How can local people be involved in national decisions on dealing with flooding caused by climate change? How can sustainable production and consumption be encouraged? How should Ireland’s ocean wealth be managed for present and future generations?

A quarter of a century ago, the United Nations’ Bruntland Commission defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This tension between present and future, and the increasing complexity and uncertainty around development and sustainability, form the backdrop for sustainable development research in the Environment, Development and Sustainability cluster. Questions of (in)equality and (in)justice are central in its research on governance, policy, democracy, citizenship, political participation, and socio-economic and cultural levers, in sustainable development. Visualisation of data through diagrams, illustrations and maps is a core cluster strength.

If you would like to research environment, development and sustainability problems, or if your organisation or community would appreciate some insights to help resolve these problems, contact the cluster leaders Dr Frances Fahy or Dr Henrike Rau.

Key Research Questions

With experts in political science, sociology, economics, geography, law and Irish, the cluster is a leader in everyday sustainable practices; sustainable rural systems; marine and coastal environments; and governance, development and contestation.