SUSTAINABILITY TRIAD 7:
Lifestyles
The Seven Triads of Sustainability:

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Lifestyles

The Lifestyle Triad 

covering behaviour, values and ethics
Sustainability is about creating good lifestyles - with behaviour, values and ethics
The Lifestyles Triad has behaviour, ethics, and values as its three defining corners. Sustainable lifestyles are at the core of an innovative community - as a goal and as a process.

Building a sustainable lifestyle depends externally on the smooth implementation of the six triads discussed above, but is intrinsically linked to the behaviour patters, ethics and value systems adopted by individual members of the community. Ultimately, the success of a local environmental management plan or programme will depend on the lifestyle choices adopted by the community - and the value that they place on the environmental resources they consume.

Lifestyles also includes such issues as quality of life, respect, dignity, self-esteem etc.

CASE STUDY 1:
A partnership program was established between the local governments of Guelph, Ontario and Jinja, Uganda as a co-operative initiative to improve the quality of community life in a sustainable way. It has provided the opportunity for two different cultures, political climates and economical and industrial bases to work toward a sharing of ideas, methods and procedures of staff training and administration and ways of enhancing community life.
CASE STUDY 2:
In a community building process initiated by local NGOs, in partnership with local government offices, a private consulting company, and other NGOs in 1995 in Rikuzen Takada, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, people in the community were involved in understanding and analyzing characteristics of their community, by creating maps with information on natural resources, historical architectures, public facilities, farming practices, local industry, culture, tradition, customs, etc. In developing the maps, the ways and means of how the use of physical and natural resources of the communities is related to the culture, tradition, history and lifestyle changes within the community were analyzed in detail. The process helped people in the community to become aware of the importance of protecting physical and natural resources in preserving tradition, culture, and customs of the community, as well as the impacts of lifestyle changes on physical, natural, and cultural resources of the community. Thus, the process of understanding about the community itself provided opportunities for people to reconsider ultimate meaning of richness of their life in the community.

As a follow up to the above activity, people in Rikuzen Takada established working groups on issues such as food culture, natural environment, and entertainment, where people interested in specific issues get together, research on the issues further, and develop some activities and organize events for people within and also from outside the community. Each individual played a key role in the working group activities by bringing in his or her unique skills, knowledge and ideas, that led to the promotion of respect for others as well as self esteem.

In the end, the activities were resulted in better networking with other communities for information exchange, development of eco-tourism plans by utilizing community resources, as well as the development of long-term plans (future visions) of the community

The Seven Triads of Sustainability:

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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org