Nearly fifty senior managers from the Development Bank of Southern Africa attended a two-day introductory course on sustainable development on 18-19 September. The course was delivered at the DBSA training centre in Midrand and was facilitated by Eve Annecke, Gareth Haysom and Mark Swilling. The course began with an introduction to global trends that explain the remarkable consensus that sustainability is the challenge of our times. This was followed by sessions on the National Framework for Sustainable Development, case studies from Malawi and the Lynedoch EcoVillage development, the role of social movements, the proposed sustainable neighbourhood development at Philippi in Cape Town, and user-friendly sustainability evaluation mechanisms.
This course flows from a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Sustainability Institute and the DBSA earlier this year that provides for collaboration with respect to training as well as support for the DBSA’s “sustainable communities” programme. The DBSA has decided to practically involve itself in the fight against poverty by identifying six pilot sites for exploring ways of linking low-cost debt funding with broad-based interventions aimed at substantive poverty eradication via sustainable resource use strategies. The Sustainability Institute has worked closely on one pilot site, namely Grabouw, but is also helping out at other sites in the Eastern Cape and Northern Province.