VALUES FOR SUSTAINABILITY: EACH OF US MAKES A DIFFERENCE

 

I believe that our society is losing many of its human values and principles. Media, governments and sources of power, try to submerge us in the current flow of technologies, quick times, running information and consumption, and most people appear to just go along with this. This is a real problem, not just for us but also for everything around us:  our society, families, environment, education, etc. So, it is time to become concerned about real problems.

The task for many organizations and institutions is to enhance and introduce into society the principles and values inherent in sustainable development. And as I read once: “the ways in which countries decide how to approach sustainable development are closely linked to the values held by the people, because these values define how personal decisions are made as well as how national legislation is written”. To understand our own values, societal values, and the values of people around us, it is essential to understand the “individual´s own worldview”. This helps us make sense of the world, understand our place and purpose in it.  Every country or cultural group must develop their values to promote and build skills for sustainable development.

The United Nations has created the “Earth Charter” which develops some fundamental principles for sustainability. They are summed up in three different branches: environmental, economic and social issues.

Approaching the environmental sphere, first, we will say that the goal is to not harm the environment or deplete natural resources. We also need to ask what an environmental worldview point means. As well as how the environment works, and what our place is here based on human superiority over nature, this is also about having in mind that all species have an equal worth. Earth´s biological diversity is our most important environmental benefit, because is the only thing we have to survive. It provides us with food and all our humans needs, so we have both an ethical and a smart obligation to committing ourselves to the idea of taking care of the natural environment as an ecosystem service.  We should also consider the “carrying capacity of a given environment”. This is the capacity of the earth to absorb waste and renew itself. This means that is necessary to create plans for sustainable living with education and family-planning available to everyone.

The main issue in the social sphere is to reach “equitable decisions that reflect the needs of society and ensure the costs and benefits are shared equally by all groups.”  This involves the what I call voluntary simplicity. And what does it mean? It means that to reach quality of life and happiness we do not need to accumulate a lot of material goods. What defines us is not what we own. So, maybe we have to think about this again. Although we have to bear in mind that we need some goods and services for our living, our behavior should be in balance with the consumption of natural resources.

Last but not least we need to ensure  that all costs are economically viable, including long-term environmental and societal costs. We have to have sustainable consumption even though our populations and economies grow. Society needs to use goods and services in ways that do not affect or harm the quantity and quality of natural resources. The use of natural resources are minimized but coverall the basic needs of the population.

These three main points interact to promote sustainable development. And our responsibility, as individuals, is to work with the aim of developing a better world. Each of us makes a difference. And it is in through collective activities, and working as a community, where we share the knowledge and the strength to fight together for a fair economic growth without compromising needs of future generations. Moreover, is in the governments and in constitutional and policy documents, where they have to start committing with sustainable principles to make possible “a generation of approipaite laws and suitable economic policies”

 

 

 

 

Esta entrada fue publicada en imsd. Guarda el enlace permanente.