Although the need for sustainable development is widely recognized, human society is still far from achieving a sustainable relationship with the natural environment. On a global scale, ecosystem degradation and loss of biodiversity continue at an alarming rate. An important reason for this is the undervaluation of the true importance of nature and a healthy natural environment in economic planning and decision-making.
Sustainable development is a broad – and often misused – concept that encompasses integration of economic objectives, such as efficiency and prosperity; social objectives, such as equality and social justice; and ecological objectives, such as the conservation and sustainable management of the biosphere.
There is still much debate about the practical implications of the sustainability concept for day-to-day living, planning and decision-making. This debate is unfortunate since it distracts from the main purpose of sustainable development: to safeguard the long-term health of the biosphere, our only life-support system in an otherwise harsh cosmic environment. An integrated approach to man-environment interactions is essential to bridge the gap between long-term ecological goals and short-term economic interests. FSD was initiated in response to these challenges.
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