Sustainability is the process of understanding how natural systems function while remaining diverse and producing everything it needs for itself and the ecology to stay in balance. It acknowledges the fact that human civilization takes resources from nature to sustain this modern way of life we have today. There are several examples throughout human history where a civilization damaged its own environment and seriously affected their collective survival chances. Sustainability takes into account how human beings might live in harmony with nature, protecting it from destruction.
What are the Primary Goals of Sustainability?
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 discussed and developed a set of goals to work towards sustainability, which grew out of the Millennium Development Goals that claimed to have been successful in reducing global poverty while acknowledging there was still a lot more to do. They came up with a list of 17 items which included things such as the end of poverty and hunger, better standards of education and healthcare, particularly pertaining to water quality and better sanitation, achieve gender equality, sustainable economic growth while promoting jobs and stronger economies, tackling the effects of pollution, climate change,and other environmental factors that can be detrimental to the health of both animals and people, their livelihoods and lives; health of the land, air and sea, and so much more. It also acknowledged the concept of nature having certain rights – that people have administrative power over the world and the importance of putting people in charge of solving the above global issues by managing consumption and the environment.
A Sustainable Future
It is still unclear what a sustainable future might look like. However, with newer emerging technologies and innovative improvements in older fuel sources, many people are now looking towards a post-fossil fuel world: including businesses. Since the 1950s, there has been unprecedented growth in sectors such as intensive farming, technological revolutions, and a massive increase in our power needs putting even more strain and pressure on the Earth’s resources.Today, we are more aware of the plight of the developing world and at the same time, the threats that our planet faces as well. We now observe both the natural as well as anthropogenic disasters and the effects that they can have on the ecosystems and on the general human population. It is vital that we bring forth new cleaner technologies to cope with our energy requirement, but sustainability is not just about the environment. Programs such as the Rainforest Alliance abd Fair Trade encourage proper scientific farming practices while ensuring that farmers who produce cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, tea, etc. receive a decent living wage. Activists and sustainability professionals hope to get rid of trade barriers in future so that they can benefit everyone, which contributes to the social and economic development core of sustainability while, at the same time, promoting acceptable environmental practices.