“Toward A Sustainable Future”
“Be a student as long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your
life”. – Henry L. Doherty
Sustainability of the world's natural resources must
occur to prevent repetitions of what happened
on Easter Island......................
Easter Island is a lonely island on Earth, much like Earth is
isolated in the universe. Environmental practices on Easter Island
can, therefore, provide useful lessons for environmental stewardship
on planet Earth..... . What went wrong? While numerous
explanations have been proposed, the most plausible is the nonsustainable use of a crucial renewable resource. Wood was obtained
from a slow-growing, subtropical palm and was the pervasive ecoresource supporting the islanders' food (nuts, birds, boats for fish),
economy (cooking, heating, housing materials) and culture (moving
statues). Documented deforestation, attributable to overuse,
resulted in the rapid collapse of the society. This historical example
of non-sustainable environmental behaviour by a sophisticated
society has many advantages as a case study for the current
teaching of relevant lessons in sustainability.
A global environmental picture:
The ecological footprint
1. is a measure of human demand on the
2. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural
capital that may be contrasted with the
planet'secological capacity to regenerate.
3. It represents the amount of biologically productive
land and sea area necessary to supply the resources
a human population consumes, and to assimilate
4. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how
much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would
take to support humanity if everybody followed a given
The Global Environmental Picture:
Four global trends are particularly concerning:
1) population growth and economic development
2) a decline of vital life-support ecosystems,
(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment)
3) global atmospheric changes, and
(The Kyoto Protocol)
4) a loss of biodiversity.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is
as a new effort to understand the links between
human well-being and the goods and services
provided by ecosystems.
assess the consequences of ecosystem change
for human well-being.
assess the scientific basis for action needed to
enhance the conservation and sustainable use of
those systems and their contribution to human
Conceptual Framework for Millennium
Strategic themes: deal with how we should conceptualize
our task of forging a sustainable future.
Three Integrative Themes
Integrative themes describe some of the
dimensions of what we are dealing with as
humans draw their sustenance from the natural
world and inevitably affect it.
Ecosystem capital(Good and Services)
(Protecting Ecosystem Capital)
Politics and policy (Local level, broader level)
globalization (economic and environment changes)