What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Sustainability is the management of Earth's ecosystems in a way that promotes the wellbeing of all species and future generations. To ensure environmental stability, we need to establish the use of resources within the natural boundaries of the planet.
The environment is influenced by a number of systems - namely social, economic and ecological - all of which contribute to the promotion or reduction of environmental stability. For social and economic sustainability to occur, there needs to be a sustainable environment - it is a prerequisite for the maintenance of diverse life. Human beings are part of the biosphere, but we are rapidly exploiting it. Our species is currently consuming more than Earth's ecosystems can withstand.
The climate emergency is a threat to all species on earth, including humanity. It is exacerbating the rate of biodiversity loss, and has resulted in the unfolding of the sixth mass extinction: the Anthropocene.
With rapidly growing urban areas and a global population size of approximately 7 and a half billion people, our consumption rates are increasing exponentially. We are depleting Earth's resources, rapidly resulting in an environmental and ecological emergency.
The exponential growth of the human population means that the increased consumption rates are pressurising ecosystems and are exceeding their functional thresholds.
Figure 2: https://www.kateraworth.com/
Once an ecosystem has passed its threshold it can no longer revert back to its original state. We are pressuring a number of ecosystems beyond their functional capacity and are exacerbating our anthropogenic impact on the environment exponentially. This is why we, as a collective, need to rise to the challenge of changing our behaviour in order to ensure our actions and choices promote sustainability so that we can preserve the planet and all the creatures who call it home.