Sustainable living: a contradiction or a solution?
Nora Haukali (University of Bergen)
Paper short abstract:
Through ethnographic work, this paper questions the inherent contradictions in a developmental project in Fiji that simultaneously promotes sustainable development and economic growth.
Paper long abstract:
"Our goal is to help people out of the poverty they are living in by encouraging and facilitating ways to grow and sell their crops in the city." I was talking to a government employee on the outer, rural island I was living on, in Fiji. He was emphasizing the importance of the island's resources as a means for economic growth and sustainable development. Climate change and economic growth are two of the main focus areas in Fiji, with special attention on living sustainably by using resources from land and sea. The idea of sustainable food production draws on Fiji's rich environment and long traditions of planting and fishing. The traditional means of subsistence are however under threat as the climate and environment in people's immediate surroundings is rapidly changing. Through ethnographic work, this paper questions the inherent contradictions in a developmental project that simultaneously promotes sustainable development and economic growth. Those already vulnerable to environmental change become even more vulnerable through such a focus, as their dependence on crops increase with the need to both feed the family and sell produce for income. That which they should rely on in times of environmental crisis is exploited for economic benefit.
Moving towards a future sustainable life - attempts to change the contemporary world