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Operationalising 'sustainability'

Ang, Robina LU (2011) MIDM70 20111
LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management
Abstract
Sustainable development “which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” (WCED 1987) is a global development objective of paramount importance. However, on the ground, ‘sustainable development’ is – in my experience – often little more than a buzzword for securing grants. From a strong sus-tainability standpoint, this thesis documents an attempt to operationalise strong sustainability in technological development projects using a purpose-designed, user-friendly analytical framework which marries international guidelines for sustainability with the principles of appropriate technology.
The framework was applied to compare the sustainability of organic paddy... (More)
Sustainable development “which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” (WCED 1987) is a global development objective of paramount importance. However, on the ground, ‘sustainable development’ is – in my experience – often little more than a buzzword for securing grants. From a strong sus-tainability standpoint, this thesis documents an attempt to operationalise strong sustainability in technological development projects using a purpose-designed, user-friendly analytical framework which marries international guidelines for sustainability with the principles of appropriate technology.
The framework was applied to compare the sustainability of organic paddy farming/traditional varieties, with conventional paddy farming/improved varieties in Sri Lanka. In a mixed meth-ods approach, interviews with key actors in the paddy sector were combined with cultivation cost-benefit analysis, and analysis of preliminary field data and national paddy statistics. De-spite political and private sector dismissals of organic paddy farming with traditional varieties, these methods (technology choices) were found to be more sustainable, profitable and appropriate for small-scale farmers with rain-fed land. Significant macroeconomic, social and environmental benefits also exist for organic farming, which could be conducted on all rain-fed land while maintaining rice self-sufficiency. However, private sector influence limits farmers’ technology choice. This study shows that despite mounting evidence of organic farming’s potential to help feed the world, the narrow interests of the wealthy continue to take precedence over the livelihoods of poor paddy farmers in Sri Lanka. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ang, Robina LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Developing an analytical framework to assess the sustainability of organic paddy farming and traditional varieties for poor farmers in Sri Lanka
course
MIDM70 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Agriculture, Strong Sustainability, Paddy Farming, Green Revolution, Appropriate Technology, Sri Lanka, Improved Varieties
language
English
id
1966505
date added to LUP
2011-09-13 11:59:20
date last changed
2013-06-18 12:57:47
@misc{1966505,
  abstract     = {Sustainable development “which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” (WCED 1987) is a global development objective of paramount importance. However, on the ground, ‘sustainable development’ is – in my experience – often little more than a buzzword for securing grants. From a strong sus-tainability standpoint, this thesis documents an attempt to operationalise strong sustainability in technological development projects using a purpose-designed, user-friendly analytical framework which marries international guidelines for sustainability with the principles of appropriate technology. 
The framework was applied to compare the sustainability of organic paddy farming/traditional varieties, with conventional paddy farming/improved varieties in Sri Lanka. In a mixed meth-ods approach, interviews with key actors in the paddy sector were combined with cultivation cost-benefit analysis, and analysis of preliminary field data and national paddy statistics. De-spite political and private sector dismissals of organic paddy farming with traditional varieties, these methods (technology choices) were found to be more sustainable, profitable and appropriate for small-scale farmers with rain-fed land. Significant macroeconomic, social and environmental benefits also exist for organic farming, which could be conducted on all rain-fed land while maintaining rice self-sufficiency. However, private sector influence limits farmers’ technology choice. This study shows that despite mounting evidence of organic farming’s potential to help feed the world, the narrow interests of the wealthy continue to take precedence over the livelihoods of poor paddy farmers in Sri Lanka.},
  author       = {Ang, Robina},
  keyword      = {Agriculture,Strong Sustainability,Paddy Farming,Green Revolution,Appropriate Technology,Sri Lanka,Improved Varieties},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Operationalising 'sustainability'},
  year         = {2011},
}