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Strategy Development

Sustainable NI has a vision of a thriving regional economy in which we meet many of our needs from local and renewable assets, as well as resources reclaimed in closed-loop systems. We want to help people to achieve a high quality of life within our fair share of the world’s natural wealth and without damaging the environment to the detriment of future generations.

That’s our idea of sustainability – a society’s objective; sustainable development can be described as the pathway to that destination. And an effective SD strategy provides the paving stones for the pathway.

A good strategy will embrace themes that are characteristic of good governance:

  • Integration: the so-called ‘joined-up thinking’ that occurs in the most effective organisations, in which services are delivered to meet the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their constituencies.
  • Long-term planning: a strategic vision needs to look beyond the lifetime of whoever creates it, with a concern for future generations and how they will meet their needs.
  • Stakeholder engagement: a successful strategy needs the willing support and, often, the participation of those who will benefit from it, not merely those who deliver it. It follows that there should be an engagement process to develop the strategy in the first place.
  • Consequences: one of the aphorisms associated with sustainable development is ‘thinking globally, acting locally’. A good strategy will recognise the potential impacts of its activities and seek to minimise their effects on other people, near or far.

Sustainable NI can offer advice on the design and content of sustainability strategies, drawing on our experience of detailed engagement in the creation of Northern Ireland's regional Sustainable Development Strategies, as well as those of some individual councils and other public sector agencies.