Basic Concept of Sustainability

In this day and age, human sustainability considerably appears to be a center stage whereby people have to inevitably take it into account in order to counterbalance global welfare. Most people in a worldwide view commonly agree that sustainability is a prolonged ability to maximize and control the consumption of resources while consistently minimizing the adverse environmental effects and maintaining resource availability for future generation. The term sustainability concisely depicts a basic concept of life quality, yet it divides a myriad of opinions and is rarely understood. Therefore, a model namely ‘Three Pillars of Sustainability’ is suggested by intelligentsia to explicate further both sustainability concepts and framework thereof.

Basically, the model comprises three primary facets of sustainability which are society, economy and environment. It interestingly reflects the notion that the world is an interconnected system of social, economic and environmental needs. The acme of real sustainability cannot be achieved unless all three pillars are in balance by considering sustainable development as a capable pathway to reach the objectives. In fact, The United Nations has envisioned 17 goals socially, economically and environmentally to transform the world via a sustainable development. It includes actualizing life with no poverty, inter alia, maintaining good health and well-being, ensuring a quality education, promoting decent work and economic growth, taking climate actions, implementing responsible consumption and so forth.

On top of that, the discussion within academia has ranged across multiple perspectives based on the three pillars of sustainability. The first pillar namely society development is associated with an effort of human development, community empowerment and quality of life enhancement. This pillar also objectively entails participation and inclusion of everyone, brings dignity and social cohesion as well as eradication of poverty and inequality issues. Basic needs in the first place should be prioritized and improved quantitatively and qualitatively. It encompasses safety, healthcare, education, food and clean water supply, energy supply, and amenities. Besides, better life chances and opportunities should be provided together with protection from any exploitative form. With respect to human development, it imperatively allows people to grow and excel thus creating a community cultured with innate social responsibility that contributes to a lasting positive impact gradually.

Equally important, the next pillar worth noting is economic development. Economy is an integral part of society that ultimately improves the living condition; therefore, it cannot be ignored. Economic sustainability concerns the economic development that attempts to satisfy the needs of humans but in a manner that sustains natural resources and the environment. Reducing cost and waste in production, consuming energy efficiently and expanding the horizon of profit and growth opportunities are some approaches to achieve a sustainable economy. These can be carried out effectively with an innovative financial management and recent technological advancements that appears to revolutionize at a state-of-the-art stage. Besides, a prevention of practices which misuse resources necessarily must be globally implemented as well as regulation of overexploitation and harmful externalities. Unemployment issues should also be eradicated by promoting more decent job opportunities as everyone has their own rights at work, whereby they are provided with benefits and social protection. This situation fiscally benefits both individuals and communities. Undeniably, sustaining natural prosperity and economic development is proved to lead to a strong, inclusive and transformative growth.

Next, the last of the three pillars of sustainability is the major facet which is environmental protection. In addition, this natural world is our homeland that helps us for our survival, growth, development, reproduction and health. That is why the protection of the ecosystem and biosphere and the improvement of water, air and land quality, indeed are two primary elements that have to be prioritized for a clean and green environment. Both are objectively crucial to conserve natural resources and the natural surroundings including marine life while at the same time repairing damages and reversing trends. Instead of implementing a complicated way, we can just simply plant trees, reuse, reduce and recycle materials as effective alternatives. On the other hand, ignoring environmental protection may cost numerous types of disastrous pollution which can possibly cause negative effects that may risk our life and food security. What is worse, global climate change is projected to change over this century according to National Climate Assessment Reports. Considering the third pillar, it is unquestionable that protecting the environment is the major part of sustainability development.

As a matter of fact, it can be concluded that sustainable development by hook or by crook must be continued for the sake of both current and future generations. Sustainability conceptually can be explained regarding the model suggested which consists of three major factors influencing sustainable development which are environmental, social and economic development. To develop a sustainable community, we need to begin with raising the awareness among society through education and mass media. Experts and ecologists should collaborate together carrying out research on environmental issues and formulating coping mechanisms that overcome the negative impacts resulting from human ignorance. Albeit requiring a lot of effort, sustainability is surely well worth the efforts. It possibly takes a long time to see the positive outcome but with the presence of eco-friendly technology and active academia, the process considerably may be catalyzed to a shorter time. It is our collective and individual responsibility to sustain our finite natural world. Be a part of the solution not part of the pollution. A beautiful environment starts with you.

Written by Nu’man Bin Abdul Jamil

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