Diversity, whether bio or cultural, is key to sustainability. Monoculture is destructive of sustainability.
These photos were taken in my garden and its quite a wildlife haven (in the middle of a town). It runs on home-made compost, self seeded plants, and absolutely no pesticides or other poisons.
Yes, the 'lawn' has buttercups and daisies and other plants in it, but I prefer that to a pristine over-managed garden which depends on hours of labour or regular dousing with chemicals.
I use the garden as a metaphor for politics. Green political theory values cultural diversity because it's enriching, progressive and self-organising. Different perspectives inform each other which promotes healthy social progress. The opposite, where cultures are kept apart, leads to prejudice, isolation and antipathy, a blinkered view of the world, and, ultimately, war. What could be more destructive?
Shan Oakes was Green Party candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough in 2015. She previously stood for Haltemprice & Howden for 2010 and in the 2008 by-election coming second out of 26 candidates.
Shan lived in Beverley from 1975. She taught English at schools in Hull and Beverley. This was followed by eight years championing child welfare, parent partnership and special needs for Humberside County Council and City of York education departments, and further work in the York Community Safety Partnership.
Shan then spent two and a half years living, working and learning a great deal in Uganda. She is a co-founder (with Bill Rigby) of Voice International, which promotes sustainability through education. In her MSc dissertation
(Education for Sustainability) Shan argues that diversity is fundamental to sustainability.
Shan works with organisations such as Friends of the Earth Transition Towns, the Earth Charter UK. Shan and Bill run an eco holiday house in York. They moved to Knaresborough in 2014 to be nearer some of their 11 grandchildren - who are a wonderful window into the future.