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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Dominic Clyde-Smith

An analysis of the current societal structure of Jersey and a delineation of the changes that would be necessary in order to make it a model sustainable society

This report was undertaken to comprehend why the concepts of sustainable development, a near twenty years old notion, has yet to be implemented. The development of the Bailiwick of Jersey was used as a model to our failure to implement greater sustainable development.  The Bailiwick was chosen due to its wealth, independent jurisdiction and small population.

This report searches for a useful but not definite quantifiable measurement for sustainability that could form an answer to whether The Bailiwick of Jersey meets the aspiration of a sustainable society and if it fails to meet that aspiration, in what circumstance might this failure be alleviated to achieve these sustainable goals and to construct a sustainable infrastructure.

The research method was composed of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. A stakeholder’s analysis was undertaken to get a perspective of the issues and the barriers to change. Statistical data was used to analyse the Five Capitals of the Island.  Strategy Processes and Mechanism analysis was used to evaluate how change could come about.

The report concluded that Jersey’s development was un-sustainable due to the growth of manufactured capital being dependant on spending the stock of non-renewable natural capital. This originates from the demands of the financial sector and its need for an improved infrastructure.  It is possible to solve this by the use of renewable energy source and reducing then changing the demand of the manufactured capital to a source of renewable natural capital.

The report found that the strength of the finance industry is causing leakage of human capital from the other industries. This had further impacts on the social capital in the form of loss of cultural identity and the inward migration of new cultures.

The Island Plan 2002 in relation to sustainable development lacks definition and legal force and this, together with the lack of provision for sustainable and/or environmental assessment, is the main barrier to change. A strategic Environmental Assessment was recommended as a solution.