An Introduction to Sustainable Development from P Rogers, K Jalal & J Boyd

Title: An Introduction to Sustainable Development
Author: P Rogers, K Jalal & J Boyd
Publisher: EARTHSCAN LONDON
ISBN No.: 13:978-1-84407-520-1
Year of Publication: 2008
Website: http://www.earthscan.co.uk

This solid and wordy tome is a very useful and accessible reference work on sustainable development. I initially found it quite heavy to read but as I worked through it, the logic fell into place and concepts began to build upon each other. The detailed index makes easy work of “dipping into topics” and underlines the book’s value as a reference work, particularly to trainers.

The book is split into 14 chapters:- 1 – From Malthus to Sustainable Development; 2 – Challenges of Sustainable Development; 3 – Global Environmental Issues; 4 – Sustainable Development Indicators; 5 – Environmental Assessment; 6 – Environmental Management – Trends and Policies; 7 – Legislation, International Law and Multilateral Environmental Agreements; 8 – Social Dimensions and Policies; 9 – The Economics of Sustainability; 10 – Sustainability : Externalities, Valuation and Time Externalities; 11 – Natural Resource Accounting; 12 – The Role of International Financial Institutions; 13 – International Cooperation; and 14 – Sustainable Development : Crisis, Conflict and Compromise.

It can be seen from the chapter headings that the book covers the theoretical and practical elements of sustainable development and provides a great deal of detailed guidance on implementation of sustainable development practices. If I have any criticism of this book, it is that it is strongly “Americentric”. The Environmental Assessment chapter focuses heavily on the American EIA experience. I think, however, there would have been value in making this section even more international than it is and contrasting more international experiences in this area.

This is a powerful and insightful sustainable development reference text well worth putting on the book shelf. Not a quick read but easy to dip into for checking details and options. Recommended.
AJH

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