Sustainability is a term that is generally used to refer to ability of a process or a system to maintain it’s self up to an indefinite period of time. This longevity is very important in every day’s life since most of the systems which humans depend on for survival need to be kept going for ever or for as long as possible. Sustanability efforts need to be directed towards systems like agriculture, development ,climate ,industries and many others. Without the above named systems, life on earth would be almost impossible and hence the need to ensure their continuity.
Unfortunately, these important systems have come under much threat recently and their continuity is under much threat too. A good example is the agricultural system which if well maintained would ensure that there is enough food to feed the hungry populations of the world who are dying every day. But due to use of some chemicals in agriculture, this very important system has come much threat and now the lands that were once productive are useless leading to food shortages worldwide and rapid spread of desertification.
Many catastrophes that have happened recently like Tsunami, Catrina and others have been blamed on climatic changes that have been brought about by emissions of gases that are responsible for the destruction of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. Due to these happenings, many people have taken the need for sustainability seriously. Many people in different parts of the globe have set certain measures that are intended for ensuring continuity and much emphasis has been put in preserving both ecological and non-ecological systems.
But these efforts have been met with various obstacles which have slowed down the rate at which sustainability programs have moved. . In the forefront of these obstacles are cultural barriers which include both ethics and values that are embraced in a particular society. Different societies embrace different values and ethics. This has led to different understanding of what sustainability is and the measures that need to be undertaken to ensure the sustainability of both ecological and non ecological systems.
These cultural differences have led to heated debates as to which should be more catered for between ecological systems and non-ecological ones. Many people have continued to believe that the concept of sustainability is just meant for achieving longevity of humans and ecosystem whereas this is more than an environment protection. Other than being efforts to ensure the well being of human beings and the ecosystems, it’s also a plan to reduce ecological stress or other impacts on the environment.
More to this, sustainability can be said to be activities for configuring civilization and activities done by human beings so that society can meet its current needs while ensuring the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems and planning on how to maintain them for a long time. Sustainability can be divided into two major categories namely economy and environment. These two are related in that the ever diminishing natural resources can be substituted by manufactured ones and these two combined can meet the current demand.
It can also be said that growth in economy is of importance in ensuring sustainability since increased incomes ensures increased protection for the environment and this is known as ‘substitutability paradigm’. Growth in population around the world together with the lifestyles people live in today have not made things easier either in realization of this noble goal since the worlds population is too large to be maintained sustainably.
This population growth has put excess pressure on natural resources like water, farming land and biological resources so as to provide the much needed food stuffs to feed this population. There have been efforts to reduce the population growth other reducing the consumption rates by population because large population comes with food problems. Despite vigorous campaigns for awareness on the importance sustainability, it has been hard to realize this because of another barrier known as technology systems.
This has made people to resist change in the way of life and ignored the need to change some individual values. Failure could also be blamed on institutions like governments who fail to do anything when rules to promote sustainability are broken. Despite all these setbacks, there is still hope in the future because all in not lost. Many programs have been put in place to make sure that the future generations will not suffer. It was in this spirit that the United Nations declared sustainability in three aspects namely economic sustainability, social sustainability and environment sustainability.
These three were named as the pillars for sustainability and should be addressed if any progress was to be realized. A good example of programs that have been in place recently is ‘The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ which elaborated sustainability by saying that cultural differences were important for any development plans . It stated that information participation together with integration and points the fact that so as to achieve a sustainable development, everybody must be viewed as a user and a provider of information.
It addresses too the need to abandon the old fashion of conducting business in which only what mattered was profit maximization but advocates for consideration of both environmental and social concerns. Public participation in decision making in matters concerning the environment is another thing it pushes for. The United Nations has formed a non-partisan and multi-sector response and brings different groups of people aboard and these include youths, business community, religious leaders, and many others.
This brings together different people and they share ideas, resources and many other experiences which are aimed at equipping them to fight towards a sustainable future. In this long list is also the Kyoto treaty which pushes the member countries in minimizing gas emissions from their factories. The key sustainability principles The material principle The existences of human beings greatly depend on physical processes which provide him with livelihood and these processes are controlled by laws of thermodynamics.
These laws underline the need to conserve energy and the direction the energy is directed. They prescribe the possibility of exhaustion of physical systems and direct how resources can be used effectively. Life processes are able to create and maintain order at least temporarily and this kind of order is present in individual network as well as complex networks of embodiments, organisms, ecosystems or even molecules and if well applied, these factors can provide a way for creating wealth so as to ensure a lasting abundance.
Today’s industries can be said to be inefficient, wasteful and even destructive of the very scarce resources and they can be re-designed and configured again so that they can deliver and enhance regenerative advantage for everyone. Factories need to go for the highest resource productivity and should not hesitate to recycle all non-regenerative resources. During production, leakages and random diffusion of any elements should be avoided as well as putting in place a good system to manage durable goods.