Stewardship: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability: “life that uses nature without bringing harm to it.” The concept of using resources without endangering their future availability is an ideal that only within the past couple decades has gained support within the collegiate world. The severe need for this principle caused twenty-two university presidents and chancellors to convene in 1990 and sign a declaration pledging to support it and advocate its propagation. Recently this document known as the Talloires Declaration was signed locally by President Warren J. Baker representing California Polytechnic State University, an action which he explained in a speech made on his college’s campus. The purpose of this speech was to reinforce the ideals of stewardship and sustainability in our area and indirectly support the Cal Poly Master Plan as an advocate of them in the community. These goals are in his best interest because if achieved they would rally support for Master Plan projects without resistance from parties uneducated to the ultimately beneficial aims of these plans.
One way President Baker pointed out signing the Talloires Declaration makes the Master Plan indispensable is that many of the goals of the declaration parallel goals found in the Master Plan. He quoted the Master Plan as “striving to strike a balance among several principles that we believe are all essential elements of a comprehensive vision of sustainability,” and listed those values as academic excellence, social justice, economic growth and efficiency and environmental protection. Past successful projects he noted are offering degree programs that promote responsible actions when dealing with the environment, the construction of learning centers and institutions that advise and interact with the government on conservation projects, and promoting sustainability and stewardship through founding EARTH university in Costa Rica to alert the world to stewardship and sustainability. These are good examples of the Master Plan and Talloires Declaration working together as they show the width and breadth of projects the Master Plan has tackled, and present achievements with visible and positive outcome.
These achievements are also well chosen because they are projects that paralleled the ten goals of the Taillores Declaration. Offering degree programs which concentrate on conservation and sustainability is an excellent way to “Increase Awareness of Environmentally Sustainable Development,” “Educate for Environmentally Responsible Citizenship,” and “Foster Environmental Literacy For All” which are goals one, three and four.