Ideas and resources to help achieve ecological sustainability

The table below, which sets out high-level objectives, targets and actions that need to be pursued if ecological sustainability is to be achieved, is a gateway to useful ideas and resources. Click on the links to find relevant resources.

This gateway is under construction so more links will be added from time to time.

Policy Objectives
(8 system conditions)
(9 stretch goals)
(15 generic strategies)
Society should be ecologically sustainable. Ecological sustainability must not be undermined by systematic:
  1. increases in concentrations in nature of substances that come from the earth's crust or are produced by society
  2. increases in the manipulation or harvesting of nature
  3. failure to restore the ecological basis for biodiversity and ecological productivity.

Society must make it easy to achieve system conditions 1-3 by ensuring that:

  1. society has the capability and resilience to solve and preferably prevent its major problems in a timely fashion
  2. material flows from nature into and out of society do not increase systematically
  3. society's aggregate use of resources and land is ultra-frugal
  4. the human population does not increase systematically.
  5. the speed and scale of responses is adequate.
Society should aim for:
  1. 'zero' extinctions
  2. 'zero' climate damage[1]
  3. 'zero' soil degradation
  4. 'zero' waste
  5. 'zero' pollution
  6. a 90% improvement in resource use efficiency (Factor 10)[2]
  7. 'zero' net greenhouse gas emissions.
  8. 'zero' encroachment on nature.
  9. 75% of land for nature.
Society should take action to:
  1. contain human activity (for nature) - don't encroach, boost land efficiency
  2. tread lightly (for nature)
  3. restore habitat (for nature)
  4. dematerialise
  5. create a closed-cycle economy
  6. use renewable resources
  7. design for no toxicity (including eco-toxicity)
  8. protect people from environmental threats
  9. strive for sustainable population
  10. green up business
  11. green up lifestyles
  12. green up culture
  13. boost social and economic capability
  14. encourage 'ecological take-off' in the economy/society
  15. achieve results at a desirable speed and scale.
1. Given the huge injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the last half century and the enormous lead times for correction, this stretch goal becomes a long-term recovery target rather than a preventive goal.
2. See the International Factor 10 Club (1997).