We produce reports and briefings, and commission short pieces or provocations to stimulate debate, enable people to air their opinions and suggest solutions.
We also produce a newsletter for interested people worldwide, bringing together our latest work and providing wider information and international examples.
In order to influence ongoing decision-making, FDSD produces submissions and letters in response to national and international consultations, and raises issues directly, either by ourselves or with partners. We also produce event summaries of some of our most important activities.
The theme of the Budapest Water Summit 2016 was that Water Connects across all of sustainable development and across geographies. But to ensure against future conflict and scarcity, the messages and recommendations from the event also highlighted how we need to rethink and create governance models within and across countries.
It is increasingly argued that involving stakeholders and the wider public in planning and decision making leads to more effective environmental governance. But the impact of such participatory planning in practice remains unclear. In this report, the authors compare the impact of different approaches to participatory planning under the European Water Framework Directive (WFD)...
The economy is an area of decision-making fiercely protected by experts and politicians from public participation. But public confidence in this closed policy community is waning and arguments for democratic participation in an area that so profoundly shapes all our lives are growing. Against this backdrop, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has launched an...
In September 2016, we responded to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry: The sustainable development goals in the UK. You can find our submission on the EAC website. We argued that currently Whitehall is not publicly stating, acknowledging or realising the potential of the SDGs to address the UK’s future and current challenges. The EU Referendum...
Charlotte Burns and Viviane Gravey argue that the EU Referendum debate in the UK has been "surprisingly quiet on the issue of the environment". They look at three options for the UK from the point of view of their impacts on participatory democracy, as well as point to the tension between participation and stable long term rules for environmental protection. They believe that the terms of the current debate are far too narrow. "National sovereignty is essentially a red herring that offers little in the way of genuine democratisation of environmental (or any other) policy area."
John Lotherington reflects on the ongoing debate about the impact of the community-led flood defences in Pickering after the town was sparred the flooding that hit large parts of northern England in late 2015.
Bronwyn Hayward argues that despite the New Zealand Government's attempts to reduce democracy after the 2010-2012 earthquakes, by suspending the Constitution and excluding local voices in decision-making, innovative citizen actions showed alternative, more imaginative and democratic responses to disaster recovery. One example is the Student Volunteer 'Army' who cleared mud and silt, and organised through Facebook.
Akiko Nanami argues that after the Fukushima tragedy, many women defied cultural expectations to protect their children, creating a women's collective movement through social media, the internet, workshops and petitions
Lori Peek draws on her work following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 where she interviewed disaster-affected children and youth across the United States. She found: "that by helping others, children and youth are able to contribute to their own recovery, as well as the recovery of those around them."
Marion Walker draws on research into the 2007 UK floods to argue that "by understanding their perspectives and capacities" children and young people "could inform more effective policy, enhance resilience and reduce the impact of future emergencies."