Repetition - Sustainability
Tool - Repetition
Toolbox section 10 - Internal Syntax and Dynamics


Theory - If an author is writing about a theme, then they frequently use synonyms to avoid the repetition of particular words. Sometimes this is difficult, however, it is certainly worth noting if repetitiion occurs



Example:- The word sustainable (or the verb sustain) is used 4 times in the 2001 version of the Aims and Objectives, however, in the 2004 version, it is used 6 times. (see below where the texts are given in full)

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Interpretation and Discussion.
Once again, there are several ways of interpreting this:-
1. The repetition of sustainable is intended to show how seriously the Government takes this issue
2. Maybe there is no suitable synonym for this word (!?)
3. sustainable is used in such a way that it almost becomes a keynote of the text

However, I am rather cynical about this for the following reasons:-
1. between 2001 and 2004, I think the country is more dependant than ever on imports of foreign food and on the use of imported fuels. The trends are going in the opposite direction to sustainability.
2. Sustainable is in any case a word which is very vague. I do not know of any Government definition of it, and I suspect that this is deliberate - its use should be taken as rhetoric. (for the record, my own view is that sustainability is similar to self-sufficiency, but applied in a wider way at a community level)
3. There may be some useful pilot projects on sustainable techniques in the food sector, and these may be worth a mention, but they do not seem to justify repeating the word so often. (there may be successes with alternative wind and wave power sources, but they are not in the food and farming sector)
4. The UK Government has a website for Sustainable Development. This highlights strategies, however there seems very little real progress to report - there are numerous meetings and agreements, which are hopefully laying the foundation for future progress

It is difficult to evaluate the Governments sustainability policies - are they rhetoric, or is a solid foundation for progress being laid ? I would be concerned that there is no proposed measurement of sustainability, and the lack of this might invalidate whatever work is being done.

 
  MAFF has the following Aim (2001 version)
A1. good quality food which meets consumers' requirements
A2. modern sustainable, competitive farming and fisheries businesses; and
A3. protection of the rural and marine environment and a thriving rural economy
  and the following Objectives
O1. To protect public health in relation to farm produce and to animal diseases transmissible to humans
O2. To sustain and enhance the rural and marine environments and public enjoyment of the amenities they provide and to promote forestry
O3. To secure a more economically rational Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which gives a better deal to consumers and taxpayers and pays due regards to the needs of the environment
O4. To encourage the development of modern, efficient agriculture, fisheries and food industries which are internationally competitive and responsive to consumers' requirements
O5. To promote strong and sustainable rural and coastal communities through broadening economic opportunity and enhancing social development
O6. To administer payments under the CAP fairly and in full accordance with European Union (EU) requirements
O7. To conserve fish stocks for future generations and secure a sustainable future for the sea fishing industry
O8. To ensure that farmed animals and fish are protected by high welfare standards and do not suffer unnecessary pain or distress
O9. To reduce risks to people and the developed and natural environment from flooding and coastal erosion
O10. To safeguard the continuing availability to the consumer of adequate supplies of wholesome, varied and reasonably priced food and drink

 

Aim (2004 version, from http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/aims/aim.htm )

Sustainable development, which means a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come, including:
* a better environment at home and internationally, and sustainable use of natural resources;
* economic prosperity through sustainable farming, fishing, food, water and other industries that meet consumers' requirements;
* thriving economies and communities in rural areas and a countryside for all to enjoy.

Objectives

Objective 1
To protect and improve the rural, urban, marine and global environment and to lead integration of these with other policies across Government and internationally.

Objective 2
To enhance opportunity and tackle social exclusion in rural areas.

Objective 3
To promote a sustainable, competitive and safe food supply chain which meets consumers' requirements.

Objective 4
To promote sustainable, diverse, modern and adaptable farming through domestic and international actions.

Objective 5
To promote sustainable management and prudent use of natural resources domestically and internationally.

Objective 6
To protect the public's interest in relation to environmental impacts and health, and ensure high standards of animal health and welfare.

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