A directory of sites, with descriptions, to sustainable development resources for individuals, businesses, communities and governments at all levels.

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Development and Environment

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Development || Environment || Ecologically Sustainable Development

More and more, people are coming to realise that development, environment and sustainability are inextricably intertwined.  To consider one without giving due regard to the other two parts, is to lay a foundation on sand.  Sooner or later, the cracks appear and need to repaired.  As the old saying goes, "Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure", and it's not like we don't know what we should be doing ....

The majority of links below go to external sites. Use your right mouse button to open a new window to these sites, or use your back button to return here. NB: Amazon titles will open in a new window.


  • Ask First: A guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values "provides a practical guide for land developers, land users and managers, cultural heritage professionals and many others who may have an impact on Indigenous heritage. The title - Ask First - is the message of this book; that consultation and negotiation with Indigenous stakeholders is the best means of addressing Indigenous heritage issues. It is also the first, and simplest step that people need to take, and that is to put the subject on the agenda." Page has link to downloadable PDF.
  • International Development Research Centre "Supporting local research, finding lasting solutions To achieve self-reliance, poor communities need answers to questions like: How can we grow more and healthier food? Protect our health? Create jobs? A key part of Canada's aid program since 1970, IDRC supports research in developing countries to answer these questions."
  • The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) "IISD champions sustainable development around the world through innovation, partnerships, research and communications.  [We choose] to focus on topics that are ripe for transformation—where a shift in policy has the potential to snowball and, before too long, to change the nature of the game. It is only through a focus on game-changers that we will make up the sustainability deficit that has accumulated and move towards a better future. Because we aim to make a difference in how policy is crafted and implemented, we translate the research insight into practical, realistic and cost-effective policy options that can be taken up by policy-makers at all levels."
  • Overseas Development Institute "ODI is Britain's leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Our mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries." Many working papers and short papers are available for download as PDFs, with major publications for purchase, as well as a fellowship scheme, library, advisory work, networking meetings and email list.
  • SolarAid "Power to the people Two of the biggest threats facing humanity today are climate change and global poverty. SolarAid helps to combat both, simply by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world." The best ideas are simply brilliant and brilliantly simple.  Great idea, great web site!
  • Tanzania Online "is a gateway to information on development issues in Tanzania. It is a UNDP/UN, Government of Tanzania and Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) initiative to address problems faced by Government officials, policy makers, private sector, civil society, donor community, researchers and academicians accessing information on development issues in Tanzania."  Excellent resources, inlcuding a searchable database to local and interenational resources.
  • UNEP Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics "Set up in 1975, three years after UNEP began, the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) provides solutions to decision-makers and helps change the business environment by offering platforms for dialogue and cooperation, innovative policy options, pilot projects and creative market mechanisms."
  • World Bank "The World Bank Group has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030: End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3%, and Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country."
  • World Trade Organisation Español Français."The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible."   Trade and Environment covers "issues relating to sustainable development, trade and the environment [that] have been discussed in the GATT and in the WTO for many years."

See also Ecologically Sustainable Development, Sustainable Design & Management, Democracy &Human Rights and Volunteer and Community Tourism


Conventions, Charters and Ethics
  • The Biodiversity and Tourism Network “is a web-based platform established to foster dialogue between tourism practitioners and disseminate support for the implementation of the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development. The network was launched as a partnership with the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development in Porto Alegre in December 2007. The Network will not only serve as a repository for actionable information on implementing the guidelines, such as the User's Manual, but will also provide a virtual meeting point for members to capture, store and exchange knowledge to more effectively integrate biodiversity concerns within tourism strategies.”
  • Convention on Biological Diversity "The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity, The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity and The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.”  A densely ordered and informed site, covering everything from Rio 1992 through to Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Nagoya Protocol and more.  Check the site map if you can't find what you're looking for.
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change "Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. Recently, a number of nations have approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. ... This [web site] contains numerous resources -- for beginners or experts -- such as introductory and in-depth publications, the official UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol texts and a search engine to the UNFCCC library." 
  • The Earth Charter Initiative "The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development. The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles."
  • Environmental Ethics An old, but still comprehensive link list to the subject.
  • UNEP - World Conservation Monitoring Centre "To provide authoritative information about biodiversity and ecosystem services in a manner that is useful to decision-makers who are driving change in environment and development policy. We do this with partners worldwide by drawing together, analysing and interpreting information on biodiversity, as well as strengthening the ability of others to do so."  Access analysis and reports, data and information, plus specialist online tools.
Governments and Organisations
  • Earth Council Alliance Previously the "Earth Council for Sustainable Development", The mission of Earth Council Alliance is to Connect, Empower, and Advance Individuals and Organizations to create a Sustainable, Just and Peaceful Earth. The ECA emphasis is on supporting pragmatic, results-oriented programs worldwide, and matching people, partners, and resources to support local, regional, and national initiatives. ECA will use the Earth Charter and Agenda 21 as historical baselines to measure and celebrate progress ."
  • IUCN - The World Conservation Union "IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges."
  • United Nations Environment Programme - UNEP "To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations." " Check these resources for Governments, Scientists, Journalists , Business Persons, Civil Society , Children and Youth".
    • UNEP - Regional Office Africa  "The mission of the Regional Office for Africa is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples in Africa to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."
    • UNEP - Regional of Europe  "The Regional Office for Europe (ROE) promotes inter-governmental policy dialogue and regional cooperation, increases national capacity for environmental management and response emergencies, raises awareness and enhances information exchange, and translates global policies into regional action."
  • EEA - European Environment Agency  "The European Environment Agency's core task is to provide decision-makers with the information needed for making sound and effective policies to protect the environment and support sustainable development."
  • The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities "The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities was established on 14 September 2010, and deals with : Environment protection and conservation of biodiversity, Air quality, National fuel quality standards, Land contamination, Meteorology, Administration of the Australian Antarctic Territory, and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Natural built and cultural heritage, Environmental research, Water policy and resources, Ionospheric prediction, Co-ordination of sustainable communities policy, Population policy, and Urban environment. Visit What's New for the most recent matters.
  • Global Development Research Center (GDRC) "is an attempt to consolidate disparate issues, themes and topics into one umbrella to highlight their interconnectedness and interdisciplinary nature. ... in the spheres of environment, urban, community and information, and at scales that are effective."
  • The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) One of the most visually pleasing web sites I've ever visited, it's a beautifully presented website, with lot's of information, projects and publications (all in PDF). A valuable resource. Visit and enjoy!  "The REC is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit organisation with a mission to assist in solving environmental problems in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The Center fulfils its mission through encouraging co-operation among non-governmental organisations, governments and businesses, supporting the free exchange of information and promoting public participation in environmental decision-making. ... The REC has an office network in 17 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey. The head office is located in Szentendre, Hungary. The REC actively participates in key global, regional and local processes and contributes to environmental and sustainability solutions within and beyond its country office network, transferring transitional knowledge and experience to countries and regions."
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre  Everything you always wanted to know about World Heritage but didn't know where to find it. English, Français. "Protecting natural and cultural properties of outstanding universal value against the threat of damage in a rapidly developing world".

See also Activism:, Environmental Campaigns, Australian Government Agencies, Policymaker/Stakeholder Guidelines, Ecologically Sustainable Development and Sustainable &Management

* (NZ colloquial) piker: one who gives up easily (see also pike-out)