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This is where you can download reports, publications, presentations and press releases from our work on democracy and sustainable development.

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Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability

The Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability was created through an international consultation process. Over a seven-month period from June 2012-January 2013 around 330 people from around the world provided their ideas on the vision, principles and actions that should inform the text.

The Manifesto sets out six Principles and associated Commitments which, if implemented now, could transform the practice of democracy so that it becomes a powerful force for sustainability.

The Manifesto is an anchor document for members of the Democracy and Sustainability Platform, which launched in March 2013.

download the Manifesto in English (235kb)

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Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainable Development: analysis of consultation responses

Halina Ward

Between June-November 2012, FDSD coordinated an international consultation process to develop a Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainable Development.

In this report and associated Annexes, Halina Ward analyses responses from the consultation and proposes a ‘Mark I Manifesto’ which was subsequently discussed at a two-day workshop held at Schloss Leopoldskron from 12-14 December 2012.

The main report has three parts:

  • Part A contains the text of a proposed ‘Manifesto for a Green and Fair Economy: Mark I’
  • Part B contains an overview of consultation responses and the rationale for the Mark I Manifesto
  • Part C contains detailed Principle by Principle analysis of responses

A series of Annexes contain additional material, including comparative analysis of existing manifestos by Nicolò Wojewoda, a summary of a consultation workshop in Buenos Aires by Fundación Cambio Democrático, and a summary of consultations in Pakistan by Lok Sanjh Foundation.

download Parts A to C (pdf, 1.3MB)

download Part D (Annexes) (pdf, 1.21MB)

 

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Summary of discussions at an international synthesis workshop to develop a Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainable Development

Jyoti Panday with Katharina Schwarz and Halina Ward

In this note, Jyoti Panday summarises discussions at an international workshop to review and refine a Mark I Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainable Development. The workshop was organised by FDSD and Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) and hosted by SGS at Schloss Leopoldskron from 12-14 December 2012.

The note includes detailed drafting suggestions made by an international group of participants immediately prior to final drafting of the Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability by FDSD.

Participants were asked for advice and insights, with final drafting the responsibility of FDSD. There was no expectation that consensus would be reached on all points.

download the note
(534 KB)

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Committing to the future we want: full discussion paper on a High Commissioner for Future Generations at Rio+20

Halina Ward

In this discussion paper, which follows on from an earlier summary paper, Halina Ward makes the case for the creation of a High Commissioner for Future Generations within the United Nations, and sets out proposals on the powers and responsibilities of a High Commissioner and how it could work in practice.

In 2012 and beyond, it is apparent that multiple pressures increase the temptation for ‘short-termism’ at government, individual and organisational levels. The result is a systematic failure to respect the needs of future generations.

The mission of the High Commissioner for Future Generations, the paper argues, should be inspired by the original Brundtland definition of sustainable development: “to promote and protect the interests of future generations in the context of the imperative to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

As the paper shows, the creation of a High Commissioner for Future Generations would build on and complement existing references to future generations in a wide range of regional and global treaties and other international instruments.

The paper also proposes a set of possible powers and responsibilities for the role of the High Commissioner for Future Generations; considers how it might evolve over time; and where it could be sited.

The discussion paper is published jointly with the World Future Council, and its preparation co-funded by FDSD, World Future Council and WWF-UK, as a contribution to discussions in the run-up to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Annexes were co-authored with Barrister Peter Roderick.

download the discussion paper (pdf, 693KB)

download the Annexes (pdf, 835KB)

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The future of democracy in the face of climate change

Halina Ward

This paper is the final report in FDSD’s major two-year research project on The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change.

The paper draws on Papers One to Four to find answers to the question: ‘how might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?’

Four scenarios are set out in the final part of the report,  sounding the voices of five people speaking from the year 2050: ‘rationed democracy’; ‘transition democracy’; ‘post-authoritarian democracy’, and ‘technocratic democracy’.

The paper opens with a Foreword by Professor Tim O’Riordan.

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(3.19 Mb)

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Commentary on democracy, climate change and sustainability

Tim O’Riordan

Professor Tim O’Riordan’s commentary on democracy, climate change and and sustainability is a contribution to discussions under FDSD’s project on the future of democracy in the face of climate change.

In the wake of UK Chancellor George Osborne’s 2011 Autumn statement, the commentary is an attack on signs of  incompatibility between democracy and climate stability.

Professor O’Riordan argues that democracy as we know it may be breaking down; with a ‘local democracy of community engagement and exaltation’ its possible successor.

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(340kb)

Ipsos MORI research on British concern for future generations

Ipsos MORI for FDSD and Intergenerational Foundation

More than two thirds (67%) of British people believe the UK Government considers future generations too little in decisions it makes today.

Opinion poll findings commissioned from Ipsos MORI by FDSD and the Intergenerational Foundation in November 2011 also found that nearly half of those interviewed (45%) think passing on a healthy planet is more important than passing on a thriving economy (9%), safety and security (16%) or even an unspoilt countryside (4%).

And far from looking out only for ourselves or our own children, almost two thirds (64%) think all future generations’ needs should take priority when we think about sharing the Earth’s resources.

download the detailed findings
(111kb) 

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Climate Change: an overview of science, scenarios, projected impacts and links to democracy

Halina Ward with additional inputs from Emma Woods & Anandini Yoganathan

This paper forms Paper Four in FDSD’s project on The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change, which aims to develop scenarios that can help to answer the question: ‘how might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?’

In this final preliminary paper, we review the current state of climate science and some of its most closely associated tools and scenarios. We focus on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), particularly its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), as well as on later (post-AR4) analysis.

Beyond Paper Four, the next step will be to develop an initial set of draft scenarios on the future of democracy in the face of climate change for discussion, testing, and refining.

download                                                                                                                               (1.91 mb)

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The Futures of Sustainable Development and of Democracy

Halina Ward with Emma Woods

This paper forms Paper Three in FDSD’s project on The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change, which aims to develop scenarios that can help to answer the question: ‘how might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?’

As we work towards scenarios on the future of democracy in the face of climate change to 2100, this paper reviews and offers preliminary comments on three broad existing bodies of work: those on ‘the future of sustainable development’, ‘the future of sustainable development governance’, and ‘the future of democracy’.

“Our leaders speak of tomorrow, while their dreams and those of their citizens, are shaped by the concepts, metaphors, logic and assumptions of yesterday” (Ruben Nelson)

download                                                                                                                               (1.49 mb)

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Taking the Longer View: UK Governance Options for a Finite Planet

Peter Roderick

“We take the long view in so many ways. We get educated. We have children. We build. We buy houses. We talk about “making a living”, a continuing, dynamic, creative process. We contribute to pension schemes. We imagine retirement. We hope for good health. We devise and take out insurance policies. We make wills. We value museums, libraries, gardens, beaches, and open and wild spaces. We fear death and want to continue living. Even our fairy stories take the long view: “and they lived happily ever after”. And laws and policies are aimed at supporting these kinds of ends, or should be, even if the means are passionately contested”.

Peter Roderick’s report for FDSD and WWF-UK outlines a range of options for UK legal and constitutional change to underpin ‘the longer view’ in the interests of sustainable development.

download report
(996kb)

download appendices
(749kb)

Embedding Sustainable Development Across Government

Carol Hatton, Halina Ward, Peter Roderick

Written submission from WWF-UK’s legal team, FDSD and Barrister Peter Roderick for the Environmental Audit Committee’s Inquiry into ‘Embedding Sustainable Development Across Government, after the Secretary of State’s Announcement on the Future of the Sustainable Development Commission’.

The submission highlights the importance of Parliament as a driver of democratic decision-making for sustainable development and outlines a range of legal and institutional approaches that could address the imperative to make sustainable development a central organising principle of government.  

link to the written evidence (external website)

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ISO 26000 public policy and transnational democracy

Halina Ward

In September 2010, ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, adopted an ambitious International Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility, ISO 26000. This draft paper, for eventual publication in the journal Theoretical Inquiries in Law, considers the implications of the Standard for public policy and for democracy.

The paper also draws on the author’s experience within the International Working Group on Social Responsibility to describe key issues in the negotiating process behind key parts of the text. These include references to the precautionary approach, the role of the state, and text on the relationship between the standard and the World Trade Organization.

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(857 kb)

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Mobilising Democracy to Tackle Climate Change

Halina Ward

A report from an event on ‘Mobilising Democracy to Tackle Climate Change’ which was organised by Schumacher College, Salzburg Global Seminar and the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, with the support of Goodenough College. The report focuses on one key question: what innovations are needed in democracy and participatory decision-making if we want them to deliver the actions needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change?

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(564kb)

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Online Activism, Democracy, and Climate Change

Sally Hill

Drawing on her experience as membership coordinator for Australian online campaign group GetUp during 2008-9, FDSD volunteer Sally Hill considers the rise of online activism exemplified by four organisations: MoveOn, GetUp, 38 Degrees, and GetUp. Case studies focus on the four organisations’ climate change activities. The discussion paper also discusses the implications of online activism for democracy and for effective action on climate change.

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(1.12Mb)  

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What is democracy?

Halina Ward and Anandini Yoganathan

In this paper, which forms Paper Two in FDSD’s project on The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change, the authors review a range of definitional approaches to democracy. They discuss the relevance of existing approaches in the light of climate change and its possible impacts on democracy.

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(814kb)

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Democracy and Climate Change: why and what matters

Halina Ward

In this first paper from FDSD’s project on ‘The Future of Democracy in the Face of Climate Change’, Halina Ward outlines the range of links between democracy and climate change. The paper explores the range of reasons why it is important to explore the project’s central question: How might democracy and participatory decision-making have evolved to cope with the challenges of climate change by the years 2050 and 2100?”. 

Separate sections address democracy; the sustainable development challenge to democracy; climate science; the Copenhagen Climate Summit, and climate change and the wider challenges of preparing for resilient democracy.

The paper lays the ground for FDSD’s work throughout 2010 to develop scenarios for the future of democracy in the face of climate change.

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(771kb)

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Democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development; Issues and approaches for civil society in the UK: an emerging agenda

Maria Adebowale, Simon Burall, Caroline Digby, Erin van der Maas, Paul Manners, Charles Secrett, Matthew Scott, Mark Walton, Halina Ward, Stuart Wilks-Heeg 

In this paper written following an NGO Leaders meeting on democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development held in October 2009, participants reflect on an emerging agenda on democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development, and their potential role in shaping its course.

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(396kb)

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A revolutionary pathway to democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development

Charles Secrett

Leading sustainability campaigner Charles Secrett sets out a possible pathway for achieving revolutionary change towards democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development.

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(364 kb)

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‘Climategate’: a salutary episode

Ian Christie

Ian Christie considers lessons from the so-called ‘climategate’ affair in this short piece, written during the December 2009 COP15 negotiations.

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(146 kb)


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Learning from the Hungarian Green Ombudsman

Halina Ward

Halina Ward reflects on the potential relevance for the UK of Hungary’s unique ‘Green Ombudsman’ role: the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Generations. This piece was originally published in the November issue of the electronic journal of the UK Environmental Law Association, e-law.

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(382kb)

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Background paper on environmental justice, democracy and sustainable development

Maria Adebowale, Halina Ward

This short background note, produced by Capacity Global and the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, is intended to help stimulate discussion at a half-day Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Leaders meeting on democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development on 26th October 2009. The note outlines a range of intersections between democracy, environmental justice and sustainable development in the UK, and highlights issues for consideration at the meeting.

Download
(433kb)

International democracy day: work to do

Halina Ward, John Elkington

In this piece, published on opendemocracy.net on the Second International Day of Democracy, 15th September 2009, FDSD’s Director and Chair reflect on links between democracy and climate change; and urge the global community to recognise the dangers posed to democracy by climate change.

Read article on opendemocracy.net

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Open letter to Ban Ki-moon on Democracy and Climate Change

John Elkington, Halina Ward

On the occasion of the second International Day of Democracy, FDSD Chair John Elkington and Director Halina Ward write to United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon on the subject of equipping democracy for resilience in the face of climate change. They warn that unless the world’s nations take meaningful and decisive action to tackle climate change, democracy itself may be a casualty, and ask that in future years International Day of Democracy become an opportunity to reflect on the democratic challenge of climate change.

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(266kb)

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One world ethics, democracy and sustainable development

Halina Ward

This report contains the text of a presentation made by Halina Ward to participants at Salzburg Global Seminar’s 2009 Board weekend. The report reflects on the idea of ‘One World’ thinking and ethics by highlighting links between democracy and sustainable development.

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(385kb)

ISO 26000: social responsibility talks tread on government toes

Halina Ward, Ethical Corporation

Halina Ward analyses tensions between government-led public policy and multistakeholder decision-making in this piece on the proposed ISO 26000 International Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility.

Read the article on ethicalcorp.com

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Democracy and Sustainability in Emerging Economies: India as a case study

Joydeep Gupta with Halina Ward

This report records discussions at a three-day seminar  held in New Delhi in February 2009. The event explored Indian perspectives on links between democracy and sustainability. It was organised by Salzburg Global Seminar and the 21st Century Trust in collaboration with The Environment Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and TERI.

Keynote speakers were Mr Nitin Desai and Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and TERI Director-General.

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(163kb)

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Report of consultation on democracy and sustainability

John Elkington and John Lotherington

This report records discussions at a March 2008 event on Democracy and Sustainability which was organised by The Environment Foundation and 21st Century Trust and hosted by the Dana Centre.

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(44kb)

Can democracy save the planet?

John Elkington and John Lotherington

John Elkington and John Lotherington’s reflections on discussions on ‘Democracy and Sustainability’ at the Dana Centre in March 2008. They ask: is democracy necessary for sustainable development, or does it get in the way?

Read article on opendemocracy.net

Democracy and sustainability

Tim O’Riordan

In this paper, Professor Tim O’Riordan responds to papers by Ian Christie and Sara Parkin. He considers the relevance of a variety of ‘tipping points’ to sustainability politics, suggesting that we could witness the emergence of a ‘democratic tipping point’.

Professor O’Riordan calls for what he terms a ‘mass mobilisation of virtue’ in both civic responsibility and political accountability and outlines essential features of a charter for democracy and sustainability. 

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(23kb)

Sustainability and democracy

Sara Parkin

In this contribution to The Environment Foundation’s March 2008 event on Democracy and Sustainability, Forum for the Future founder Sara Parkin reflects on whether political parties get in the way of the collaborative democracy that is needed to tackle sustainability.

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(86kb)