Part 2: Issues in Sustainable Development


Decision Making
Environmentally Sound Technologies
Human Settlements
Justice and Peace
Oceans & Seas
Public Awareness

In Part 1, you learned to recognize the wide range of social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues in Africa and began to discover how much these issues impact you. Part 2 explores each of the twenty-five issues and presents examples of strategies that can be used to address them.

The material in Part 2 is organized into Modules, one for each of the twenty-five issues. Each Module begins with a Summary of the issue, followed by the Main Idea for the Module, a brief identification of Key Concepts, and desired Outcomes. The Modules are grouped into eight issue Blocks. Each Block is organized around a Theme and desired Goals.

The modules will expand and deepen your knowledge of the issues by exploring each issue at regional, local, and, to some extent, global scales. For each issue, Core Readings provide basic issue information such as cause, scale, and effect. This information is accompanied by Sustainability Strategies, which demonstrate ways in which the issue can be addressed. Supplemental Readings are provided to allow for deeper examination of each issue.

If you are already very knowledgeable about some of the Part 2 issues, your instructor may recommend that you omit readings on those issues to allow you more time to examine the Sustainability Strategies and research other issues in more depth.

Sustainability Strategies are reports on real approaches being used to solve real sustainability problems in Africa. There are almost one hundred Sustainability Strategies included in Part 2. The Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet that you will find in the Supplemental Materials section will be your tool for analyzing and critiquing the effectiveness of these Sustainability Strategies. Analyzing the strategies by using these sheets is a major synthesizing and application activity in which you will learn to consider how issues are interrelated in real life and how you can apply these strategies in your communities. Use of these sheets and the application process used here in Part 2 will continue in Part 3 and ultimately in Part 4, where the capstone activity in the course, your own community application project, will be evaluated using the sheet.

If you are assigned to present a Sustainability Strategy, read the strategy, identify the sustainability issues involved in the strategy, evaluate the social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits, and think through how the strategy could be implemented locally.

The Sustainability Strategies provided vary in length, depth, and quality. That is intentional. They have been taken from various sources so that you will see not only a variety of strategies, but also the different ways that they are reported and summarized. You do not control the quality of the Sustainability Strategy document you present. You will be evaluated on the clarity of presentation—that is, how easily the other students are able to understand and analyze the strategy you present.

Core and Supplemental Readings, Sustainability Strategies, as well as possible Assignment Questions, are to be completed outside of class. Class time is devoted to group discussion of the readings as well as presentation and analysis of the Sustainability Strategies.

Refer to the issue questions and concerns you had in Part 1 during the group discussions. If the module is about an issue that you are very concerned about personally, volunteer to take on the role of discussion leader. Personal societal, economic, and environmental values and the conflicting points of view on the issues should be an integral part of the discussions. Don’t limit yourself in how you present or represent your question or position. Creative expression is a powerful tool for conveying a message. A creative presentation will also be remembered!

Development of your personal research skills begins here in Part 2. Field visits and your own fact-finding and personal issue research will complement the readings and classroom activities and personalize your understanding of the issues. For example, for environmental issues such as water pollution or land degradation, you might collect specimens for or from university laboratories. For social and economic issues you might collect field data in local communities. Such activities will be especially meaningful for you for issues with which you are not personally familiar.

If you are using the CD or Internet version of the course, create your own course notebook by using the Issue Notes Template found in the Supplemental Materials section to organize your personal research and issue information. Continue to improve your ability to evaluate Sustainability Strategies using the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheets and save them. They will make the planning and design of your own community application project strategy that much easier and more effective.

Recommended duration of Part 2: Total of twenty-five classroom hours. Field visits may be added to or substitute for classroom time.


Develop practical sustainability issue understanding


      • In-depth knowledge of twenty-five social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues at multiple scales
      • Ability to assess whether an issue is isolated or interrelated with other issues
      • Knowledge of strategies which can be used to address the issues
      • Ability to assess the practicality of strategies proposed to address sustainability problems
      • Ability to outline strategies for sustainability problems