Meek says that individual efforts are the most important.
The University of La Verne faculty lecture series continued Monday with Jack Meek’s presentation “Citizen-Centered Sustainability.”
The talk focussed on individual and community sustainability efforts, versus those put forth by government agencies.
Meek, professor of public administration, drew from his research paper “Bridging Jurisdictions: Conservancies Working Across Borders as Adaptive Systems.”
Meek spoke about carbon imprints.
“We can all reduce the carbon footprint of La Verne by just riding our bikes and that’s the inconvenient truth.”
Throughout the speech, Meek emphasized the important role education plays in sustainability and conserving natural resources.
“Educational institutions are our leaders in this,” Meek said. Through education, appreciation of the environment can be taught, as well as environmental sensitivity, he added.
“The people teaching students do not have a connection to nature, and students actually fear nature” said Jay Jones, professor of biology.
Meek said that people often wait too long before taking action.
“The individual can make a difference, but that isn’t going to solve it all” Meek said.
He stressed the importance of the community and how a sustainable community can be managed, siting Santa Monica and Claremont as good examples.
Claremont “has a goal-oriented approach to sustainable city measures based on the citizen-city participatory designs,” Meek said.
The lecture then shifted to conservancies, which are groups whose goal is the conservation of natural resources.
Hong Lyu, a ULV law student who worked with Meek on the paper, took over the lecture to explain the different levels of conservancies.
Lyu said that they are divided into three groups: state agencies, joint powers authority and non-profit corporations.
Despite differences in funding, or membership all three levels share the same goal.
“They all strive to educate the public about environmental concerns and to protect the land,” Lyu said.
Conservancies serve an important purpose, but many have been forced into inactivity, Lyu said.
“The state wants powerful conservancies rather than little ones,” Meek added.
Because of this, new conservancies have not been established in recent years.
When asked what educational institutions could do in terms of sustainability, the speakers opened the floor to students and faculty members in attendance.
Associate Professor of Biology Christine Broussard said that the University has a sustainable campus committee.
“The group’s next initiative is to create a proposal for a sustainability officer for the University of La Verne to help reduce our carbon imprint,” Broussard said.
Fatima Suarez, a 20-year-old criminology major who attended the lecture said she was glad to know that ULV students and faculty are working together to address these important issues.
Michael Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.