Essay #1 should demonstrate your ability to identify a sustainability problem based on the concepts learned in this course. This essay allows you to build your expertise as a future sustainability professional – here, you demonstrate that you know how to differentiate between sustainability problems and other problems.
You need to select a sustainability problem from anywhere around the world. I strongly encourage you to select a case that is relevant to you (you should be highly motivated to work on the problem), as well as important in practical terms; that means, try to link your problem to an ongoing initiative, program, or project! Remember that you will develop a problem-solving strategy over the course of the semester (and present it in Essay #3). In selecting a case that is related to ongoing activities, you can actively contribute to the mitigation or solution of the problem!
Content and Structure
For this essay, you should select a sustainability problem from anywhere around the world, provide basic information about the problem, and elaborate on why it is asustainability problem. Your problem should be focused on a specific location. Ideally, you have already chosen your topic and location in Discussion Post #1. If, for some reason you would like to change, you must get approval from me, your instructor, prior to writing Essay #1.
Your essay should apply the concepts we have covered in this course. Pay close attention to the following criteria as the essay should be structured according to thefollowing four parts each with their own header:
The first part (introduction) is only 1-2 paragraphs: briefly describe the manifestation of the problem and the context of the problem you selected (extent, location,history, etc.). This should include any relevant background information.
The second part of the essay should explain the sustainability features of the problem (why this is a sustainability problem) each with their own header:
- Is the problem significantly harmful over the long term – does it threaten collective goods (ecosystems, human wellbeing, livelihoods, justice) that areessential for the long-term viability, vitality, and integrity of the society in question? A problem is significantly harmful when it threatens the majority of the following goods, and all of these should be explicitly discussed:
(1) Viability or Integrity of Ecosystems.
(2) Human and Social Wellbeing.
(3) Equitable Opportunity for Livelihood and Economic Activities.
(4) Justice across Societies (Inter-regional Justice).
(5) Justice from one Generation to the Next (Inter-generational Justice).