|Sustainable Energy News - No. 06 September 1994 (INFORSE, 1994)|
The INforSE-network is now preparing the campaign Sustainable Energy for Social Development. The overall aim of the campaign is to convey the message that sustainable development and social development are closely linked. In our work for sustainable development, we must always remember this. The message of the INforSE-campaign is also that sustainable development can be a vehicle for social development.
Unfortunately, many decision-makers and others in the developing as well as the developed world see sustainable development as a luxury that we can't afford - at least, not now, but only in a distant future. This is a basic misunderstanding. Unsustainable development is a luxury that we, meaning the world, can't afford.
The developed world is in many ways suffering from the mistakes of industrialized and unsustainable development. Two of the most serious of these symptoms are the lack of social coherence and of meaning. As a result, growing parts of the populations are not needed by anybody. They can only look forward to being consumers paid for by the social security system.
Local sustainable development can offer these people a new sense of belonging somewhere, since, for local sustainable development, you need the hands and engagement of every body. Therefore, at least in developed countries, sustainable development can be a vehicle for social development.
In the developing world, it's important, for many reasons, to avoid development in the unsustainable direction of the now-developed countries, for environmental but also for social reasons. People in the developing countries often have more advanced social structures than those in the so-called developed countries.
By building the growth of the developing countries on sustainable local solutions, using the skills of the people without destroying nature and the local resources, the foundation of a successful, socially well-functioning, and sustainable society can be laid. The old-fashioned and outdated unsustainable solutions smash the local social patterns.
By telling this story and by giving examples of how to promote sustainable development at the World Summit for Social Development, it's the aim of this campaign to promote sustainable and social development, through the daily work done in the INforSE-network, among the local partners connected to the INforSE-network.
Hans Bjerregaard, Chairman, MULE INforSE Campaign Coordinator