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Publications round-up: water recommendations; understanding behaviour; greener York

A round-up of recent sustainable development publications highlighted by our partner, the Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN). For more news on sustainable development research and publications, join the network and receive regular SDRN mailings.

In this round-up:

Read about more recent publications and research in the latest SDRN bulletin…

The Itchen Initiative (WWF-UK Report)

The Itchen Initiative was launched to provide recommendations for the future of water management and regulation. The Initiative has been based on a series of background discussion papers prepared by Colin Fenn, Rob Wilby, Waterwise, WWF-UK and a research report paper prepared by Policy Exchange.

This report suggests a fresh approach to tackling water scarcity in the UK, working with industry, government and local communities, and combining innovation and incentive schemes to create smarter water management that benefits people and nature.

The report sets out the limitations of the current system, the need to understand variability in both natural freshwater systems and in the way in which people use water, and presents ten key recommendations to enable smarter water management.

More from WWF-UK…

Bringing it home (Green Alliance Report)

This report examines how government could facilitate more sustainable lifestyles through a better understanding of human behaviour.

The report focuses on resource use in the home, including energy and water use and waste creation and disposal. It begins by exploring the current state of affairs, examining household behaviours and existing policies in these three areas, and proceeds to present three major principles for government to follow in order to improve policy on greener living:

  1. set out the vision and highlight how people fit into it;
  2. transform the ‘choice architecture’;
  3. apply behavioural insights for smarter policy, moving beyond pure nudge theory and adopting a mix of well designed information, incentives, regulation, services and nudges to encourage and enable the desired actions and outcomes.

More from the Green Alliance…

The York Green Challenge (SEI Report)

The York Green Neighbourhood Challenge was a community engagement initiative conducted in the City of York in the period May 2009 to September 2010.

The general aim of the Challenge was to achieve a measurable reduction in household carbon emissions, raise public awareness of low carbon lifestyles and foster community cohesion.

The project used a targeted approach to engage community groups on green issues and to encourage them to take action to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 10%. The six teams participating in the Challenge consisted of three neighbourhood teams, two primary school teams and one church team. Each team had a mentor who, with the assistance of expert speakers, provided information and practical advice on green actions in areas such as energy, transport, recycling and composting. The teams met on a monthly basis. Some teams held a range of awareness-raising activities in their local area such as a Recycled Scarecrow Trail and a World Environment Day stall.

The total projected reduction in carbon dioxide emissions achieved as a result of the project is 98 tonnes/year. However, this figure does not include non-monetary benefits such as community spirit and the impact the project had in raising awareness of the issue more generally amongst local residents who were not participating in the project.

From the experience gained from implementing the approach and the feedback received, a more cost-effective and comprehensive model of community engagement can be proposed

More from the Stockholm Environment Institute…

The Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN) is an initiative funded by both Defra and the Department for Transport, and is coordinated by the Policy Studies Institute in London.

SDRN aims to facilitate and strengthen the links between providers of research and policymakers across government, in order to improve evidence-based policymaking to deliver the UK government’s objectives for sustainable development.


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