Community development and ecology : exploring the links

Connors, Phil 2008, Community development and ecology : exploring the links, in Community development and ecology : engaging ecological sustainability through community development : selected papers from a conference held in Melbourne, 26-28 March 2008, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic., pp. 37-52.

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Title Community development and ecology : exploring the links
Author(s) Connors, Phil
Conference name Community Development and Ecology (2008 : Melbourne, Victoria)
Conference location Deakin University, Melbourne
Conference dates 26 - 28 March 2008
Title of proceedings Community development and ecology : engaging ecological sustainability through community development : selected papers from a conference held in Melbourne, 26-28 March 2008
Editor(s) Clarke, Matthew
Connors, Phil
Dillon, Jo
Kelly, MaxORCID iD for Kelly, Max
Kenny, Sue
Publication date 2008
Conference series Community Development and Ecology Conference
Start page 37
End page 52
Total pages 374 p.
Publisher Deakin University
Place of publication Geelong, Vic.
Summary This paper will explore connections between the concepts of community development and ecology. Initially the tendency was to think there should be a total melding of the principles and practices of community development with those of an ecological understanding but on reflection this has not and indeed is not necessarily the case. The relative epistemological positioning of two different groups, one strongly associating with social justice and the need for people to be at the centre of our economic, environmental and social understanding; and the other clearly seeing the plant and ecology/environment being paramount. While there are a myriad of connections the focus of much community development has been around human welfare based on principles of social, political and economic justice. This has at times been to the detriment of ecological sustainability. Conversely ecology and particularly aspects of deep ecology have focussed on the 'other than human' aspects of the planet and at times seemed almost 'anti 'human and overlooking the need to work with the social almost entirely. This paper briefly outlines the historical separation of the social from the ecological then goes on to explore alternative understandings that bring together principles of community development and ecology. Three examples are used to highlight the principles and practices that are being used across diverse contexts but all informed by common norms and values that are consistent with both community development and ecology. Concepts such as subsidiarity, participation and empowerment that form the basis of community development praxis are critical to the development of local sustainability. The combination of these aspects is evidenced in the three examples. Each is very clearly located in the local context and is built on sound ecological and community development understandings but each is also well aware that the need for a broader perspective is imperative to achieving global goals.
ISBN 9781741561197
Language eng
Field of Research 160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Deakin University
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