4. Requirement to Reach a General Acceptance of Sustainability

As stated above, sustainability is a continous process towards a never-ending goal. To come closer to this goal, activities at several levels, which together from an "Environment Management System,' are necessary.

1) Environmental Laws

They are the means of setting standards and of providing a frame od reference for the law enforcing institutions. They should be clearly stipulated, including the fixing of tolerance margins and foreseeing punishment for prosecutors. They should also be enforced, since norms vinish if they are not enforced over a long period.

2) Environmental Management Control Force

Law enforcement and continual control in this field is beyond the capacity of the ordinary law enforcement institutions. Especially foe fact that specific technical knowledge is required makes it necessary to have a cadre of specialists for this task. As long as this does not exist, enveronmental laws will remain merely on paper.

3) Self-help Organizations

The most important activities - and this is often forgotten - are those of self-help groups. This seems to be the only way to include the poor in the strife for a careful use of resources. Even a well-staffed environmental management control foree is not in a position to cheek thousands of villages and the activities in individual fields. Assessing the varying conditions and situations of different socioeconomic categories of land cultivations is beyond their possibilities. The huge number of cultivating households makes it necessary to group yhem into 'village environment associations.' Their task is twofold:

They should develop an environmental consiousness among the villagers by means of lectures, discussion circles, field visits, demonstrations, etc. One or two persons from each village association should be trained in all relevant aspects of environmental care - fron the proper use of chemicals to useful local measures against erosion. The continous training of these two specialist would ensure that knowledgeable persons be available within the village. This would free from dependence on government staff and from the government' changing policies. The association is so to speck the watchdog of the village community in all environmental aspects. The interest of the community in maintaining the quality of their life base gives them the right to call to order individuals who do nor follow the rules. Such a reminder by fellow villagers is much more efficient than punishments stipulated by laws, especially for minor cases. It is always difficult to enforce behaviour against the people's felt intersts, whereas the individual is traditionally well integrated in his community and has, there, a feeling of responsibility vis-avis the group. It is necessary that especially the younger generation participate actively in these associations because of its better training, greater activity, and its self-interst in maintaining the basis of its future life.

The second task of the village environment associations is to call for activities on the part of the state in cases that are beyond the technical and financial competence of the village people. This includes' do not' requests, for instance, if the government plans to construct a road which would pass through valuable biotopes, etc. For this task, the village associations should merge into district and provincial NGOs which are in a better possition to conduct the policy dialogue than individual village associations.

Sustainability is a goal which can be reached only via a change in human behaviour. This requires a multitude of methode of methods in norm setting, control, and initiative. It can hardly be successful without the people's active contribution towards maintaining the resource base on which their life depends.