Learning about Livelihoods: Insights from Southern Africa, Volume 1

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Oxfam, 2002 - Social Science - 361 pages
This book and NTSC video pack is an important new resource for learning and teaching about sustainable livelihoods. The Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods project was developed by the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, along with partner organizations in southern Africa. This book, a direct outcome of the DiMP project, is a valuable guide to understanding the much-debated concept of "sustainable livelihoods," and aims to provide practical ideas on how to integrate this approach into development and project planning. After an introduction to the concept of sustainable livelihoods, the book presents a five-day training course for teaching about livelihoods, complete with step by step session plans, activity guides and presentations. The course includes activities, case studies, and video clips, and is supported by internet and print references for obtaining more in-depth information on the subjects covered. The material has been written for development practitioners, trainers and managers in the NGO, government and consulting sectors, and will also be avaluable resource for international development education programs. The project also includes a guide to practical methodologies and tools used in livelihoods work, and a variety of household and locality profiles from South Africa as additional training resources.

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Page 11 - If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.
Page 8 - a livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base".
Page 11 - Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war. The Earth's atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from human activities, inefficient and wasteful fossil fuel use and the effects of rapid population growth in many regions. These changes represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the...
Page 11 - It is possible to alter these growth trends and to establish a condition of ecological and economic stability that is sustainable far into the future.
Page 12 - Sustainability is a relationship between dynamic human economic systems and larger dynamic, but normally slower-changing ecological systems, in which 1) human life can continue indefinitely, 2) human individuals can flourish, and 3) human cultures can develop; but in which effects of human activities remain within bounds, so as not to destroy the diversity, complexity, and function of the ecological life support system.
Page 6 - Development (1987, p.8) defines sustainable development as: . . . development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Page 11 - There has been a growing realization in national governments and multilateral institutions that it is impossible to separate economic development issues from environmental issues; many forms of development erode the environmental resources upon which they must be based, and environmental degradation can undermine economic development.
Page 9 - sustainable livelihoods' as an approach that is: ... concerned with people's capacities to generate and maintain their means of living, enhance their well-being, and that of future generations. These capacities are contingent upon the availability and accessibility of options which are ecological, socio-cultural, economic, and political and are predicated on equity, ownership of resources and participatory decision making (Singh and Titi, 1994).
Page 22 - Economic growth that provides fairness and opportunity for all the world's people, not just the privileged few. without further destroying the world's finite natural resources and carrying capacity (Pronk & Ul Haq 1992).
Page 16 - Fund defines globalization as the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and of international capital flows, and also through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology.

About the author (2002)

Ailsa Holloway works at the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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