Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability Volume 3


This volume of the workbook series is an attempt to demonstrate to the profession our relevance to the SDGs, as well as to demonstrate to the world that social work is essential to the realization of sustainability, within and beyond the SDGs.



Around the world social workers are coming alongside communities that are unfairly impacted by climate injustices and helping to create solutions. In these roles, we must consider the opportunities of promoting community and environmental sustainability, within and beyond the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While we need to be well versed in the language and concepts and be involved in conversations and actions with global partners for the SDGs, we must maintain a critical eye on the limitations of this framework and help shift the conversation towards real solutions (i.e., which can be sustained in the long term). We maintain that this shift involves embracing an ecosocial worldview and taking a degrowth approach for transformational alternatives to sustainable development.

This volume of the workbook series is thus, an attempt to demonstrate to the profession our relevance to the SDGs, as well as to demonstrate to the world that social work is essential to the realization of sustainability, within and beyond the SDGs. This book is intended as a tool for international social work practitioners, students, and educators to help advance the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development theme of “working toward environmental sustainability”. It is the third volume in the series and is formatted as a workbook, with short lessons and exercises to help you apply the lessons theoretically and in your own practice. These lessons could apply to research, policy, ethics, practice, theory, interdisciplinary work, and more. Whether you are a longtime supporter of social workers investing in social and environmental sustainability work, or if you are new and curious about the topic, we hope this resource will inspire and equip you.

Editors: Meredith Powers and Michaela Rinkel

Dedication p.12

Foreword p.13
By Andreas Rechkemmer

Preface: ‘Reframing the Global Conversation of Social Work and the Sustainable Development Goals’ p.17
By Michaela Rinkel & Meredith C.F. Powers

Overview: Social Work Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability, within and beyond the UN Sustainable Development Goals: A Degrowth Critique p.24
By Meredith C.F. Powers & Michaela Rinkel

Chapter 1: SDG 1: No Poverty: ‘Building Social and Environmental Sustainability through Social Entrepreneurship in Social Work Practice’ p.36
By Suzan van der Pas and Ido de Vries

Chapter 2: SDG 2: Zero Hunger: ‘Summer Harvest: Lessons  from the Garden’ p.56
By Meredith Tetloff and Jill Wicknick

Chapter 3: SDG 3: Health and Well-being: ‘Models of Environmental and Community Sustainability for Better Mental Health and Well-being: An Indian Perspective’ p.81
By Janardhana N, Aarti Jagannathan, Ameer Hamza

Chapter 4: SDG 4: Quality Education: ‘Transforming Education: Self-directed Learning to Foster Imagination and Create Social and Environmental Sustainability’ p.96
By Pascal Rudin

Chapter 5: SDG 5: Gender Equality: ‘Gender, Environmental  Degradation and Eco-feminism’ p.117
By Karen Bell, Karen Kime and Heather Boetto

Chapter 6: SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation: ‘The Role of Social Workers in Promoting Sustainable Waste Management in Developing Countries’ p.138
By Nuwan Gunarathne

Chapter 7: SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy: ‘Hydraulic Fracturing and Indigenous Rights in the Heartland of the USA: Lessons for Environmental Social Workers’ p.155
By Shane Brady, Amy Krings, and Jason Sawyer

Chapter 8: SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth: ‘Sharing to Flourish: A Degrowth Approach to Provisioning for Prosperity’ p.172
By Meredith C.F. Powers & Jef Peeters

Chapter 9: SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: ‘Promoting to and Environmental Sustainability through Responsible/Sustainable Tourism’ p.194
By Daniela Duff

Chapter 10: SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities: ‘Legacies of Colonisation and Contradictions of Global Environmental Governance’ p.210
By Ai Sumihira

Chapter 11: SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities: ‘Bridging Environmental Policy with Welfare: A Task Proposal for Social Workers to Engage with Ecosystem Services’ p.227
By Pedro Gabriel Silva and Livia Madureira

Chapter 12: SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production:‘Innovation in Environmental Impact Assessments: Incorporating the ‘Signs of Safety’ Approach in Social Impact Assessments of Acid Mine Drainage in West Rand, South Africa’ p.250
By Takudzwa Leonard Mathende, Tatenda Goodman Nhapi, and Lawrence Matenga

Chapter 13: SDG 13: Climate Action: ‘Community Transformation for Climate Justice in Bolivia’ p.276
By Amanda Martin, MSW, MPH

Chapter 14: SDG 14: Life Below Water: ‘One Health: How the Health of the Oceans and Humans Connect’ p.297
By Sue Taylor

Chapter 15: SDG 15: Life on Land: ‘Preserving and Protecting Forests and Forest Dependent Communities in India by Implementing the Forest Rights Act of 2006’ p.315
By Malathi Adusumalli and Soumya Dutta

Chapter 16: SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: ‘How Can the Institution of Social Workers Promote Sustainability? Practice Examples from the Spanish General Council of Social Work’ p.342
By Ana Isabel Lima Fernández

Chapter 17: SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: ‘The Method of Transdisciplinary Teamwork for Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals’ p.355
By Priska Fleischlin

Appendix A: Translation of Chapter 11 (Spanish) 375


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