If something is sustainable, it has the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level or the ability to be upheld or defended. In ecology, sustainability is the ability to endure; it is how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes. The organizing principle for sustainability is sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival of humans and other organisms.
Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganizing living conditions (for example eco-villages, eco-municipalities or sustainable cities), using science to develop new technologies, to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources.
The project Living Lakes of the non-profit organization Global Nature Fund (GNF) is recognized as an “Official Project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014”. GNF also supports many drinking water projects throughout Africa. In the Ivory Coast, more than 24,000 people now have access to clean and fresh water. People are taught how to treat the water in order to use it in a sustainable way.
In New Zealand, the Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter , located near Gisborne on the East Coast, is an innovative environmental education space designed, constructed and operated by a group of passionate volunteers. Access is free of charge and the project aims to promote active stewardship of the natural environment both in conservation areas and in cities.
Celebrating the birthday of a product, which findings of long-term studies have shown retains its waterproofing function for at least 25 years, demonstrates sustainability in building and maintaining these buildings. These roofing membranes will continue to fulfill their functions for many more years to come. And with this, the ability to endure is created.