A widely accepted definition of sustainability is to "...meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland Commission, 1987).
- living within the limits of what the environment can provide
- understanding the many interconnections between economy, society and the environment
- the equal distribution of resources and opportunities.
Ecologically sustainable development
Sustainability is often used as a substitute for the term Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), which involves the effective integration of economic, social and environmental considerations in decision-making processes. The principles of ESD include:
- the precautionary principle, namely that if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation
- intergenerational equity, namely that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations
- conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration
- improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms, namely that environmental factors should be included in the valuation of assets and services.
We have developed a sustainability theme called "Kiamasphere", which aims to bring together all our projects that relate to environmental management and sustainability. The Kiamasphere logo that incorporates Council's corporate colours was developed and its design represents the holistic approach required to achieve sustainable living in the Kiama Municipality.
We have also introduced the Pelican Story Project to constantly remind residents and visitors that litter in the streets has a direct impact on local marine life. Click here to find out more.
Kiama Municipality residents have been enthusiastic participants in sustainability initiatives in the past including the Sustainable Illawarra Project, the Sustainable Kiama Communities Project and ongoing home composting, and waste and recycling initiatives. At home there are many ways in which to reduce your impact on the environment and ways to more efficiently use water, energy and reduce your ecological footprint.
For more information you can refer to Energy use at home, Water use at home, Sustainable Food and Waste and Recycling.