Sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain status or process in existing systems. The most frequent use of the term “sustainability” is connected to biological or human systems in the context of ecology. The ability of an ecosystem to function and maintain productivity for a prolonged period is also sustainability.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is one way to help. In this series pages we will go into what sustainability has to with ecology, recycling, water, and more. We will also reveal what some companies (like Petsmart and Disney) are doing to make a difference by operating their businesses in a sustainable way.
Natural Resource Sustainability / What are Natural Resources
Natural resources like land and other raw materials can be found as naturally occurring substances. The value of these deposits is usually dependent on the amount available for extraction.
These means that if even valuable resources exist in quantities to small to be extracted profitably or exist in a form that make extraction exceedingly difficult then the value is lessened as a consequence.
However if the amount of available material for extraction as well as the ease of that extraction makes exploitation commercially viable then the value of the land increases as well.
A situation where natural resources or natural capital is being used up faster than replenishment can occur is called an “unsustainable situation”. Natural capital is the store of ecosystems that can provide a flow of material sustainably or indefinitely.
In recent years development agencies have focused on sustainable development because of the obvious depletion of natural resources that has become apparent with the current rates of consumption.
Natural Resource Sustainability / What is Sustainable Development?
Sustainable development is a mode of consumption with the vision that seeks to provide for the needs of humanity while safeguarding the environment so that it will still be capable of providing for the needs of future generations of humanity.
This term was originated by the Brundtland Commission whose definition of the term is the most internationally recognized.
Sustainable development deals with more than environmental issues alone. Sustainable development is a process that comprises all aspects of human society that can affect human sustenance. This means that the conflict between the so-called “triple bottom line” must be resolved.
Harmony must be achieved in the conflicting objectives of social equity, environmental quality and economic prosperity social equity.
Natural Resource Sustainability / Closing
Living sustainably will go a long way towards sustainability of natural resources. Each of us can do our part and make it count. Our natural resources will not last forever at the rate that human society is using them up.
Recycling, reducing waste generation, and conservation of valuable resources are our best hopes so that our ecosystems will still be capable of providing for the generations to come.
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