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Sustainability Notebook


Quotes about sustainability

A garden is never so good as it will be next year.
– Thomas Cooper

The planet is what makes us profitable. We cannot be sustainable if we cannot support the planet.
– Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed, fresh from a trip to a sustainability conference in Sweden, Pique News Magazine

What is sustainable is what holds. No society is sustainable when injustice reigns. Sustainability is a 21st century word for justice.
Matthew Fox, 21st Century Spirituality

What do we mean by sustainability? It is the overriding desideratum that we should live without destroying future prosperity. Sustainability is integral to our sense of ourselves as a nation because we must achieve it if we are truly to call this continent ‘ours.’
– Tim Flannery, Beautiful Lies

How do you develop sustainability in an on-demand world with a short-attention span?
– Conversation

Unless we use natural resources in a sustainable way, we are mining the future. Unless the relationships between our citizens are respectful and inclusive, we are a divided and diminished society.
– Rick Farley, Australia Day 2003 Address

Society is indeed a contract . . . between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.
– Edmund Burke

One generation plants the trees. Another gets the shade.
– Chinese Proverb

Development from outside organizations, governments, and businesses is necessary for the nation to move forward but it must be on our terms… Those against development or wishing to profit from it, use these arguments to hijack the development agenda and development money. Development will only work if leaders that are dedicated to Honduras, to her sustained improvement, and to a national dream, lead us.
Honduras This Week Editorial

How fair is fair trade?

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
– H.G. Wells

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
– Albert Einstein

There are entire communities and entire countries that have learned to take advantage of the ‘project’ scheme of development. There is no real ‘ownership’ of any particular project because as soon as the current project plays out and the jobs and purchase orders are all gone, they start looking for another one to take its place.
John Shores

Dar pistas hacia la sustenabilidad que otros pueden seguir. (Leave a trail toward sustainability by showing the path you took that others could follow.)
– Conversation

Surely it is ‘about nudging people along the continuum’ to stop the pig-ignorant and filthy to be a little more considerate, to get the concerned to take another step further, and so on. Not the big leap, but the small step that makes the journey.
– Peter Hutchison

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
– Winston Churchill

I came away from the World Ecotourism Summit excited by the positive energy and the passion and commitment of countless people. However, I also came away with the realization that there is a tremendous ‘divide’ between the international agencies and the indigenous leadership. The buzzword in the research and at the conferences is that ‘local people’ need ‘capacity building.’ With all due sincere respect, I would like to suggest that there is also a need for ‘capacity building’ within the international agencies themselves.
– Consultant quoted in Reflections on the International Year of Ecotourism

Being strapped for funds — the norm for conservation in Olancho — should never be reason for inaction. Some of the most important and genuinely sustainable projects are extensive conversations which don’t cost anything.
– Mark Bonta, Seven Names for the Bellbird

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked, ‘What do you think of Western civilization?’ and he replied, ‘I think it would be a good idea.’
Matthew Fox

Sarvodaya headquarters has been dependent on foreign assistance, and its self-help and appropriate technology programs supported by Dutch, German and American agencies. So the question arises as to how seriously the Movement takes this matter of self-reliance. In reply to this question, Ariyaratne (founder of the community) makes several points. In the light of the structural inequalities at work in our world today, and considering the state of material and psychological dependence existing in the impoverished countries, self-reliance, he says, is a relative term and not to be equated with financial independence.
– Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self

More is not necessarily better.
– ConversationIf some is good, more is better.
– Popular expression

Can we have sustainable transportation when there are so many automobile commercials?
– Conversation

We know that tourism creates serious problems — environmentally, culturally, politically — so we immediately jump to conclusions: “this is bad so let’s make it right.” And because all the “sustainable tourism” initiatives come from the more powerful to the less — as usual — we enforce our solutions. Often with the assistance of the World Bank, the European Union, USAID and the rest of the powerful donors – who also come from the “patch it up so our show can go on” mindset. But do we really understand the problem? Are we really prepared to listen to those on the ground? How deeply are we prepared to understand our hosts REAL needs and accommodate them — their way? This may be the only way that new tourism can emerge, and we certainly need it!
– Valere Tjolle

Globalize yourself
– Popular expression

Think globally, act locally, respond personally.
– Popular expression

Although we have told one another on bumper stickers and at environmental conferences that we must ‘think globally and act locally,’ we tend to drift toward mega-solutions. Rather than get busy, we introduce new terms such as ‘sustainable’ to apply to any perceived solution that catches our fancy. Instead of looking to community, we look to public policy. We hold a global conference in Rio.
– Wes Jackson, Becoming Native to This Place

The guides who have been trained couldn’t find work in tourism so they left. One is working in the United States. Another guide works at the water plant.
– Tourism official, Mexico

Built to last till time itself falls tumbling from the wall … Built to last till sunshine fails and darkness moves on all … Built to last while years roll past like cloudscapes in the sky … Show me something built to last and something built to try
– Grateful Dead

It has been the larger organizations (international, bilateral, and large non-profits) who have hired me as an ecotourism consultant, not the communities themselves. I can imagine that there are many of us on the consulting side who would love to have the external funding to work with a community over a longer period of time to inform, learn and maybe even join the community and participate in its future. But there are few sources of funding. The scale of operations and the profit margins at the community level are pretty small, so I don’t expect that to change any time soon. One obstacle to consulting at the community level is identifying the entity that will hire, supervise, and pay the consultant. Many community efforts are really collections of several separate small-scale entrepreneurs. There may not be a community chamber of commerce or tourism association with a budget for hiring consultants at the startup phase.
– John Shores (2005, Re-Imagining Ecotourism in the Americas Conference)

I have faith in how things seem to start again. That tale of your one big chance is a lie told by consumed men.
Poi Dog Pondering


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