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The implementation of sustainable development: a case study of the great north forest

Pym, Michael Jeffrey (1999) The implementation of sustainable development: a case study of the great north forest. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis reveals a number of difficulties for accountability In the partnership approach adopted In the Implementation of sustainable development In the UK, and argues that these have serious Implications for the success of such programmes. Environmental policy has grown In Importance In recent decades and this has led to the emergence of the sustainable development concept which attempts to encourage economic growth along a less environmentally damaging path. There Is, however, no consensus about how sustainable development can be achieved and views vary from the use of market forces to reliance on participation by communities. Therefore, understanding how sustainable development can be realised is best approached through examination of practical Implementation. For this, the Great North Forest Project, one of twelve Community Forests currently being established around England, has been chosen as a suitable case study. At the Project's core is a formal organisation which merges into a more diffuse, wider network encompassing the many partners with an interest in the Project. The public sector has a major role in the Project but the resulting partnership arrangement is complex and confusing. Moreover, public sector accountability becomes more critical yet is diminished by the close working relationship between public, private and voluntary sectors. Managerial accountability is emphasised In the Project but close scrutiny reveals that its application is troublesome because of the multiple objectives and numerous participants. Information quality and information flow are poor, with the consequence that apparent success tends to be overblown, public cost underestimated, and value for money not properly attended to. Furthermore, the suitability of the organisation may not be adequately considered because accountability arrangements tend to concentrate attention on objectives. This thesis suggests that this may have serious implications for the successful achievement of sustainable development elsewhere; it also stimulates doubts about the implementation of other programmes involving complex partnership arrangements.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:47

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