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Title: Critiquing the pursuit of island sustainability
Authors: Baldacchino, Godfrey
Kelman, Ilan
Keywords: Sustainable development
Islands -- Economic conditions
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Shima : the international journal of research into island cultures
Citation: Baldacchino, G., & Kelman, I. (2014). Critiquing the pursuit of island sustainability. Shima : the international journal of research into island cultures, 8(2), 1-31
Abstract: This article critiques a focus on ‘sustainable development’ which highlights a liveable ‘future’ without paying adequate attention to what, we argue, are more pressing issues for a liveable present. We contend that, while inherently commendable, the thrust of many current initiatives related to sustainable development, especially those associated with climate change, promote an ethos which crowds out other pressing policy pursuits with more immediate relevance – although often also associated with sustainable development – such as health, basic education, poverty reduction, and productive employment and livelihoods. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are at the forefront of these initiatives, given their prominence in discussions on sustainable development, but especially climate change, alongside the basic challenges that they face in maintaining viable economies. Long-term thinking and planning is needed and welcomed; but we may now have gone too far in the opposite direction in terms of aiming for sustainable development in, and for, a distant future that emphasises climate change, without better balancing of that concern with the pressing needs of the moment.
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