Imagining Geographies & Civic Soul Media

Compromised, partial archive of Imagining Geographies & Civic Soul regional engagement initiatives (2012-2016) undertaken by dedicated students and residents.

Sustainability & Poverty: RESOURCES

PLEASE NOTE: This website is undergoing substantial revision. We hope to upload many of our archival materials by mid-May 2016.  Our apologies for this delay.


Sustainability for All Species:

Insights for Communal Approaches to Poverty

Community Forum on the Challenges of Poverty, Carbondale Public Library, April 20, 2016

Sparrow Coalition, Carbondale Public Library, & Imagining Geographies: Imagining Community Project         



Robin Kimmerer: The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life.

OnBeing interview with Robin Kimmerer.  “Why is the world so beautiful?” This is a question Robin Wall Kimmerer pursues as a botanist and also as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.  She says that as our knowledge about plant life unfolds, human vocabulary and imaginations must adapt.


Traditional Ecological Knowledge brings American Indian mindset into scientific conversation. On new SUNY center created by Robin Kimmerer.



“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.”[4]

Bill Mollison (1991). Introduction to permaculture. Tasmania, Australia: Tagari.

 Essence of Permaculture*      

12 Permaculture Design Principles  [see text below]

See Resource Collection of Wayne Weiseman



“Why Women Will Rule The World” by Buckminster Fuller.   McCall’s.  March 1968


“Goddesses of the Twenty-First Century” by Buckminster Fuller. Saturday Review.  March 2, 1968


Link to a variety of Fuller books (full digital copies) and rare articles and manuscripts:


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:    Resources with Insights into Communal Action for Poverty

Sustainable development:  “present necessities are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

  • Environmental Sustainability: The capacity to preserve over time the three basic functions of the environment: the resource supply function, the waste receiver function and that of direct usefulness. In other words, within a territory (area / region), environmental sustainability means the capacity to increase and bring up the value of the environment and its peculiarities, while assuring the protection and the renewal of natural resources and the environmental patrimony.
  • Economic Sustainability: The capacity of an economic system to generate a constant & improving growth of its economic indicators. In particular, the capacity to generate incomes & employment in order to sustain the populations.
  • Social Sustainability: The ability to guarantee welfare (security, health, education), equitably distributed among social classes and gender. Within a territory, […]the capacity of different social actors (stakeholders) to interact efficiently, to aim towards the same goals, encouraged by the close interaction of the Institutions, at all levels.

The concept of sustainable development is based on a political and ethical principle. This principle implies that the social and economical dynamics of modern economies are compatible both with the improvement of life conditions and the ability of natural resources to reproduce (regenerate) in an indefinite manner.

It seems therefore essential to guarantee an economical development truly compatible with social equity and ecosystems, capable to act in environmental equilibrium and to respect the so called “Three E’s balance rule”: Environment, Equity, Economy.

 World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland.


See – SIU Sustainability Website for additional resources

Eight Principles of Deep Ecology  [see text below]


 Geographical Perspective on Poverty-Environment Interaction.    L. Gray & W. Moseley  (2005). Juxtaposed to dominant narrative that blames the poor for environmental degradation, this approach to political ecology examines how definitions of poverty, institutional arrangements, conventional economic models and presumed feedback loops influence understandings of poverty-environmental interaction.


Environmental Sustainability and Poverty Eradication in Developing Countries   E. Barbier (2012). Article discusses three key features of present-day development efforts to meet challenges in over-coming widespread poverty in low and middle income economies without jeopardizing the environment:

(1) natural resource management should be focus of sustainable development policies. For example, targeting the main primary production activities of an economy to improve their competitiveness, attain their export potential, limit resource overexploitation and waste, and generate increase returns and revenues is necessary but not sufficient.

(2) Financial returns and funds generated from primary production activities must be reinvested in the industrial activities, infrastructure, health services, education and skills necessary for long-term economic development.

(3) Specific policies need to be targeted at the poor where they live, especially the rural poor clustered in fragile environments and remote areas. This will require involving the poor in these areas in payment for ecosystem services, targeting investments directly to the rural poor, reducing their dependence on exploiting environmental resources, and tackling their lack of access to affordable credit, insurance, land, and transport.

(4) new financial mechanisms for channeling assistance must be developed, such as financial transactions taxes and other innovative instruments.


Institutional Arrangements for Rural Poverty Reduction and Resource Conservation B. BARRETT, D. LEE World Development Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 193–197, 2005.   Four core points in managing institutional arrangements for reconciling rural poverty reduction with renewable natural resources conservation […]  First, synergies do not naturally emerge just because rural poverty reduction and renewable natural resources conservation are each appealing goals with common drivers and some intrinsic interlinkage. Second, it matters less which rules a community or country adopts than how well they monitor and enforce the rules they set. Third, flexibility and adaptability in design are critical to establishing cooperative partnerships that can advance both conservation and development goals. Fourth, multiscalar approaches are commonly desirable.


Twelve PERMACULTURE Design Principles 

David Holmgren in Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:

  1. Observe & interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewableresources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing & making use of all the resources available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.


Eight Principles of Deep Ecology    Arne Naess and George Sessions

  1. The well-being and flourishing of human and non-human life on Earth have value in themselves. These values are independent of the usefulness of the non-human world for human purposes.
  2. Richness & diversity of life forms contribute to realization of these values & are also values in themselves.
  3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.
  4. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of non-human life requires such a decrease.
  5. Present human interference with the non-human world is excessive […]situation is rapidly worsening.
  6. The dominant socio-political living situation must therefore end. This will affect basic economic, technological, & ideological structures. Resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.
  7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.

8.            Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to im


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