local food

systems providing nutritious food, contribute to a vibrant rural

economy, and sustain adequate livelihoods for producers living on the

land. Profiles documented and published by WSAA include: "Cameroon,

West Africa": The Group of Common Initiative of the Women Farmers of

Bogso (GICPAB), a grassroots organisation of women farmers focusing on

cassava production, preservation, marketing, and crop storage to

combat poverty and hunger. In efforts to encourage the consumption of

local foods such as cassava, GICPAB has undertaken two important

research projects:  the first concerns local technologies to preserve

foods, and the second is to compile local recipes and different ways

to eat cassava.The principal activity in Bogso is subsistence

agriculture. The peculiarity of the GICPAB resides in its efforts to

use the cultivation of cassava as a tool for the development of its

rural community. Elsewhere people discuss sufficient food supplies and

sending children to school. In Bogso they say: "Let us create a

library for the village."  The cultivation of cassava, as they say in

Bogso, feeds the village, but that is not all. -We must think about

the future." Thus, a small processing unit was built to obtain cassava

flour, which is easier to preserve. As a consequence of excess

production resulting from enlarging the individual fields of women

farmers, GICPAB just received the authorisation to open a periodic

market. This market will allow the little village of Bogso to welcome

sellers, buyers, and intermediaries from the two big metropolises of

Cameroon (Douala and Yaounde), generating intense commercial activity

and creating new jobs adapted to the new activities of the

village.Clearly, learning new knowledge, skills and attitudes have

been integral parts of the project. "New York State, USA": The Genesee

Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA) offers a

practical alternative to participation in the global food marketplace.

It provides the urban shareholders with a way to keep a local, organic

family farm in business, while satisfying their own needs for

nutritious, ecologically produced food, and for contact with the earth

on which it is grown. Direct sales from the farm to the CSA eliminate

the middlemen:  the farm gets a better price than by selling on the

wholesale market, and the family shareholders get fresh, organic food

more cheaply than in a health food store or a supermarket. The GVOCSA

is a farmer-eater co-operative linking 170 families in Rochester, New

York, with Rose Valley Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm,

located 40 miles away. Disseminating information and creating

awareness is essential to GVOCSA■s activities "Facilitating

Sustainable Agricultural Development" Numerous local efforts of groups

working in partnership with a broad cross-section of community

members, have been active in facilitating sustainable agricultural

development and creating prototypal models of sustainable food

systems:In India, WSAA has worked to adapt MOA Nature Farming methods

to the soil, climate, and culture of the Bangalore area of Karnataka

State in India, for the purpose of regenerating the soil and enhancing

the health and well-being of the people. In 1995, farmers and

supporters established a Nature Farming demonstration site at Raj

Bhavan, the residence of the Governor of Karnataka State. In an

educational programme for sustainable agriculture, seminars on Nature

Farming are conducted with and for farmers, with instruction and hand-

on experience in soil building, compost making and application,

natural (non-chemical) pest control, and other essential subjects.

Plant diseases and pest attacks are decreasing as the health of the

soil is improved year after year. Yields are increasing, and are now

almost equal to those obtained using conventional methods. WSAA Japan

has encouraged and facilitated the local adoption and development of

sustainable approaches to agriculture in rural and urban communities

of Japan. Farmer co-operatives working with consumers, researchers and

local officials have very successfully established and supported

chapters in various prefectures of Japan in educational activities

that facilitate exchanges of locally available information on

sustainable agriculture and related issues such as environment, food,

and health. They have identified and disseminated information

regarding exemplary cases of farmers and communities successfully

practising sustainable agriculture; organised symposiums and seminars

to disseminate international, national, and local information needed

to promote the local adoption and development of sustainable

agriculture. "Shaping Public Policies on Sustainable Agriculture"

Advocates of sustainable food and farming systems are actively working

in every region of the world to educate the public and policy-makers

about the kind of agriculture we need and its role in achieving the

goals of Agenda 21. The Washington Office of WSAA, working in

conjunction with the NGO Sustainable Agriculture/Food Systems (SAFS)

Caucus of the CSD, has focused its efforts on shaping public policies

through increased farmer and NGO leader participation at the United

Nations.WSAA, in co-operation with other like-minded NGOs and farm

groups, monitors the implementation of the sustainable agriculture

commitments made by national governments during the Earth Summit in

Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This monitoring effort includes active

participation in the SAFS Caucus during the annual meetings of the UN

Commission on Sustainable Development. During the 1996 CSD meeting in

New York, SAFS co-sponsored a luncheon program showcasing exemplary

sustainable agriculture projects. WSAA helped co-ordinate input from

farmer and NGO groups into the FAO Task Manager's report to the CSD on

implementation of Chapter 14 of Agenda 21.

Results Achieved

The publication, "For ALL Generations - Making World Agriculture More

Sustainable", has sparked the interest of civil society, government

and institutional agencies who have learned of the extensive efforts

of 61 predominately grassroots organisations involved in reversing

unsustainable agriculture practices and replacing them with

ecologically sound farming systems. This acknowledgement of the value

and significance of grassroots efforts has contributed to our

understanding of the needs, constraints on and resources available to

farmers and farming communities, and has enhanced public interest in

sustainable agriculture and development. We have identified and

highlighted examples that link agro-ecological and nature-friendly

farming with comprehensive and integrated approaches to health and

quality of life. We have done this in site-specific ways that are

compatible with local cultures and communities (India, Japan,

Thailand, Russia, Cameroon, Kenya, Taiwan, USA, Moldova, Bolivia,

Venezuela, Chile, among many others).

Lessons Learned

As a result of the activities described above, at WSAA we have learned

that:Partnerships are essential for educational and other activities.

It takes a broad effort at the community level - farmers, consumers,

scientists, consumers, NGOs and local authorities - to make progress.

Neither government nor any one Major Group can do it alone. Examples

of partnerships can be found in every corner of the globe. The support

of the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and CSD

Secretariat Major Groups program has been, and will continue to be,

essential in helping to bridge partnerships with governments and

international institutions.There is a great deal of activity

(including educational activity) by farmers, consumers, NGOs,

scientists and local authorities that needs to be recognised and

supported. Resources for implementation of projects to achieve

sustainable agriculture have been limited. Much more recognition and

support, for small scale efforts in particular, are needed.Education

and in-depth discussion about problems and solutions are essential.

Real dialogue is needed on the agricultural and societal issues we are

facing in the world today, yet very often views of small-scale farmers

and local community members are not included in the discussion. When

local authorities, farmers and other community members are brought

together to meaningfully participate and to learn and adopt

significant roles in reshaping their food systems toward sustainable

patterns and relationships, they can agree on solutions and work




          Linda Elswick Sustainable Agriculture Public Policy 


                c/o EarthVoiceWashington DC 20037 

                      USATel  +202 778 6145

                         Fax  +202 778 6134

                     Email: wsaadc@igc.apc.org


* This case study draws heavily on excerpts from the book: "For ALL

Generations - Making World Agriculture More Sustainable", (1997) A WSAA

Publication, Edited by J. Patrick Madden and Scott G Chaplowe. OM Publishing,

PO Box 4186 Glendale, California, 091222 0186

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 8 December 1999 15:15:30
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD