Reading List

e-learning centre on sustainable development


If you want to go beyond the very simple explanations given in the IEF e-learning centre, then the books and publications below will be a good place to start, depending on your interests.

Bahá'í International Community, The Prosperity of Humankind
A short but profound analysis of what true prosperity is and how to achieve it, based on a critical analysis of the economic, social, scientific and spiritual dimensions of society. Should be read more than once.

Dahl, Arthur Lyon (1996). The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis.
Zed Books Ltd, London; George Ronald, Oxford. 180 p.
A systems perspective of our economy and environment and their implications for future society, helpful in understanding the complexity of sustainable development.

Dahl, Arthur Lyon. The Challenge of Sustainable Development and Prosperity.
European Bahá'í Business Forum (EBBF), Paris.
Available at
This brochure explains sustainable development with particular reference to the responsibility of business.
Also available in printed form in French.

Furtado, José I. dos R. and Tamara Belt (2000). Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability.
World Bank Institute Learning Resources Series. World Bank, Washington, D.C. 116 p. (report no. 20262 available as pdf, text or publication on demand from World Bank Publications at
This manual designed for use in training courses provides clear short explanations of many aspects of sustainable development.

Sustainable Development, compilation of Bahá'í texts prepared by the International Environment Forum. This compilation gathers a selection of references to sustainable development in the Bahá'í Writings and statements that are relevant to economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Tilbury, Daniella, and David Wortman. 2004. Engaging People in Sustainability
IUCN Publications, Cambridge and Gland. Available in PDF format at:

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. In United Nations (1992). Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. United Nations, New York. 294 p. (available on line at

United Nations Environment Programme (2002). Global Environment Outlook 3
Earthscan Publications Ltd, London. 446 p. (available on line at


Bahá'í International Community (1998). Valuing Spirituality in Development: Initial Considerations Regarding the Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, London. 35 p.

United Nations (1992). Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. United Nations, New York. 294 p. (available on line at and summarized version: Keating, Michael (1993), The Earth Summit's Agenda for Change: a plain language version of Agenda 21 and the other Rio Agreements. Centre for Our Common Future, Geneva. 35 p.

United Nations (2002). World Summit on Sustainable Development -- Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development: (4 pp.),
and Plan of Implementation (54 pp.)

World Commission on Sustainable Development (1987). Our Common Future.
Oxford University Press, Oxford. 383 p.


Bahá'í International Community. 1995. Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Bahá'í Faith.

Conservation of the Earth's Resources, compiled by the Research Department, Bahá'í World Centre.

Global Ecovillage Network. Community Sustainability Assessment.

Hammond, Allen (1998). Which World? Scenarios for the 21st Century: Global Destinies, Regional Choices. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 306 p.

Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity (2001). Science, Religion and Development: Some Initial Considerations. Bahá'í International Community

Meadows, Donella et al. (1992). Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future. Chelsea Green Publishing Co., Post Mills, Vermont. 300 p.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1996). Religion and the Order of Nature. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand, January 2004. See Change: Learning and Education for Sustainability. New Zealand Government, Wellington.
This report provides a recent philosophy of education for sustainable development (ESD) and offers a big-picture, country-wide level, institutional / community change perspective. Available online with an Executive Summary at:

Redefining Progress (ecological footprint) and Ecological Footprint of Nations (pdf)

Schumacher, E. F. (1973). Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. Blond & Briggs, Ltd. and Sphere Books Ltd, London. 255 p. [there must be a US publisher for this book]

Sokka Gakkai International Quarterly Magazine (October 2004), four articles:
The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, by Richard Clugston
ESD or the Commercial Imperative?, by Anastasia Nikolopoulou
A Decade of Opportunity, by Daniella Tilbury and Dimity Podger
Conceptualizing ESD, by Michael Scoullos

UNDP. Human Development Report. Oxford University Press, New York. (issued annually)

Return to e-learning centre

Last updated 10 April 2006