Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Better choices

Abstract from paper by Professor Norbert Pintsch (Institute for Planning and Consulting, Germany-USA). Paper was presented in Second International COMSAT Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Development that was held in Abbotabad from Aug 26-27, 2007.

This article discusses the basic concept of sustainability and its dependencies in cultural contexts. This corelation has hardly been considered from the technology oriented side and lesser and lesser in general scientific circles. This is by no means a sign of superiority but more a sign of philosophical poverty and one sidedness, which is contra-productive, without the concerned and interested parties being even aware of it. The following contribution compares the concept of Vertical Sustainability to the Horizontal Sustainability, while making it clear that the latter is not suitable for income generating measures in urban areas.

The scientific community agrees that the Earth’s climate is changing and severe impacts are inevitable. Global warming leads to the melting of both Artic and Antarctic polar ice sheets. Such melting is bound to change the ecological conditions and may cause a break in food chain of living organisms. Under the prevailing conditions, the scientific community of the twenty-first century both anticipates and fears the challenges that are presented. Humanity has reached a “defining moment” in our dominion over the planet and our ability to sustain or destroy it depends on our forthcoming behaviour and actions.

As custodians of our planet we should do more to counter the dangers posed by climate change, “destroying” the biosphere. Achieving environmental sustainability requires managing and protecting ecosystems, maintaining the diversity of life in both human- managed and natural systems and protecting the environment from pollution to maintain the quality of land, air and water.

The ESDev-2007 Conference has brought together hundreds of professionals from academia, industries, local enterprises and agencies to translate ideas, success stories, case histories, current trends, and technologies into solutions for environmental protection and enhancement. The proceedings hold about 150 technical and research papers and review articles covering almost every aspect related to environment. Over 70 papers were presented in two parallel sessions and the remaining papers were displayed in poster form. The papers presented at ESDev-2007 cover topics related to local, regional and global environmental and development issues. These topics are merged into eight main themes and each section of the proceedings is marked with the title of the topics. The content pages and the author index in all volumes are identical. The author index includes the co-authors as well.

The number of themes and unequal distribution of the papers under these themes represents particularly the academic response to the call for papers. Issues of local concern and expertise are particularly well represented. Perhaps in future years it would be appropriate to encourage participation from a wider environmental perspective.

The ESDev-2007 Conference has initiated a dialogue among all the stakeholders in an area of immense importance which must result in specific actions, to craft suitable policies and to take the necessary action to protect and sustain the environment. We hope research papers and technical work presented in the ESDev-2007 proceedings will evoke interest and subsequent discussion and practical implementation not only by the delegate attending the conference, but also by others involved in environment related activities like research and teaching institutions, NGOs and individuals working in private and public sector.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:51 AM,


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