BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Health and Environmental Sustainability



Sustainability can be described as the processes by which natural systems continue to function, remain diverse and produce everything necessary for the ecology to remain in balance. It takes into account how humans can live in harmony with the natural world around; protect it from depletion, damage and destruction and most importantly, preserving it for the future generation. In general, sustainability and sustainable development focus on maintaining a balance between two essential but competing human needs- the need for technological and economical advancement, and the need to protect the environments in which we inhabit. Environmental sustainability is defined as the interaction of human beings specifically with the environment to avoid depletion or degradation of natural resources and allow for long-term environmental quality. It is the ability of communities of plants, animals, micro-organisms, and their non-living surroundings to sustain themselves, and people, far into the future. Environmental sustainability ensures that the needs of today’s population are met without endangering the capability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The natural environment has the amazing ability to replenish itself through a recycling system in order to remain viable and sustain life- for example, a dead and decomposed plant adds nutrients to the soil which helps to sustain the growth of other plants. The major principle underlining environmental sustainability and sustainable development is that we, as human beings, must be able to live within our environmental limits. The consequences of going beyond these limits by stretching, wearing out and depleting the natural environment and resources are climate change and scarcity of resources. Presently, humanity is facing serious environmental and social sustainability challenges- global warming and inequity respectively. These challenges have been worsened by the dependence on innovation and technological solutions.

Human beings and other living things can interfere negatively or positively with the recycling capacity of the environment thereby influencing health, well being and survival. Unfortunately, human actions can deplete natural resources to a point where the environment cannot keep up with replenishing them; hence, the need to apply sustainability methods to support long-term viability.

However, sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s also about the health of the society- ensuring that environmental legislation and actions of humanity are conducive to the health of individuals and populations. This means fostering a strong, healthy and just society by meeting the diverse needs of all people, promoting personal well-being, social cohesion and inclusion, and creating equal opportunities. Sustainability is a broad discipline that gives insight to most aspects of the human world from business to technology to environment and the social sciences. It draws on politics, economics, philosophy, civic planning, environmental science, agriculture, corporate strategies, health assessment and planning, law and decision making and other social sciences.

The attainment of global environmental sustainability is dependent on intact and healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems are crucial to maintaining health, food security, economic growth, and social peace. Unfortunately, the earth’s ecosystems have been degraded- some to the point where recovery is impossible. Natural resources such as potable water and local food sources have been compromised and compounded by climate change and natural disasters.

For over 30 years, the global community has been collaborating to preserve the environment and sustain human life and health. These collaborations have achieved some progress in key areas such as carbon emissions, desertification, organic pollutants, and biodiversity. More so, sustainable agriculture, forestry and energy are some of the specific applications of environmental sustainability where agriculture, selective logging and use of renewable energy sources respectively, are used to sustain the environment.

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