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Practising Sustainable Development

  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • Sustainable development is defined by the United Nations as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Sustainable development is the concern for both the present and the future inhabitants of the planet as a whole. This course will explain what sustainable development is and how the ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainable development overlap. The course also explains how systems practise can help manage complexity in the area of sustainable development and you will examine case studies which look at aspects of sustainable development in China and Scotland. This course will be of great interest to professionals who work in the areas of international development, sustainability or environmental science, to students who are pursuing a career in the areas of international development and sustainability, and to anyone with an interest in the ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainable development.

  • In this course you will learn to:
    - understand more about measuring sustainability and footprinting;
    - understand the global trade in recycling;
    - understand the history of fishing in Scotland;
    - understand the tensions between nature and culture;
    - explain and apply the importance of the waste hierarchy to waste management;
    - realise that economic development changes the nature and amount of waste generated;
    - consider a case study of unregulated waste dumping and the environmental impacts contrasted with digital waste products (digital dumping);
    - recognise that informal waste collection systems play important roles in recycling and job creation;
    - compare and contrast waste output levels for a range of different countries;
    - understand how current ‘Western’ lifestyles and aspirations lead to increased consumption;
    - to appreciate how product availability and how product creation also leads to waste and undesired outputs;
    - explain and illustrate the waste hierarchy and its role in both informal and formal waste management systems;
    - appreciate the environmental implications of consumer behaviour;

  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to share your success. Plus it’s:

    • Ideal for including in CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • An indication of your ability to learn and achieve high results
    • An incentive to continue to empower yourself through learning
    • A tangible way of supporting the Alison mission to empower people everywhere through education.

Practising Sustainable Development
  • Free

  • 2-3 Hours

  • OpenLearn

  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • 50 Pts

Modules List( 5 )
  • Module
    What is sustainability?
    • This module explains sustainability and sustainable development. It introduces ways in which systems thinking can help support processes of decision making amongst stakeholders with different, often contrasting, perspectives on sustainable development in order to generate purposeful action to improve situations of change and uncertainty.
    • What is sustainability?
    • Systems and hierarchies
    • Predictions
    • Historical events in sustainable development
    • Beliefs about sustainable development - Part 1
    • Beliefs about sustainable development - Part 2
  • Module
    Systems practise in sustainable development
    • Systems thinking: managing sustainability is about systems practice and managing complexity in the domain of sustainable development. It introduces many examples from practitioners and you will be using systems ideas, and methods, for engaging with and developing your understanding of managing complexity.
    • Introduction
    • Limits to growth
    • Tragedy of the commons
    • The developing world
    • Managing systems practise in sustainable development
    • Learning from Brent Spar
  • Module
    Energy and sustainability
    • Access to safe, clean and sustainable energy supplies is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity during the twenty-first century. This module will survey the world’s present energy systems and their sustainability problems, together with some of the possible solutions to those problems and how these might emerge in practice.
    • Sources of energy and their environmental impact
    • Definitions of energy sustainability and the future
    • Fossil fuels and nuclear energy
    • Bioenergy and hydroelectricity
    • Renewable energy sources - Part 1
    • Renewable energy sources - Part 2
    • Energy services and efficiency improvements
    • Energy in a sustainable future
  • Module
    Case studies in sustainability - China and Scotland
    • This module will introduce you to a number of different aspects of sustainability that impact on Scotland and the wider world. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in a sustainable future in the context of contemporary Scottish society. You will also be introduced to the waste practices and waste management processes currently being practiced in China.
    • Ecological footprinting from a Scottish perspective
    • Recycling food production and fishing in Scotland
    • Nature and culture in Scotland
    • Understanding waste in China
    • Street recycling in China
  • REFERENCES View Resource
  • Module
    Sustainable Development Assessment
    • You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
    • Sustainable Development Assessment
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