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Sustainability Science

A Multidisciplinary Approach

image of Sustainability Science
Sustainability science is an academic discipline that emerged in response to threats to the sustainability of the global environment. Its purpose is to help build a sustainable society by developing solutions to climate change, the exhaustion of resources, ecological destruction and other environmental crises that threaten the future of humanity. Sustainability science seeks comprehensive, integrated solutions to complex problems and a restructuring of education and research that spans multiple disciplines. It demands the development of policies that protect the natural and cultural diversity of different regions and promotes the physical and economic health of their inhabitants. This volume offers approaches to the development of a transdisciplinary perspective that embraces natural, social and human sciences in the quest for a sustainable society. It also strives for a global perspective while incorporating the wisdom and experience of local societies.

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Sustainability science: Building a new academic discipline

In scientific and academic circles worldwide, the opportunity to develop the emerging discipline of sustainability science has never been greater. This new science has its origins in the concept of sustainable development proposed by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), also known as the Brundtland Commission (WCED, 1987). Defining sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, the WCED garnered global support for its argument that development must ensure the coexistence of the economy, society and the environment. Today, sustainability is recognized the world over as a key issue facing twenty-first-century society.

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