Accounting for Threats to Sustainable Development: An Indicator for Holding NGOs and International Organizations Accountable to Creating the Context for Sustainable Development

Lempert, David Howard; Nguyen, Hue Nhu

This article takes the simple, nine point, indicator that the authors devised for determining whether international organizations and governments were fulfilling the professional requirements and international legal mandates for sustainable development interventions and expands it to a second level to account for the management of external (natural) and human-created threats/risks to the context for sustainable development. The standard assumption in sustainable development planning is that communities and countries have controls over their own resources and can then plan their use of resources and their consumption in a way that is sustainable, but the reality is that resources are continually under threat and increasingly from outside sources (e.g., pollution, climate change, war). Since these barriers to sustainable development are often induced by or subject to influence by the very same global powers that comprise the donor community today, the challenge facing communities and programs seeking to achieve sustainability is not merely one of following the appropriate measures of sustainability. The challenge is also one of working to assure that governments and organizations reduce the political and environmental threats that they, themselves, are creating (such as climate change and threats of military conflict) through their own political choices and consumption patterns and the impacts these have for weaker countries and cultures, as well as share superior technology to help reduce other threats where technology can play a role in risk reduction (e.g., planetary threats, global pandemics).


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Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

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August 18, 2022