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Reducing Risk: Sustainability and Sustainable Development. Session 39. Session Objectives. Identify key linkages between environmental processes and conditions and disaster vulnerability Understand alternative conceptualizations of sustainability

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Presentation Transcript
session objectives
Session Objectives
  • Identify key linkages between environmental processes and conditions and disaster vulnerability
  • Understand alternative conceptualizations of sustainability
  • Understand key issues in the political ecology of development and underdevelopment
  • Identify key linkages between development and environment
environmental processes and conditions
Environmental Processes and Conditions

Water Quality and Quantity

Hydrological Cycle


Air Quality

Slope and Topography

Soil Texture, Fertility,

Toxicity, Stability


linking environmental processes and disaster vulnerability
Linking Environmental Processes and Disaster Vulnerability
  • Environment can be experienced as both resource and hazard
  • Environmental conditions can protect humans and buffer extreme events
  • Human activity can cause or exaggerate the effects of extreme natural events
  • Human land use decisions can put settlements and groups of people at risk
typical definition of to sustain
To keep in existence

To maintain or prolong

To continue or last

Problems with Definition

Inherent contradictions

Extreme cases

Boundaries over what is being “maintained” or “prolonged”

For how long?

Who should manage?

Lack of perfect knowledge may make it hard to “manage” in the right direction

Typical Definition of “To Sustain”
typical definitions of sustainable development
Typical Definitions of “Sustainable Development”
  • Human activity that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987, p. 8)
  • “A strategy for improving the quality of life while preserving the environmental potential for the future, of living off interest rather than consuming natural capital” (Natl. Commission on the Environment, 1993, cited in Beatley, 1998, pp. 235-36)
how do gender ethnic and caste differences affect life chances human and economic development
How do Gender, Ethnic, and Caste Differences Affect Life Chances, Human and Economic Development?
  • Land tenure systems
  • Water rights and “tree tenure”
  • Labor relations and labor law
  • Biases in the education system
  • Biases in access to financial credit
  • Biases in access to technical assistance and advice
  • Geographical isolation
differences between economic development and human development
Economic Development

Concerns increase of production of goods and services

Measure in money and mediated through markets

Human Development

Concerns increase in satisfaction of basic needs

Concerns increase in autonomy

Measured by more than money

Requires public investment and not just resource allocation provided by unregulated markets

Differences Between Economic Development and Human Development
views of sustainability
Strong View

No consideration of financial costs

Key concept is ‘ecological sustainability’

Focuses primarily on the environment

Reliance on physical measures of things

Weak View

Consideration of financial costs

Benefit/cost analysis often used to evaluate ‘trade-offs’

Key concept is ‘economic sustainability’

Reliance on measurements of financial value and relationship between resource allocation and level of consumption

Views of Sustainability
traps produced by underdevelopment
“Traps” Produced by Underdevelopment

Lack of

political influence

Low income

Physical weakness

due to disease and undernutrition



Access to poor,

difficult land