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The role of local government in sustainability

This article aims to investigate some aspects of the social process related to water resources management and gender relations. Given that gender and water management are interrelated issues exposed to a growing attention at the international level, it is therefore necessary to identify relations between the academic literature, the institutional framework and the field-based research. This document has been inspired by the Nostrum DSS project (Network on Governance, Science and Technology for Sustainable Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean), a Co-ordination Action funded by the European Commission, which involves eighteen partners from the North and South shores of the basin. As the scope of the project is to disseminate Best Practice Guidelines for the design and implementation of Decision Support System tools (DSS) to identify optimal water resources management regimes, this article is proposing an analysis of a particular geographical and social frame related to the social actors involved in the project, but there are no connections between the paper and the project itself. To create a network between science, policy and civil society is one of the main objectives of the project in order to reach improved governance and planning in the field of sustainable water management. Therefore, to investigate gender sensitivity in some areas of the basin shall provide a clue. This overview of academic and institutional background refers to a particular geographical and cultural area, the Middle Eastern and North African region. In the first section lies the theoretical background that has been extrapolated from

international organizations guidelines and scholars’ publications. The second section is specifically focused on the Egyptian geographical context. The first paragraph presents a review of the guidelines suggested by international organizations related to policies on gender and water, as parts of the changes that the global scenario has recently been facing, with the shift from the micro level to the macro level. The second paragraph then describes the side effects of these overspread trends, which are identified in their missing relations with the social context of the intervention. The third and fourth paragraphs introduce the issue of women’s role in water management in the Middle Eastern and North African Regions, while highlighting relations between women’s involvement in the public sphere and the role they cover in local communities organizations. The proportion of the political representation faced by women in this region is also discussed, tackling their overspread participation in agriculture and their unrecognized working status. The fifth paragraph of this paper will discuss a case study in Egypt, concerning an initiative promoted by international donors and the government aimed at increasing community participation in the design and management of irrigation canals. The case study gives a concrete sample to discuss plusses and problems of women’s participation in water user’s organizations, synthesizing many of the theoretical issues that have been raised in the first three parts of this article.

Hence this case clearly describes about the women’s participation in the water user’s organization. The involvement of women’s in this water resource management is quite complex and hard to tackle especially in the Middle Eastern and North African Regions. In spite women can play an important role to improve the education, which helps them to describe about the awareness of the water problem in their region. In this Egyptian region, it is possible to highlight some relationship between Gender and water resource in Mediterranean region. Women’s role in water management is mainly related to cultural and social aspect of national and regional context which is very important to some social changes.

2) Ref: Harris, Jonathan

Macroeconomic Policy and Sustainability - 2001

The trend in mainstream economic thought about macroeconomic policy has been towards minimalism. In the optimistic Keynesian phase of the 1960's, it was assumed that both fiscal and monetary policy were effective tools for macroeconomic management. But the influence of monetarist and New Classical critiques has led to a gradual erosion of theoretical support for activist government policy. First fiscal policy fell by the wayside, perceived as too slow and possibly counterproductive in its impacts. Then New Classical and rational expectations critiques suggested that even monetary policy was ineffective. Thus the role of government policy has been reduced to a cautious effort not to make things worse - in effect a return to an economics of laissez-faire. In contrast, a sustainability perspective implies that radical and proactive government policies are required to achieve economic development that is both socially just and ecologically sound. The path of laissez-faire leads to increasing intra- and international inequality as well as increasing environmental destruction. To some extent the course of market economies can be steered through the use of sound microeconomic policies. But the fundamental redirection required for sustainable development cannot be achieved without reorienting macroeconomic policy also. Many of the basic tenets of macroeconomic policy need to be redefined in

the context of current global problems. The objectives of macroeconomic policy should include economic stabilization, distributional equity, broad social goals such as income security, education, and universal health care, and the management of economic growth. There is an increasing recognition that the achievement of social goals is essential to environmental sustainability. Regarding growth, while earlier macroeconomic theorists generally assumed that growth was good, ecological economists such as Herman Daly have suggested that growth should be limited and that a sustainable economic scale, rather than exponential growth, should be the goal of macroeconomic policy. The time is ripe for a reassessment of macroeconomic theory and policy. The goal should be to provide a theoretical basis for the reorientation of macro policy at the national and international levels, linking efforts to promote local-level sustainability and equity with "greening" and restructuring of multilateral institutions.

This case study gives the urgency of macro – level and global environmental issues. This tells us about the macroeconomic issues and its sustainability in the environment. The macro – economic should either reject the mainstream theories or rule out few radicals point. So, this basically insists on a perspective view which can achieve in the areas of distribution, social equity and ecological sustainability. It should act toward national and international level to promote the theory of sustainability.

3) Ref: Crelis F Rammelt, Jan Boes

Arsenic mitigation and social mobilization in Bangladesh

Vol. 5, pg. 308, 12 pgs - 2004

For the people of Bangladesh, mostly rural areas, a new disaster is emerging. Two-thirds of the deep tube wells installed over the last three decades - roughly 3 million in total - contain arsenic concentrations above the permissible levels set by the WHO. These wells were installed to contribute to a secure and reliable drinking water supply, and put an end to various contagious diseases from the use of surface water. In itself that goal has been reached. It is therefore a bitter observation that it is this very approach that has led to the widespread arsenic poisoning of drinking water. Most rural development programs cannot meet the demand of the community because of the absence of appropriate institutional mechanisms, and most programs simply cannot reach the large low-income groups. It is time to rethink the existing institutional set-up and redefine the roles of communities, the private sector, NGOs, local government institutions and the central government. An initiative from several Bangladeshi organizations has resulted in international co-operation - the Arsenic Mitigation and Research Foundation (AMRF). Participation of the local community is one of the guiding principles of AMRF. Local priorities will be a significant component in the decisions made regarding mitigation activities. Given the institutional weakness of governmental bodies in solving problems within a reasonable time, it is natural to look for local solutions based on local experience, knowledge and capacity. Focuses on institutional development and community participation related to arsenic contamination in drinking water and broadly in

sustainable development policy and practice in Bangladesh. Looks into possible comprehensive frameworks for the implementation of sustainable drinking water systems, facilitating a task development strategy for people's participation. Discusses ways to ensure a greater role for the community in achieving a sustainable rural water

management system, involving formal institutions as well as informal networks at village community level.

This case study tells us about the arsenic mitigation and social mobilization in Bangladesh which is one of the major issues faced by rural development areas. This tells us about the sustainable drinking water systems and how the people participate to overcome this situation. This can be rectified by six methods: Alternative water supply options, Deep Tube well, piped water supply, dug well, Rain water harvesting and treatment of water supply.

4) Ref: Bob Frame and Bronwyn Newton

Promoting sustainability through social marketing: examples from New Zealand Volume 31, Page 571-581, Nov 2007

This paper investigates the social marketing of sustainability in New Zealand and examines the usefulness of advertising campaigns to enlist and empower people, as both consumers and citizens, towards environmental care. It draws on discussions about ‘citizen-consumer subjectivities’ and the model of the ‘political economic person’, which link sustainability and consumption through asserting people’s capacities as reflecting citizens. Printed advertisements by local and national government agencies about air pollution, fuel dependency and energy consumption

are analyzed to see whether advertising campaigns can operate on multiple levels for a range of audiences – desirable for broadening understanding of sustainable consumption and dealing with the complexity and experiential aspects of ‘doing’

sustainability. The advertisements analyzed have an authoritative dimension that downplays this complexity and variability. The paper concludes that these advertisements do not go far enough to involve individuals in processes of co-producing knowledge about sustainability, and to vest them with expertise in exercising sustainability in their daily lives. The implications are that advertising campaigns that engage with the complexity surrounding consumption in people’s modern lives, and with variability in meanings of sustainability, have the possibility of inciting citizen – consumer political subjectivities.

Hence this case study mainly deals with New Zealand government advertising towards the pollution of the country and the basic necessary advertisement for the sustainability of the country. This includes air pollution, fuel dependency and energy conservations. This mainly evolves about the sustainability of the people in their modern lifestyle.

5) Ref: Shih-Fang Loland, Her-Jiun Sheu2

Is corporate sustainability a Value-Increasing Strategy for Business?

Volume 15, Page 345-358, March 2007

A new movement reconciling corporate sustainability and investment is gaining world-wide attention. Whether corporate sustainability has an impact on market value is examined using large US non-financial firms from 1999 to 2002 in

this paper. Taking Tobin’s q as the proxy for firm value, a significantly positive relation between corporate sustainability and its market value is found. We also find a

strong interaction effect between corporate sustainability and sales growth on firm value. Moreover, there is evidence to support that being sustainable causes a firm to increase its value. This indicates that companies with remarkable sustainable development strategies are more likely to be rewarded by investors with a higher valuation in the financial markets.

Hence this case study describes about the corporate sustainability which makes the market value to increase. This case also reveals that without market value the corporate cannot be sustainable. Moreover it also develops the corporate sale value. Market value is also very important for the corporate sustainability.

6) Ref: Julian Agyeman and Bob Evans

Just sustainability: the emerging discourse of environmental justice in Britain?

Volume 170, Page 155-164, June 2004

Environmental justice is both a vocabulary for political opportunity, mobilization and action, and a policy principle to guide public decision making. It emerged initially in the US, and more recently in the UK, as a new vocabulary underpinning action by community organizations campaigning against environmental injustices. However, as the environmental justice discourse has matured, it has become increasingly evident that it should play a role in the wider agendas for

sustainable development and social inclusion. The links between sustainability and environmental justice are becoming clearer and more widely understood in the UK by NGOs and government alike, and it is the potential synergy between these two

discourses which is the focus of this paper. This paper argues that the concept of ‘just sustainability’ provides a discourse for policymakers and activists, which brings together the key dimensions of both environmental justice and sustainable development.

In this case study, the environmental studies are making a foot path to guide the public decision making. This topic describes about the environmental justice and its role in sustainable development and social inclusion. It also gives a clear idea about the environmental justice and sustainability.

7) Ref: Jennifer Hill and Wendy Woodland

Contrasting water management techniques in Tunisia: towards sustainable agricultural use

Volume 169, Page 342-357, December 2003

Tunisia is a marginal country hydrologically and it has adopted a number of distinctive methods of water management for agriculture. The central region supports modern dam irrigation, whilst traditional rainwater harvesting is practiced in the south. These contrasting techniques are described and evaluated in terms of sustainability using empirical field data and secondary literature for two study sites. Research focuses primarily on the physical environment, but socio-cultural and

economic viability are also examined. Analysis indicates that traditional water management advantageously partitions the continuum dividing hazards and resources

through subtle manipulation of the environment. A potentially hazardous environment is rendered secure by resourceful water management based on community action and cumulative knowledge. This practice minimizes community dependency and local economic imbalance. With dam irrigation, carrying capacity is established more forcibly by centralized control in order to place society within world markets. An almost total break from environmental variability is made in the short term, but this can lead to disequilibrium over longer durations. Additionally, the spatial and social distributions of development are uneven. In Tunisia, maintenance of traditional methods can reduce the negative impacts caused by modern programs and support their positive characteristics. A mix of both methods offers a foundation to sustainable water supply in the new millennium.

Hence this case study reveals about the traditional methods of agriculture through water management. This mainly depends on physical environment, socio – cultural and economic viabilities through the manipulation of environment. The dam construction in Tunisia has both positive and negative impact towards agriculture.

8) Ref: Mildred E. Warner

Market-based Governance and the Challenge for Rural Governments: US Trends Volume 40, Page 612-631, December 2006

Privatization and decentralization represent market-based approaches to government. Designed to increase efficiency and responsiveness of government, these

approaches also limit the potential for redistribution. A key question is: how will rural governments compete in such a market-based system? Will they be favored, as their reliance on market provision for public goods is higher due to the smaller number of services provided by government? Or will they be less able to compete due to the costs of scarcity, which may make them less attractive to market suppliers? Data from the United States covering the period 1992–2002, show that rural areas are not favored by either of these trends – privatization or decentralization. Managerial weakness does not explain the shortfall. Rural areas are not as attractive to market suppliers and thus are disadvantaged under market-based service delivery approaches. Although national policy continues to advance a privatization agenda, policy-makers should be concerned about the uneven impacts of such market - based approaches.

This case study tells us about the local rural government to improve the competition position. Privatization mainly works on middle class suburbs and they enjoy both market competition and managerial talent. So, the investment in the rural areas will be more difficult to develop the centers. It is possible to reach the limit of both privatization and decentralization in United States.

9) Ref: Tim O’Riordan

Environmental science, sustainability and politics

Volume 29, Issue 2 Page 234-247, June 2004

Research evidence and pleas that humans are undermining their own survival on a robust and unforgiving planet seem to be falling on deaf ears. The drive for economic and military security remains more powerful than the evidence that both of these objectives are being undermined by environmental damage, social disruption, unjust treatment and forced migration. Yet the signs are growing that environmentally and socially sound futures may be vital prerequisites for economic and military stability. So, at the heart of multi-nationalism, sustainable development is beginning to be recognized as a crucial element in reliable international agreements. The consequence of all this is that environmental science has become highly political, and geographers need to recognize and work within an expanding political process. Examples of new forms of governing via sustainability science for sustainable futures are offered in the latter part of the paper, especially at local government level. The antagonistic pressures of established power and economic hegemony are never far away. Indeed, the confirmation of these established patterns of power still pervades the politics of environmental science. But it is possible that these antagonistic political frameworks are beginning to be transcended by the more influential aspects of sustainability partnerships incorporating new arrangements between government, private capital and civil associations. These partnerships will not be easy to create, for the criss-cross boundaries of familiarity and rules of operation. But geographers can play a critical role in helping to shape them and assess the best circumstances for ensuring their success.

In this case, the economic and military act upon the environmental damage, social disruption, unjust treatment and forced migration. This mainly depends upon the economic and military stability. This also tells about the sustainability

of local government. It also depends upon the circumstance of the government in maintaining their sustainability.

10) Ref: Bridgman and Davis

New Governance, Green Planning and sustainability: Tasmania Together and Growing Victoria Together

Volume 66 Issue 1 Page 23-37, March 2007

Bridgman and Davis have argued that ‘ideally government has a well developed and widely distributed policy framework, setting out economic, social and environmental objectives’. This article compares and evaluates two such frameworks or plans, Tasmania Together and Growing Victoria Together, in terms of their potential to promote sustainability. It argues that they are very different exercises in new governance, aimed at reconnecting with community priorities and at redirecting macro-policy setting away from a preoccupation with economic priorities, respectively. Nevertheless, both plans have the capacity to ‘green’ state planning, in Tasmania in terms of more purposeful benchmarks, and in Victoria in terms of enhanced sustainability emphasis in the macro-policy setting. The article encounters tensions in its review of the plans between deliberation and planning, policy empowerment and policy progress, and policy institutionalization and politicizations as means of achieving policy change. It finds that whilst Tasmania and Victoria are re-engaged states that are reinventing state policy, as yet they are failing to meet the governance challenges of sustainability.

In this case, Tasmania government is working hard to promote sustainability. They argue with new governance with economic priorities. The Tasmanian governments are failing to meet the governance sustainability.


The role of government in sustainability is very difficult to explain and it’s quite complicated. Government is trying to reduce the pollution from the industry. They also look after the environmental and consumer protection. Government wants to make positive role in sustainability and act towards it. If the government is very much sustainable in environment and other aspects they can make the business more effective and efficiency.


Hence this shows us that they are many meanings of sustainability which can be of good use for us in our day to day life to make strong relations and work out progressively. Though there is some frustration on the availability of skilled people in the council, there can be a reliance on other expensive part-time consultancy staff from that of the private sector. Sustainability of the local governments and their efforts to meet the rising needs of the public stems from the growing concerns of climate change.

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