perspectives on
sustainable development

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Environmental systems

Environmental/ecological considerations are key to sustainability: economic activities occur within the sphere of the planetary environment (rather than environment being a subset of economic planning and activity). From this ecological perspective the full externalities of economic activity have to be understood, costed and managed. Key themes of ecological sustainability include public health, pollution management, agriculture and fisheries, and biodiversity.

Concepts
Conventions
Tools for ecosystem assessment
Resource use
- control and access
- pollution management
Earth systems
- Air and atmosphere
- Water
- Terrestial
- Biosphere and biodiversity

Human activities
- Agriculture and fisheries

- Public Health


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Concepts
Our current perpections on environmental systems come from á wide variety of perspectives:

  • Tragedy of the Commons
  • Complex issues: signs of overshoot - concept mapping, sub-systems, making the connections, identifying perspectives

Conventions
The Montreal Protocol is often cited as the first successful international agreement on protecting the environment, and has been followed by an increasing number of others::


Tools

 


Resource use, control and access

The OECD provides governments with the analytical basis to develop environmental policies that are effective and economically efficient, including through performance reviews, data collection, policy analysis, and projections:

http://www.oecd.org/topic/0,3373,en_2649_37465_1_1_1_1_37465,00.html

background:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption

 


Pollution and its management


Air and atmosphere

  • Climate change
  • Industrial and manufacturing activity
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Forest fires

Water

  • Supply
  • Drinking water
  • Sewerage
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Oil spills and dumping at sea
  • River management
  • Overfishing
  • Ocean acidification

DEFRA water issues
http://www.defra.gov.uk/ENVIRONMENT/water/index.htm


Terrestrial

  • Hazardous waste management
  • Household waste disposal
  • E-waste
  • Planning and building development
  • Soils

Biosphere and biodiversity


Human aspects

 


Agriculture and fisheries

  • Biomass and food

Public Health