Sustainability: defined

Sustainability: a definition

What follows is the Qualicum Institute’s working definition of “sustainability.” It defines the concept in terms of both human sustainability and ecological sustainability, the latter of which humanity cannot do without.

Human Sustainability

Sustainable social and economic well-being requires our choosing to live in a just and equitable way that ensures the viability and subsistence of all living species and their places. This means living within the limits of ecological sustainability, which is the maintenance of ecological processes so that the biological productivity of the Earth endures without dependence on non-renewable resources.1


1 The definition of ecological sustainability and some of the definition notes were adapted from Voller, J. and S. Harrison (Eds.) 1998. Conservation Biology Principles for Forested Landscapes. UBC Press, Vancouver.

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