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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
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close this folderAbstracts on agroecology
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Rural common property resources: a growing crisis.
View the document2. Making haste slowly: strengthening local environmental management in agricultural development.
View the document3. Farming for the future: an introduction to low-external-input and sustainable agriculture.
View the document4. Public policies affecting natural resources and the environment.
View the document5. Human development and sustainability.
View the document6. Caring for the earth - a strategy for sustainable living.
View the document7. Agriculture and natural resources: a manual for development workers.
View the document8. Environmental guidelines for resettlement projects in the humid tropics.
View the document9. Saving the tropical forests.
View the document10. Values for the environment, a guide to economic appraisal.
View the document11. Alcohol fuels - options for developing countries.
View the document12. Diffusion of biomass energy technologies in developing countries.
View the document13 When aid is no help: how projects fail, and how they could succeed.
View the document14. Natural resources and the human environment for food and agriculture.
View the document15. World development report 1992 - development and the environment.
View the document16. Species interactions and community ecology in low external-input agriculture.
View the document17. Development strategies and natural resource management for humid tropical lowlands.
View the document18. Environmental management of the northern zone consolidation project in Costa Rica: strategies for sustainable development.
View the document19. Environmental assessment: the valles altos project in Bolivia.
View the document20. Environmental crisis in Asia-Pacific.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
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Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

5. Human development and sustainability.

In: Proc. of the Seventh Agric. Sector Symposium - Sustainability Issues in Agricultural Development - The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20433, U.S.A., 1987, pp. 80-91

Sustainable development requires the necessary human skills, attitudes, motivation, understanding, leadership, organizations, policies, plans, and administrative and financial systems for whatever activities are involved - as well as the necessary infrastructure, funds, and physical inputs.

Despite all the resources and dedication that have been applied to development, shortcomings in "institution building" and "human resource development" remain, and a great many well-intended projects and programs have failed to be sustainable as a result.

A better understanding of the reasons for this persistent difficulty in development would be half way to its solution.

This paper addresses this issue and draws together the separate conclusions of authorities in a variety of relevant fields. They show the reason to be simple, but the solution to affect some of the underlying assumptions and philosophies on which development assistance has been based.

The paper considers findings in the agricultural sector; it touches on economic theory; examines the learning process on which human development depends, and how this has been approached in "development"; and it describes an underlying cause of a pervasive problem.

The paper summarizes that one can view the human development required for sustainability first in the context of what is needed within the agricultural sector, and in the context of what is needed for the total universe of learning on which development depends and then concludes within agricultural sector:


- that the staff profile, skills, language, and perceived role of the sector have led to great emphasis on the technical/physical, and economic/financial dimensions of agricultural development, but excluded equal attention to the human dimension;

- that development has to be effective in the human dimension to achieve sustainability, but prevailing conventional wisdom and the mental programming of most development planners and practitioners which derive from traditional education systems currently prevent wide success in that dimension;

- that the imbalance between the three dimensions through "reprogramming" of those involved in the sector can be corrected;

- that there is a need to focus on the root cause of the problem which lies in the reductionism of traditional educational systems, and in agricultural education especially.

Beyond the agricultural sector there are other essentials, ingredients of sustainable development on which the sustainability of agricultural development depends. These include particularly the extent to which development approaches deriving from the technical sectors now in place are unable to deal with the whole spectrum of adult learning needed for development. The addition of the organizational structures, expertise and resources needed to achieve this whole spectrum of adult learning offers new opportunities for investment and for success in development.

But it calls for a move toward holistic systems approaches and away from the reductionist thinking styles which have dominated development assistance to date.

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Review, book, sustainable development, human life, sustainable society, ecological diversity, carrying capacity, integrated systems, nature conservation, energy, agriculture, forestry, water, industry, implementation strategies


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