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Public Health and the Environment: What Skills for Sustainability Literacy – And Why?

Author(s): Walid El Ansari | Arran Stibbe

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 425;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: sustainability literacy skills | environment | public health | climate change | well-being | citizenship | participation

This paper is an exploration and reflection on the question of what skills, values, attributes and dispositions learners will need to navigate their lives in the challenging conditions of the twenty first century, in relation to sustainability and well-being. First, an overview of the multiple concepts that are considered important for sustainability literacy is gradually built up. These include: multiple ‘bottom lines’ and contexts of wellbeing, climate change, collective action at various levels, good citizenship, community participation, information technology, psychological aspects, behavioral features and researching sustainability. Secondly, a wide range of skills that learners will require in order to interact with these concepts are explored. The emerging relationships between the given concepts and their attending skills are neither definitive nor prescriptive, but provide an indication of what sustainability literacy could be useful for learners and practitioners in order to enable them to contribute towards the wellbeing of sustainable societies. The paper concludes with that a fundamental overarching skill for sustainability is the ability to work constructively with others in building more sustainable communities, businesses and societies.
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