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2006 SQM: general descriptors of the
DYNAMICS aspects


The following descriptors have been updated with a close reference to the Earth Charter Principles elaborated in 2000 and the Declaration on Guiding Principles for Sustainable Development approved by the European Union Council in June 2005

Environment Respect the limits of the planet's natural resources and ensure a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment.
Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach. Thus, where there is scientific uncertainty, implement evaluation procedures and take appropriate preventive action in order to avoid damage to human health or to the environment.
Economy Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being while breaking the link between economic growth and environmental degradation.
Promote a prosperous, innovative, knowledge-rich, competitive and eco-efficient economy which provides high living standards and full and high-quality employment.
Ensure that policies are developed, assessed and implemented on the basis of the best available knowledge and that they are economically sound and cost-effective.
Ensure that prices reflect the real costs to society of production and consumption activities and that polluters pay for the damage they cause to human health and the environment.
Socio-culture Place human beings at the centre of the policies to promote a democratic, socially inclusive, cohesive, healthy, safe and just society that fosters fundamental rights, creates equal opportunities and combats discrimination in all its forms.
Promote public awareness by integrating into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
Equity between individuals Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
Contribute to the reduction of poverty and the elimination of social exclusion as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
Equity between communities Encourage the establishment and defend the stability of democratic institutions across the world, based on peace, security and freedom. Actively promote policies that are consistent with sustainable development worldwide.
Equity between generations Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations. Address the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Diversity Promote a culture of tolerance, non-violence, and peace.
Respect Earth and safeguard the earth's capacity to support life in all its diversity. Thus, protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
Subsidiarity Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
Empower local communities, non-governmental organizations and individuals by delegating authority, responsibility and resources to the most appropriate level.
Promote coherence between all policies and between local, regional, national and global actions in order to enhance their contribution to sustainable development.
Promote integration of economic, social and environmental considerations so that they are coherent and mutually reinforce each other by making full use of instruments for better regulation, such as balanced impact assessment and stakeholder consultations.
Networking / Partnership Enhance the social dialogue, corporate social responsibility and private-public partnerships to achieve sustainable production and consumption.
Support community-based organizations, private voluntary organizations and other non-governmental entities that can contribute to improve the quality of life towards sustainable development.
Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
Participation Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
Develop adequate consultation and participatory channels for all interested parties, citizens and associations.
Inform citizens about their impact on the environment and their options for making more sustainable choices.

Social Potential aspects

The following descriptors have been updated following the experimentation with several recent projects, where different thematic issues and local contexts were analysed.

Institutional Capital
Distribution of competence for decision making Determine institutional arrangements that empower local authorities in all policy fields according to their territorial dimension through a distribution of competence that integrates top-down and bottom-up decision making processes. Create methods and procedures that favour close interaction between public authorities and actors from private and social sectors including various representatives of economic, socio-cultural and environmental interests.
Budget autonomy for decision making Increase freedom of choice assigned to local authorities in public budget. Ensure participation of local stakeholders in decisions concerning public budget allocation.
Fair interactions Develop interactions aimed at guarantying the rights to be parts and citizen of the local system through appropriate structures and services.
Access to information, dialogue and debate Promote information and debate on sustainable development policies to favour connective tissues between local actors, communities and institutions.

Human Capital

Variety of development approaches Facilitate willingness and practices of local stakeholders to open their views and ways of thinking, looking at new issues and conceptions on local development.
Creativity and innovation Stimulate reproductive capacity of the local context, based on common cultural roots, mobilisation of potential resources and research to improve the quality of life. Fertilise the local economic fabric to embed the single business into the fluxes of internal and external production relationships while promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Complexity and change management Increase the capacity of the local stakeholders to anticipate changes and to cope with problems finding solutions that can reduce uncertainty through the sustainable management of endogenous resources and local - global interdependencies.
Attainment and fulfilment Improve the capacity of citizens to participate actively in the community life through individual and collective empowerment.
Self reliance Foster collaboration between the local actors to utilise endogenous and exogenous resources in a synergetic way.
Skills integration for innovation process Improve the capacity to be socially active and to have adequate technical skills through the integration of tacit (embedded in the local context) and codified (formalised learning methods) knowledge supported by cultural and technological innovation.

Social Capital

Local knowledge for diversification process Discover and innovate local knowledge and territorial specific qualities to promote diversification processes in economy, socio-culture and the environment.
Multicultural cohesion for local development Nourish open interrelationships between different knowledge and cultures, considering both the current and future components of a local context.
Social cohesion Enhance networks of mutual help and trust, interpersonal relationships, sense of belonging, while involving local practitioners and communities.
Mobilisation of all actors Nourish a continuous knowledge flow for capacity building through local development agents, facilitators and animators of multiple interactions between all the concerned stakeholders.
Shared value system Uphold collaboration between local stakeholders to share knowledge on the economic, social, cultural and environmental values and interdependencies
Shared visions of development Improve capacity of long term strategic thinking clearly expressed in plans and projects agreed upon by the local stakeholders through participatory decision-making processes.

DYNAMICS aspects

The following descriptors have been updated following the experimentation with several recent projects, where different thematic issues and local contexts were analysed.
Problem understanding Increase the capacity to enlarge scope and perspective of analysis in order to nourish innovation and creativity that are based on social and environmental awareness and responsibility.
Open collective learning Increase the capacity to acquire and utilise knowledge, new approaches, methods and tools in order to better define strategies and provide services through cooperation between several policy fields.
Negotiation and co-decision Improve the capacity to involve stakeholders in negotiation procedures to reach shared decisions by attributing, for instance, equal decision role to the different interest groups (economic, social and environmental).
Creation of a shared vision Improve the capacity to determine future perspectives (visions) and to follow them with coherent organisational behaviours (missions) through the involvement of all the concerned stakeholders (producers, consumers, practitioners, citizens and so on).
Client orientation Improve the capacity to place the citizen at the centre of policies and services for sustainable development while promoting alliances between producers and consumers (eco-prosumerism).
Result orientation Improve the capacity to define, monitor and evaluate results and outcomes of plans, projects, local initiatives and services while increasing their accountability, transparency and effectiveness