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International environmental volunteers: pursuing security and sustainability with human solidarity

Devereux, Peter (2008) International environmental volunteers: pursuing security and sustainability with human solidarity. Development in Practice, 18 (36). pp. 357-370.

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In this paper I intend to consider how long term international volunteers contribute to human security, international development and sustainability. With so much emphasis on governance, security and counter terrorism in our now globalised world, it is easy to focus mainly on states and national defense and forget the importance of individual human beings for building trust, cultivating hope and making a difference. The paper will begin by discussing the history and evolution of international volunteer sending agencies and volunteers as a response not just to symptoms but to causes of global poverty and inequality. I will consider how international volunteers might be defined, what may make their role different to other forms of overseas development assistance via personnel, and the positives and negatives that may accompany those differences. I also want to reflect on international volunteers’ role and suitability as contributors in the transition to a globally more ecologically sustainable state using O’Riordans idea of the need for a ‘spirit of communal obligation’ that enables individuals to ‘relate to others’ needs’. I will link this reflection to some concrete international environmental volunteer experiences drawn from current PhD research on the topic.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Science and Technology Policy
School of Sustainability
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: Oxfam GB
United Nations SDGs: Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
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