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Desta Mebratu

Bio: Desta Mebratu is an academic researcher from United Nations Environment Programme. The author has contributed to research in topics: Sustainability & Sustainable development. The author has an hindex of 8, co-authored 14 publications receiving 1447 citations. Previous affiliations of Desta Mebratu include United Nations Economic Commission for Africa & International Institute of Minnesota.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a systematic analysis of representative definitions and interpretations of sustainable development is presented, focusing on the analysis of the metaphorical and epistemological basis of the different definitions, which is the first step towards developing a concrete body of theory on sustainability and sustainable development.

1,281 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first Educate-the-Educators (ETETE) program at the Faculty at IIIEE at Lund University in Sweden as mentioned in this paper was a three-week educational program that was attended by 32 educators from 22 different countries.

49 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The 2011 droughts in the horn of Africa deprived countless communities of water and food security, and two years later, devastating floods in Germany caused widespread urban destruction as discussed by the authors. And these events s...
Abstract: The 2011 droughts in the horn of Africa deprived countless communities of water and food security. Two years later, devastating floods in Germany caused widespread urban destruction. These events s...

44 citations

Dissertation
01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: In this article, a conceptual framework on sustainability and sustainable development and a strategy framework for sustainable industrial development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was proposed based on systems evolutionary approach having the following methodological principles as a guide.
Abstract: The principal objectives of this research were: · to develop a conceptual framework on sustainability and sustainable development and · to propose a strategy framework for sustainable industrial development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The research was done based on systems evolutionary approach having the following methodological principles as a guide. · The dynamic complexity of environmental and developmental issues can be better understood by utilizing transdisciplinary theories such as ‘General Systems Theory’, ‘General Evolutionary Theory’ and ‘Information Theory’. · The ‘add-on approach’ has limited success both at the macro and micro level. At the macro level, sustainable development requires mainstreaming socio-ecological and socio-economic principles in development policies and strategies. · It is crucial to make a distinction between fundamental and facilitating factors of the development process and to understand the interaction within and among these factors. The following are the major conclusions and recommendation of the research. · Systems can be described by the ‘entity factors’, that define the boundary conditions and the ‘significance factors’, that determine the field of significance of the system. · The interaction between the ‘entity factors’ and the ‘significance factors’ provides the basis for fulfilment of the systemic function. · Sustainability is a systemic property of maintaining the positive slope of the systemic functions through evolutionary succession of systems. · The path and pace of the evolutionary succession of a given system is determined by its ability to identify, process, utilize and accumulate survival-relevant (SR) information. · For societal systems, the ‘entity factors’ are ecological space, demography, and culture while the ‘significance factors’ are institutional structures and norms, capital structures and flows, and technological innovation and diffusion. · Sustainable development is a process of maintaining an optimum interaction between the entity and significance factors of a society to achieve evolutionary succession and productive engagement. · Industrial development strategies that have been promoted in SSA have been of ‘transplanting’ nature instead of being ‘transformational’. This has resulted in a mismatch between the ‘entity factors’ and the ‘significance factors’. · The development of the region’s ability to manage SR information is a fundamental prerequisite for promoting sustainable industrial development. · Identification and utilization of the positive elements of endogenous capacities and indigenous knowledge, as essential repositories of SR information, constitutes the core principle of building such a capacity. · Resource depletion, disoriented property rights regimes, sectoral dichotomy and global inertia were identified as the principal challenges. Hence, valorization of resources is the core element of the strategic framework, supplemented with sub-models on property rights regimes, sectoral synergy global momentum and the sustainability function. The promotion of sustainable development as a social transformation process will require a fundamental reorientation of national, regional and international structures. It is believed that a transdisciplinary approaches provide sound bases to undertake such reorientation at a global scale. This thesis contributes to the promotion of sustainable industrial development in SSA through the application and advancement of transdisciplinary approaches.

32 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identify the substantial relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation activities of firms using the French Vigeo sustainability rating and the Thomson Reuters, and divide 619 firms into groups by their industry sectors, regions, and firm characteristics such as size and age.
Abstract: This study identifies the substantial relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation activities of firms. Using the French Vigeo sustainability rating and the Thomson Reuters, we divided 619 firms into groups by their industry sectors, regions, and firm characteristics such as size and age. We premise that innovative investment is needed to prepare tomorrow's profits not only by considering investments in technology and in R&D, but also by dealing with sustainability to human, social, environmental, technical, and economic investments. Consequently, when the firm manipulates its short- and long-run business strategies, the consideration of the correlation between types of investment and CSR initiatives will lead to more cooperating effect on the outcome of investments. The findings provide a comprehensive understanding on the effect of sustainable management strategies on the innovation and sustainability of firms.

30 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the theory and practice of sustainable development in the context of three criticisms (it is vague, attracts hypocrites and fosters delusions), and argue for an approach to sustainability that is integrative, is action-oriented, goes beyond technical fixes, incorporates a recognition of the social construction of sustainable Development, and engages local communities in new ways.

1,312 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The three-pillar conception of sustainability, commonly represented by three intersecting circles with overall sustainability at the centre, has become ubiquitous as discussed by the authors, however, there is no single point of origin of this threepillar conception, but rather a gradual emergence from various critiques in the early academic literature of the economic status quo from both social and ecological perspectives on the one hand, and the quest to reconcile economic growth as a solution to social problems on the part of the United Nations on the other.
Abstract: The three-pillar conception of (social, economic and environmental) sustainability, commonly represented by three intersecting circles with overall sustainability at the centre, has become ubiquitous. With a view of identifying the genesis and theoretical foundations of this conception, this paper reviews and discusses relevant historical sustainability literature. From this we find that there is no single point of origin of this three-pillar conception, but rather a gradual emergence from various critiques in the early academic literature of the economic status quo from both social and ecological perspectives on the one hand, and the quest to reconcile economic growth as a solution to social and ecological problems on the part of the United Nations on the other. The popular three circles diagram appears to have been first presented by Barbier (Environ Conserv 14:101, doi: 10.1017/s0376892900011449, 1987), albeit purposed towards developing nations with foci which differ from modern interpretations. The conceptualisation of three pillars seems to predate this, however. Nowhere have we found a theoretically rigorous description of the three pillars. This is thought to be in part due to the nature of the sustainability discourse arising from broadly different schools of thought historically. The absence of such a theoretically solid conception frustrates approaches towards a theoretically rigorous operationalisation of ‘sustainability’.

1,155 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors analyzed the texts of eleven declarations, charters, and partnerships developed for higher education institutions to represent university leaders' intentions to help improve the effectiveness of education for sustainable development (ESD).

801 citations