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Sustainable Development

Values-based Indicators

Early results from the Values-based Indicators of Education for Sustainable Development (ESDinds) project show that it has succeeded in developing indicators to measure trust, integrity, justice, empowerment, unity in diversity, and care and respect for the community of life in businesses and civil society organizations.

Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism

STATEMENTS OF THE BAHÁ'Í INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

RETHINKING PROSPERITY
Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism

Earth Charter

STATEMENTS OF THE BAHÁ'Í INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Earth Charter

Geneva, 5 April 1991

Compilation on Sustainable Development


         

COMPILATIONS FROM THE BAHÁ'Í WRITINGS


COMPILATION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

IEF Statements for WSSD 2002

STATEMENTS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM


Position papers
for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(26 August-4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa)

THE IEF PROGRAMME in JOHANNESBURG

Education for Sustainable Development

IEF SEMINAR 2004


Orlando Seminar on Education for Sustainable Development
15-16 December 2004
Orlando, Florida, USA

Education for Sustainable Development --

Applying Systems Thinking in the 21st Century Classroom and Beyond

Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind

WILMETTE INSTITUTE


Distance learning course
co-sponsored by the IEF

WILMETTE INSTITUTE COURSE ON

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
AND THE PROSPERITY OF HUMANKIND

Phnom Penh Regional Platform on Sustainable Development for Asia and the Pacific

ESCAP/ENR/HRM/WSSD/1/Rev.1
29 November 2001

High-level Regional Meeting for the
World Summit on Sustainable Development
(Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 27-29 November 2001)

European Commission proposes concrete actions for sustainable development

Background for the World Summit on Sustainable Development


European Commission proposes concrete actions
for sustainable development and a fair world

13 February 2002

Priorities for WSSD - An Overview of the Regional Preparatory Meetings

Background documents for the World Summit on Sustainable Development


Secretariat of the World Summit for Sustainable Development
20 December 2001

PRIORITIES FOR WSSD - AN OVERVIEW
OF THE REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS


INTRODUCTION

Implementing Agenda 21 - Report of the Secretary-General

Commission on Sustainable Development
acting as the preparatory committee for the
World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second preparatory session
28 January - 8 February 2002
E/CN.17/2002/PC.2/....
ADVANCE UNEDITED TEXT


Implementing Agenda 21

World Summit on Sustainable Development

WORLD SUMMIT ON
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4 September 2002

REPORT ON THE PROCESS
A report for individuals and communities interested in summit processes
with particular emphasis on ethical/spiritual issues and NGO collaboration

Knowledge, Values and Education for Sustainable Development

BACKGROUND PAPER FROM THE
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM


KNOWLEDGE, VALUES AND EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 2012)

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2012
PROBABLE CHANGE OF DATES: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-22 June 2012


The United Nations General Assembly decided in December 2009 to hold the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in 2012 - also referred to as 'Rio+20', although it could be Stockholm+40.

The Conference will aim at securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges.

The Brazilian government and the UN have just announced (4 November) a probable change of dates for the conference to 20-22 June 2011, with the 3rd PrepCom on 13-15 June. This will be confirmed at the end of November.

Download Conference Brochure (pdf 1mb)

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Spiritual Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Workshop on Sustainable Development and International Cooperation
(Bucharest, Romania, 22-23 March 1996)

SPIRITUAL DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Arthur L. Dahl
Geneva, Switzerland*
Presented on behalf of the Bahá'í International Community

[This paper has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]


When we think of development, we usually think first of economic development to meet material needs, measured perhaps through growth in the Gross National Product (GNP). Yet is that all that there is to development? Does economics measure everything? It is clear that development must include not only material progress, but social and cultural dimensions as well. For instance, a developed society must have an effective legal system built up through years of parliamentary action and judicial interpretation, yet this is never considered by economists as a capital asset and included in national accounts, despite a very high human investment and replacement cost. Because development has such social dimensions, each society must define development in its own terms to reflect its underlying culture, values and goals.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Sustainable Development and the Environment of the World: An Overview

INTERNATIONAL BAHÁ'Í ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE
(de Poort, Netherlands, 24-26 October 1997)

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE WORLD: AN OVERVIEW

Arthur Lyon Dahl
Geneva, Switzerland*

[This paper is as presented at the conference and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]

SYNOPSIS


State of the world and future trends

The environmental problems of the planet and the challenge of achieving more sustainable forms of development have been high on the political agenda for some years. As we consider the role and activities of a Bahá'í Environment Forum, it may help to sketch out what we understand about the world and where it is going from a Bahá'í perspective, how the Bahá'í community has responded to the opportunities created, and what kind of roles might be appropriate to a network of Bahá'is concerned about these issues.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Living within Environmental Limits: Implications of Baha'i Principles for Sustainable Development

3rd CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
Sidcot, UK, 15-18 August 1999

LIVING WITHIN ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITS:
IMPLICATIONS OF BAHA'I PRINCIPLES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Arthur Lyon Dahl*
[Draft notes for presentation at the conference]


What is sustainable development from a Bahá'í perspective?

Sustainable development is usually defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is generally accepted that this implies some justice in the sharing of resources both within this generation and with future generations. The concept of sustainability thus already has a strong ethical component.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Panel Discussion about Knowledge for Sustainable Development

5th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum
19-21 October 2001, Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czech Republic

Panel Discussion about Knowledge for Sustainable Development

Laurent Mesbah
Sarajevo, Bosnia

[This paper is as presented at the Conference, and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]


Throughout the recorded history of mankind, knowledge has been obtained through two different sources: Religion and Science (see Prosperity of Humankind, a statement produced by the Baha'i International Community in 1995).

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

The Role of Knowledge for Sustainable Development

5th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum
19-21 October 2001, Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czech Republic

The Role of Knowledge for Sustainable Development

Bettina Angela Moser

[This paper is as presented at the Conference, and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

SAT - Rural Education for Sustainable Development

6th Conference of the International Environment Forum
at parallel events to the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 August-3 September 2002

SAT - Rural Education for Sustainable Development

Michael Richards
SAT project manager for BASED-UK
Presented at the seminar on Education and Values for Sustainable Development
1 September 2002

Download powerpoint presentation (590 K)

These papers are as presented at the conference and have not been subject to editorial review by the IEF


One definition of the objective of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is "the promotion of values and ethics through education at different levels in order to make an impact on people's lifestyles and behaviour and help to build a sustainable future" (www.unesco.org/education/esd). Another is the development of "skills in critical thinking, negotiations, scientific understanding and openness to the views of others" (Living Earth). Each definition reflects a necessary but not sufficient condition for ESD. In fact they represent two complementary aspects of human development - on the one hand the development of intellectual capacities, and on the other of human qualities or virtues. One without the other is like a bird with one wing: intellectual development without values leads to inequitable development and ignores the importance of human motivation. But without skills and knowledge relevant to local conditions, development will continue to depend on the priorities of outsiders.

The 'System of Tutorial Learning'- SAT (Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial) for short - is a programme of non-formal rural secondary education developed since the early 1970s in Colombia by an NGO called FUNDAEC, and more recently in Honduras and other Latin American countries. The instigators of SAT saw education as the key to more self-reliant community development; that for the majority of rural children, education does not go beyond primary school - usually because families cannot afford to keep them at school; and that the formal education system suffers from 'urban bias' and a materialistic value system which encourages the young to migrate to the cities.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

A Baha'i Perspective on the Environment and Sustainable Development

Paper presented at the inaugural Conference of the International Environment Forum
de Poort, Netherlands, 24-26 October 1997

A BAHÁ'Í PERSPECTIVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Michael Richards
Overseas Development Institute, London

[This paper is as presented at the Conference, and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]


SUMMARY

This paper aims to define the main spiritual principles at the root of the causes and potential solutions of the environmental and sustainable development crisis facing humanity. Five main interrelated principles or themes are highlighted here:

1. Unity and interdependence (from which all the other principles stem)
2. Economic and social justice (the equity dimension).
3. Education (especially spiritual education).
4. The integration of scientific and spiritual viewpoints.
5. New structures and systems of governance (allied to new models of consultation and the concept of 'world citizenship').

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Education: a constraint or a catalyst to sustainable development?

5th Conference of the International Environment Forum
19-21 October 2001, Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czech Republic

Education: a constraint or a catalyst to sustainable development?

Victoria W. Thoresen
Assistant Professor, Hedmark University College, Hamar, Norway

[This paper is as presented at the Conference, and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]


The establishment of a just society maintained by noble individuals has been the goal of human civilizations throughout the ages. It has not, however, been easy to agree upon what justice is or what characterizes a noble, morally astute individual. It has been even more difficult to achieve consensus as to what form of development will lead to such a goal. Rapid economic advancement has for decades been the guiding star of development. Today's global community has finally begun focusing upon the need for "sustainable development" which includes social, economic and spiritual development; development which encompasses the transformation of individuals as well as man-made social structures and markets.

This "focusing" on sustainable development has taken numerous forms since the international gathering in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the initiating of the Agenda 21 action plan. And as always, the most common response to any call for a better tomorrow is: educate the children.. . . education being, of course, much more than just transferring information. Education in such a context must be seen as the systematized, value-based process of socialization.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Workshop on Financial Micro Initiatives as tools for Sustainable Development

2nd International Conference of the Environment Forum
6-8 November, 1998, De Poort, The Netherlands

Workshop on Financial Micro Initiatives as tools for Sustainable Development

Mark van de Valk
Strohalm, Utrecht, The Netherlands

[This paper is as presented at the Conference, and has not been subject to editorial review by the IEF]


Introduction

Sustainable development has four (major) aspects: the economical, ecological, the social and the cultural. In the world around us we can see a dominance of the economy with detrimental effects on nature & environment, social fabrics and cultural diversity. Also, we can observe a growing global awareness, rising living standards, more democracy and respect for human rights, more communication possibilities, more opportunities for women, better technologies; in many places, but not in all. We seem to be in need of economic structures that counterbalance the globalisation of the economy, especially the financial sector.

Many of the actions to be taken as part of (Local) Agenda 21 have to be taken at the local level. Local activities almost by definition support (or are compatible with) cultural and biological diversity. Local economic structures may promote the satisfaction of local needs making use of local resources. Money (or capital) is one of the local resources. We therefore are looking for systems that either provide local money or retain the available money within the local community (prevent leakage from the community to outside financiers). Economic structures that facilitate producer-consumer contacts without the use of a kind of money can be interesting as well. All these systems together are called Financial Micro Initiatives (FMIs).

Spiritual Principles for Sustainable Development

Spiritual Principles for Sustainable Development

A brief talk by Peter Adriance, prior to the 15th annual IEF conference
Bahá'í Center of Learning, Hobart, Tasmania, 9 December 2011


Introduction

Comment on the Rio+20 zero draft

On 10 January the UNCSD Rio+20 bureau released the zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, "The Future We Want": http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=324&menu=23. This draft is based on hundreds of submissions from governments and civil society, including IEF, compiled at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=115. It will serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the conference in June, starting in New York on 25-27 January.

Invitation to join and contribute to Rio+20 Dialogues on Sustainable Development

Invitation to join and contribute to Rio+20 Dialogues on Sustainable Development


The Government of Brazil is convening a Dialogue series with the aim of bringing together civil society, the scientific community and academia to contribute ideas and suggestions on sustainable development. Conclusions and recommendations from the Dialogues will be conveyed directly to the heads of State and Government gathering for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22. The public is now invited to vote on its preferences from 100 proposals drawn from 10,000 contributions. The third proposal under "Unemployment, Decent Work and Migrations" about managing enviromental migrations came from an IEF submission.

Sustaining Societies: Towards a New 'We'

SUSTAINING SOCIETIES: TOWARDS A NEW ‘WE’

Bahá’í International Community’s Statement to the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
20 June 2012

Also available at http://www.bic.org/statements/sustaining-societies-towards-new-we


As nations and civil society gather at the Rio+20 Conference to take the next step in forging a new vision of sustainable development, the momentum generated in the lead-up to the conference has already brought about new levels of inquiry and of collaboration. Preparations for the event have stimulated thinking about economic paradigms, modes of governance, indicators of progress, the role of youth, as well as the very purpose of development. To an unprecedented extent, the United Nations has opened the door to the participation of civil society in the processes of the Conference. While many more voices remain to be heard, a call has been raised for governments to seize the opportunity before them: to demonstrate high-mindedness and resolve, to eschew partisanship and propaganda, and to articulate a visionary and ambitious framework for human flourishing.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Summary outcomes of Rio+20

For an excellent summary of the outcomes of Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012), see the article by Maria Ivanova "The Contested Legacy of Rio+20" at http://uncsd.iisd.org/guest-articles/the-contested-legacy-of-rio20/.
Portrait de Arthur Dahl

UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

The United Nations has created a new web site as its Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.html. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) website includes resources describing inter-governmental processes, the UN system and major groups as well as resources on sustainable development in action.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

Human Development: A Vision of Well-being

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: A VISION OF WELL-BEING

Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
Geneva, Switzerland


INTRODUCTION

Sustainable development is an anthropocentric concept focussed on human well-being, now and it the future, through development that respects the planet's environmental constraints and potentials. Yet the debate launched by Amartya Sen and others some 30 years ago on "human development" remains narrow. There are entire areas missing, mainly because the debate has been framed largely in economic and materialistic terms, when we know that "development" to achieve “well-being” is a far more complex undertaking that has important psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions. The recent recognition of the need to look beyond GDP (Stiglitz 2009) has now been acknowledged by governments at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.

Portrait de Arthur Dahl

IEF comments on post-2015 reports to UN Secretary-General

The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service facilitated a consultation up to 12 July to gather critical analysis from civil society on four post-2015 reports submitted to the Secretary-General:
1) High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Post-2015 HLP)
2) UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
3) UN Global Compact (UNGC)
4) UN Development Group (UNDG): The Global Conversation Begins

A Million Voices: The World We Want

A Million Voices: The World We Want

A sustainable future with dignity for all

http://www.worldwewant2015.org/millionvoices

Videos showcase Baha’i approaches to sustainable development in USA

Through a series of short videos being released during the first half of 2014, the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs is highlighting ways in which the Baha’i community is fostering sustainable development at the local, national and international levels. The initiative is part of the US Baha’i effort to support the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development which concludes this year.

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