Here are three exercises that can help participants
understand the topics presented in this section.
Write the words "Air Quality" in the middle of a flip chart page.
Ask the participants to help build a picture of the linkages.
As each topic is mentioned, write it somewhere on the flip chart
and draw a line connecting it to Air Quality and other topics.
For example, topics that might be mentioned include: Human Health
(from breathing poor quality air), Water Quality (from deposition
of air borne emissions), Transportation (causes emissions),
Energy Use (ditto), Production of Goods (ditto), Education (people
learn to recognize activities that cause problems). Human Health is
linked to Education as well.
Make another linkage page by writing the words "Resource Use" in
the middle of another flip chart page. Again, ask the
participants to help build a picture of the linkages. As each
topic is mentioned, write it somewhere on the flip chart and draw
a line connecting it to Resource Use. Examples include
Production, Energy, Air Quality, Waste Generation,
Transportation, Ecosystem Health, Human Health.
If the participants have a hard time thinking of links, start
with two topics such as "Jobs" and "Income" with a line between
them to show the linkage. Then ask the participants to list
other linkages. Ideas may include Health (insurance and ability
to pay for care), Poverty (not enough income), Crime (solution to
not enough income), Charity (people who have money can afford to
help others), Environment (people who have good jobs have time to
enjoy the environment), Commuting (people with jobs have to get
there), Transportation (how they get there), Connectedness (the
more time people spend commuting, the less time for their
With one of the linkage pictures, ask the participants to identify
the key links, those links where improving the second topic will
help the first. For example, if the topic is jobs, education is
a key link but crime or charity may not be. This will depend
upon the circumstances of the community, since there are some
places where crime is such a problem that employers do not want
to locate there.
Next, ask the participants to think of indicators that show the
connection involved in some of the key links that have been
2. Evaluating Indicators
Using the indicator checklist in the appendix and the list of
indicators developed by the Interagency Working Group on
Sustainable Development Indicators, walk the participants through
evaluations of a couple of indicators. Then have them evaluate a
few indicators individually and compare their answers as a group.
3. Pressure-state-response contexts and boundaries
Write a phrase at the top of a flip chart page that defines a problem
of concern to the group, for example "crime." Ask the participants to
name a few ways to measure the state of this problem. Examples might
include the number of robberies and the number of violent crimes.
Write these under the phrase in the middle of the page.
Ask the participants to name a few responses to the state and
indicators for measuring those responses. Examples might include the number
of police officers or the number of convicted criminals. Write these
on the right side with lines from the center.
Ask for examples of pressures and how to measure them. Examples
include lack of jobs or drug abuse. Write these on the left with
lines to the center.
Ask participants to think of the "pressures" as "states" and think
about examples of pressures that cause these states. Examples might include
mechanization of jobs and moving jobs to areas with lower wage rates.
Write these to the left of the original pressures with lines to the original
Have the participants look at the original "responses" (number of
police officers, etc.) and think of those as a "state." Ask them to
name responses to those states. Examples are increasing taxes to pay
for the police or building more jails to house the criminals. Write
these on the far right and draw lines to the original
Draw a dotted circle around the original state, pressures and
responses. This is the boundary of the original context. The next
level out is the first "ripple on the pond."
It is possible to continue adding pressures and responses and end up
with a response that is a pressure, thereby creating a continuous