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Environmental and Social Sustainability

Sustainability is a critical issue across the globe, owing to increased population growth. In the historical period, it reflected the available resources’ ability to meet people’s needs and maintain them at a specific level. However, the increased social and environmental problems in the contemporary world have led to a universal agreement among experts to add the concept of development to sustainability (Bennett et al., 2017). It has become essential to evaluate the significance of embracing justifiable goals, focusing on ending poverty and safeguarding the ecosystem. According to Washington (2015), sustainable development refers to the capacity to satisfy the present human necessities without adversely affecting the future generations’ ability to meet their demands and achieve societal progress. Generally, it comprises three primary pillars, including economic, social, and environmental elements. Although it is irrational to underestimate the economic principle’s implications, impractical and insufficient ecological and social sustainability strategies have been the vital cause of the problems such as inequality and global warming, which are evident today. Despite various barriers, there is a dire need to formulate logical strategies supporting environmental preservation and social empowerment to promote sustainable development worldwide.

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Firstly, ecosystem conservation is a significant policy to attain a sustainability vision. Gold and Schleper (2017) argue that there is a necessity to preserve the biodiversity and environment because any contradicting activities pose a threat to living organisms. Presently, people have adopted modern farming techniques, which involve excessive use of pesticides and other chemicals, which kill the soil microbes, thus negatively affecting the aeration process. As a result, it has become difficult to produce enough yields to satisfy households’ food demands, exposing thousands of individuals to hunger. In this regard, it is essential to recognize that the limited means and available resources on earth cannot sufficiently meet the infinite people’s needs. Over-exploitation adversely influences the environment, thus requiring sustainable development, which encourages the use of the natural resources within the earth’s carrying capacity. This reasoning explains why individuals should accept and embrace alternative energy sources, including solar and wind, instead of relying considerably on hydroelectricity and petroleum products.

Additionally, the promotion of progressive social customs, traditions and political culture remains vital in reinforcing sustainable development. For example, upholding archaic culture in some underdeveloped countries has been the leading cause of female discrimination and unfair sharing of resources. It is shocking to see some societies perceiving women as weaker gender compared to men in the contemporary world. This reasoning has led to the lack of feminine empowerment, thus failing to tap essential females’ expertise as it has been the case in developed nations. There should also be a political culture, which guarantees equitable developments in all parts of a particular nation, irrespective of their contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Washington (2015), embracing liberal political and traditional cultures promote ethics and activities, which value the dignity of human life and environmental preservation. Nevertheless, countries must be cautious of the existence of possible trade-offs such as democracy dilemmas and develop approaches to address them. Therefore, leaders should identify complementarities, which balance population needs with social and environmental sustainability to ensure meaningful progress.

Significantly, improving training and ensuring effective human resource management would assist in enhancing sustainability globally. People are the managers of any social or environmental program, and thus, they have the responsibility to preserve and utilize the ecosystem rationally. Accordingly, individuals can maintain peace and promote equitable sharing of resources. Indeed, leaders cannot downplay the role of managing human resources appropriately towards achieving the environmental and social sustainability objectives. Gold and Schleper (2017) suggest that social skills and knowledge in protecting and caring for the environment and society’s needs are crucial, and governments must invest in them. The most plausible method to attain these goals is through training and education as well as improving the healthcare systems because a sound mind exists in a healthy body. Awareness creation and expertise can assist in developing positive attitudes toward society and nature. Consequently, education plays an indispensable role in influencing communities to preserve the ecosystem, appreciate human values, and accept practical production methods.

Notwithstanding, there are various barriers, which interrupt the achievement of ecological and social sustainability. For instance, population increase has been the primary concern in realizing equitable development. The high number of people on earth has augmented the demand for food, necessitating the use of technology and modern farming methods (Bennett et al., 2017). In return, there has been the use of chemicals, which destroy the soil humus that contains nutrients needed for production. Besides, people have encroached water catchment areas and forests in search of cultivation lands. This destruction has resulted in reduced tree cover contributing to insufficient rainfall. According to Washington (2015), the recommended proportion of forest cover in every country worldwide is 10%. Unfortunately, most nations have failed to comply with this obligation, leading to extensive desertification. The population should understand that the available natural resources cannot meet unlimited human needs unless used efficiently and prudently.

Greedy and corrupt leaders also lead to social woes and environmental deterioration. For example, they isolate and discriminate against people residing in arid and semi-arid regions causing extreme hunger and poverty (Bennett et al., 2017). As a result, there have been social and security problems such as cattle rustling, among other crimes, as they seek to cater to their daily needs, thus threatening peaceful coexistence. Sadly, these leaders tend to be male-chauvinistic, and they use their power to prevent women from acquiring administrative positions. The females who succeed in politics are exposed to unceasing threats to remain male leaders’ subjects. Fortunately, the liberalism and feminism campaigns have helped alleviate the situation and women today occupy significant leadership positions. However, additional efforts remain crucial in realizing the right place of females in modern society. Lastly, increased capitalism has contributed to establishing factories in undesignated areas, causing water and air pollution. The outcomes have been escalated global warming and outbreaks of illnesses, thus leading to unhealthy communities. Capitalists have also contributed to widening the gap between the rich and the poor, making it challenging to eliminate poverty.

Sustainability development is an essential topic in the contemporary world because it helps identify problems experienced in various social settings, including environmental degradation. People can address these challenges if they develop a sense of self-will. Indeed, appropriate human resources management would assist in preserving the ecosystem and solving the current social ills. Governments need to invest substantially in education and training to enlighten their citizens on the dire need to use the available natural resources prudently by avoiding over-exploitation and unfair allocation. It is essential to preserve the environment because the human race depends on it for survival. Significantly, individuals should embrace progressive social values and traditions to avoid discrimination against any gender or marginalized communities owing to their economic status or sexuality. Irrefutably, with a persistent population increase, the world leaders need to work together towards a unified society, which protects every person’s rights to address social ills and environmental deterioration.

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Bennett, M., James, P., & Klinkers, L. (2017). Key themes in environmental, social and sustainability performance evaluation and reporting. In Sustainable measures evaluation and reporting of environmental and social performance (1st ed., pp. 13-59). Taylor & Francis.

Gold, S., & Schleper, M. C. (2017). A pathway towards true sustainability: A recognition foundation of sustainable supply chain management. European Management Journal, 35(4), 425-429. Web.

Washington, H. (2015). Demystifying sustainability: Towards real solutions. Taylor & Francis.

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