Environmentalism and Community Essay
Community Development What is the relevance of community development to NSTP? Objectives of Community Development To contribute to the general welfare and the betterment of life of the people in the community. To facilitate the promotion, sustainability, support and maintenance of the community action. Community – communities of place: defined by distinct boundaries and bound by a common political, economic and social system – communities of interest: a group of individuals that share common interests, goals and rights under the same laws and regulations.
Development – refers to sustained efforts intended to improve or maintain the social and economic well-being of a community. Community Development – seeks to empower individuals and groups of people by providing these groups with the skills they need to effect change in their own communities. Community development • is the planned evolution of all aspects of community well-being (economic, social, environmental and cultural). • it is a process whereby community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.
The scope of community development can vary from small initiatives within a small group, to large initiatives that involve the whole community. Elements of Community Development • Focus on the goals and needs of the communities • The encouragement of self-help • Technical assistance from different line agencies • Integration of various expertise or cross-cutting issues • Felt needs of the community Protocols in Community Development 1. Community Selection 2. Conduct Community Needs/Resources Assessment 3. Data Analysis 4.
Community Presentation of Needs/Resources Assessment Results 5. Community Action 6. Ongoing community support, linking of communities, increasing leadership 7. Measuring success 8. State level support and responsibility 9. Transference of protocols and systems Community Needs Assessment A way of gauging opinions, assumptions, needs, key issues, and/or assets within a defined community. Needs Assessment: Why do it? • Identify community needs, concerns and issues • Target outreach programs • Empower grass-roots action around needs • Determine if needs have changed? Collect communities’ hopes/dreams/desires Community Assessment Tools • Focus Group Interview • Public Issues Forum • Secondary Data Analysis • Community Survey Questionnaires • Interviews • Asset Mapping Focus Group Interview The focus group is a way to gather the opinions/ ideas from a small, targeted group of citizens. The intention of focus groups is perhaps more to build a synergy of thoughts and ideas than it is to make projections about the community. ADVANTAGES • easy to conduct • provides detailed info • allows for issue probing • stimulates thinking and discussion
DISADVANTAGES • Ideas generated not necessarily prevalent • small sample for effort • difficult to analyze • quiet folks suppressed • requires participation Public Issues Forum Community forums are public meetings that involve residents to express their concerns about community issues, problems, and needs. ADVANTAGES • Diverse members can share ideas • Provides quick look at community issues • Involves local citizens • inexpensive DISADVANTAGES • Requires skill/time • Opinions obtained only from those who attend • May generate more questions or conflict Secondary Data Analysis
Secondary data is data that is collected about a particular audience without having direct contact with that audience. It can often provide insight about emerging trends or issues in a particular community. ADVANTAGES • Data already exists • Fast & easy to access • Data available for many geographic levels DISADVANTAGES • Representative sample may not be accurate • Gaps in data • Requires inferences • Lack of data richness Community Survey ADVANTAGES • Wide distribution • Good for data analysis • Strong sample of the population DISADVANTAGES • Expensive • Requires skill/time • Information is hard to summarize Little quantitative value Interviews An interview is a conversation with a purpose, designed to help you gather information about peoples assumptions/perceptions of activities in your community. They are useful when looking for in-depth information on a particular topic. ADVANTAGES • Detailed information • Allows for clarification/follow up on questions • Personal contact builds rapport DISADVANTAGES • Time-consuming • Requires skill/ time • Information is hard to summarize • Little quantitative value Asset Mapping Asset mapping is a technique for cataloguing local community assets/resources to meet community objectives.
The goal is to identify and utilize assets to better the community rather than to focus on problems and needs. ADVANTAGES • Focuses on what community already has • Provides diverse look at community assets • Involves multiple stakeholders DISADVANTAGES • Community assets may not match key issues • People tend to respond to crises rather than possibilities Factors for Choosing your Assessment Tool • Purpose of assessment • Type of data needed • Time commitment • Cost • Skills needed • Target audience • Sources of bias Steps for Conducting an Assessment 1. Form a Steering Committee. 2. What needs/issues are you addressing? 3.
Determine the community you are assessing. 4. Determine assessment tool. 5. Develop a plan (who, what, when, how). 6. Implement the assessment tool. 7. Analyze the results. 8. Report the results. 9. Implement or instigate follow through. Values in Community Development 1. Fairness / Social Justice 2. Equality 3. Accountability 4. Opportunity 5. Choice 6. Participation 7. Mutuality 8. Continuous learning 9. Self-determination 10. Sustainable communities 11. Reflective practice Scope of Effective Community Development • a long-term endeavor • well planned • inclusive and equitable • holistic and integrated into the bigger picture initiated and supported by community members • beneficial to the community • grounded on experience that leads to best practices Roles of Different Stakeholders • Develop working relationships with communities and organizations • Encourage people to work with and learn from each other • Work with communities to plan for change and take collective action • Work with communities to develop and use frameworks for evaluation • Develop community organizations and • Reflect on and develop one’s own practice and role Characteristics of good and well functioning community 1.
A learning community, where people and groups gain knowledge, skills and confidence through community activity. 2. A fair and just community, which upholds civic rights and equality of opportunity, and which recognizes and celebrates the distinctive features of its cultures 3. An active and empowered community, where people are fully involved and which has strong and varied local organizations and a clear identity and self-confidence. 4. An influential community, which is consulted and has strong voice in decisions which affects its interest 5. An economically strong community, which creates pportunities for work and which retains a high proportion of its wealth. 6. A caring community, aware of the needs of its members and in which services are of good quality and meet these needs. 7. A green community, with a healthy and pleasant environment conserving resources and encouraging awareness of environmental responsibility. 8. A safe community, where people do not fear crime, violence or other hazards. 9. A welcoming community, which people like feels happy about and do not wish to leave. 10. A lasting community, which is well established and likely to survive.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Is a practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or governmental level, for the benefit of the natural environment and (or) humans. Due to the pressures of population and our technology the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized and governments began placing restraints on activities that caused environmental degradation. Since the 1960s activism by the environmental movement has created awareness of the various environmental issues. GENERAL CONCEPTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION • Refers to organized efforts to teach about how natural environments function and, particularly, how human beings can manage their behavior and ecosystems in order to live sustainably. • The term is often used to imply education within the school system, from primary to post-secondary. However, it is sometimes used more broadly to include all efforts to educate the public and other audiences, including print materials, websites, media campaigns, etc. Related disciplines include outdoor education and experiential education. Environmental education focus on: Awareness and sensitivity about the environment and environmental challenges • Knowledge and understanding about the environment and environmental challenges • Attitude concern for the environment and help to maintain environmental quality • Skills to mitigate the environmental problems • Participation for exercising existing knowledge and environmental related programs. RELATED DISCIPLINES 1. Outdoor education learning “in” and “for” the outdoors. It is a means of curriculum extension and enrichment through outdoor experiences. 2.
Experiential education is a process through which a learner constructs knowledge, skill, and value from direct experiences ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS • Pollution, global warming, ozone layer depletion increased the awareness of society on environment. • Environmental protection has become a by word of every citizen and the term itself has become a social and political issue. • Society is part of the environment therefore society is also part of the problems and the solutions. • Real solution to the problem is sustainable use of resources The ignorance of some basic concepts are the major cause of environmental problems TYPES OF POLLUTION Air pollution • Land Pollution • Water Pollution THE CORE ENVIRONMENTAL PRINCIPLES • Interdependence and Interconnectedness. • Everything on earth is connected to everything else. • Biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem are very much interrelated. DIVERSITY AND STABILITY ? All life forms are important in the ecosystem. CHANGE ? Problems arise when human ways accelerate or inhibit changes in nature BALANCE OF NATURE ? Nature knows best. It has its own laws and processes to maintain itself. FINITENESS OF RESOURCES ? Most resources are nonrenewable. They have to be used prudently and wisely