The Concepts of Sustainability

2713 WordsJun 17, 201811 Pages
Sustainability is a concept with a diverse array of meanings and definitions – a widely used glamorous, ambiguous, ambivalent and vague concept that is used by different stakeholder groups in various ways. Presumably to avoid noodling over a terminology or to avoid the confrontation with a definition, most widely the concept is broken down a planning process (c.f. e.g. Döring & Muraca, 2010). That is why most common sustainability is understood as sustainable development.1 Sustainable development adapted after the Brundtlandt Report 1987, is a planned, aim- and process oriented procedure that meets the needs of today’s generations without endangering the needs of future generations and world regions (Ott & Döring 2004, 2006).2 The…show more content…
This in turn required a common perception of the central approaches and concepts of the project. Starting point of the negotiation process was the adoption of the concept of “strong sustainability” (given in the project application). “Strong sustainability” refers to an approach in which natural capital (resources) is regarded as non-substitutable. Since natural resources are limited, they form the basic prerequisite for them (Döring, 2004). But the question remains: How to deal with the other dimensions of sustainability? And where to locate culture? During ongoing mutual exchange of research information and experiecens, we came up with a first model of our project-internal aim of sustainability. Within our project, we have three sub-projects – biology, hydrology and anthropology – that jointly aim to reach sustainable pasture use (cf. Figure 1). This closely resembles a project internal sustainability-model with culture (local identity, needs and knowledge i.e.) influencing all components of our project. Figure 1: Sustainability within the BIOMAN-Project The feedback from the various local actors on our project “model”, that arose from the consequently participatory research design, revealed differences in pre-perception and evaluation of such a given formulation due to diverse backgrounds. We realised different levels of knowledge, attitudes, competences, options and
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