Sustainability refers to the presence, in the world; of a system that is self sustaining. This is as a system that can support the people. It is where all can meet their needs in ways that do not destroy planetary systems. In Biology, we define an ecosystem as a system that can support life without depletion of the available resources. What we have today in the world is despicable. People are suffering from poverty, sickness, hunger and drought is the order of the day. We need a change for the better. We are all eager for a time when there will be enough for all to enjoy. When I imagine a sustainable world, I think about innovation. I see technology; I see good leadership, environmental protection as well as development of business. I also see increased performance and each and every person enjoying the niche that he or she occupies in the society. When I think about sustainability, I see enough jobs that the business world will create. This will enable more people to earn income to support them and their families.
This is a summary of a vision 2050 project that 29 members decided to undertake. These were members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It is a composition of about 200 large and famous International companies that come from more than 35 countries in the world. The businesses also cover about 20 different industries. The Council also has a world network of sixty national and regional business assembly and regional partnerships. This organization started in 1991. In 1992, the organization reported in the Earth Summit in Rio. Ever since, the organization has involved itself in significant issues that affect the world. These include energy issues, factors that relate to the cement industry climate, mining, water, mobility and forestry. In 2005, the Council changed its strategy from “engaging with” issues to advocating solutions. The council divided its scope into four parts. They cover Energy and Climate, the Role of Business, Development and Ecosystems. This means that sustainability in the world must cover the four key areas. For us to attain a standard of Sustainability in the next thirty years, then we have to work. It is nothing but work and creativity.
For a sustainable world to be in place, we have to define the scope of sustainability. We must start by creating a community that is sustainable. This is not just about creating eco villages. It is not just about growing food for consumption so that there is enough. There must be a proper definition. This definition must encompass social and emotional sustainability. It means creating a model that will convince people that they are safe enough and can start a new life. One of the factors, therefore, that must come out clearly is the issue of security. Sustainability must allow peace to prevail. This environment will allow people to move freely, interact and do business without fear that of insecurity. A country must ensure security so that more tourists can start streaming in than in the present situation. Current technology and resources cannot be enough to create 100% sustainability. We need social-economic changes to sweep across the world. This is a move that will shake the details of what is not right at the moment. The issue of sustainability in a world scale can be difficult to understand. In the case of ecosystems, the amount of damage that happened in the past decades is extremely large. By saying this, we are comparing the current status to what was there in the past. For instance, between 1950 and 2003, about 29% of fish species had collapsed and died. This situation does not only face fish and other organisms that are depleting at an extremely high rate. It also refers to other natural resources such as oil. Oil is also undergoing depletion at an alarming rate. With such a trend, it becomes difficult to contemplate the issue of sustainability 30 years from now. However, if people become committed to working towards sustainability, in no doubt, we shall go places.
It is possible for us to lay a foundation that will see us achieve this dream. For instance, some communities have already started developing a system towards sustainability. One community creates the contemporary model of sustainability which includes food production, construction of an eco village and independence of energy sources. It then combines with a unique social structure and a business approach that has multiple faces.
According to history, the big fish in the rivers and on land suffered depletion depleted first. In Europe, this happened in the middle Ages. Depletion of the large fish near the shores, offshore, then the arctic, the shallow waters, and finally the deep sea happened. This change of events does not mean that fishes have become extinct. It means that the number of fish has reduced significantly over the years. Moreover, the size of fish has also reduced drastically. The critical question remains that if we are unable to prevent this trend form continuing, how can we maintain the fish catch or not prevent it from declining? We need to start managing fish stocks professionally all over in the world. Better management of fish will help to avoid the situation getting to a worse state than the current situation. It is true that the application of science can help to lead us to sustainability in the world. For instance, the total consumption of fish in the world is growing at an alarming rate. In the year 2006, people consumed about 110.4 metric tons of fish. The Food Agricultural Organization estimates that this is likely to double in the coming years. One way of ensuring that we are still able to meet this demand is through genetic engineering. A genetically engineered fish grows twice as fast as the normal Atlantic salmon. This will help to avert the situation.
The Food and Drug Administration is an organization that intends to develop more foods from genetic engineering than in the current situation. It is not just fish. This form of production will help to create food security in the world. The current state of events is unstable because the population of the world is increasing at an extremely fast rate. If food production does not increase, the world will remain unsustainable since the present resources are not enough to cater for the robust population. The current development of genetically engineered animals intends to;
Enhance production and quality of food traits, for instance, development of pigs with less environmentally unfriendly wastes than the natural pigs and fish that grow faster than the normal fish. This helps to create a sustainable world since it increases production and hence many people can feed on the same.
Moreover, it intends to improve animal health. This means to enhance such factors as resistance to disease. If such animals survive, they can be slaughtered to provide food to numerous families globally.
It also targets to produce products intended for human therapeutic use (e.g., pharmaceutical products or tissues for transplantation. This helps to ensure sustainability in the world as it is a remedy for many diseases.
To enhance the interaction of animals with the environment
To develop animal models for human diseases such as pig models for cardiovascular infections
To produce consumer products such as fibers that can serve multiple purposes.
We must also ensure that we protect the environment as much as possible. Afforestation is a measure that will help us achieve this. Planting of trees improves the forestry system. It also helps to protect water catchment areas. Conservation of water is a move that we cannot ignore if we have to attain sustainability.
Increased management of mineral resources also matters. These resources are undergoing depletion at an extremely high rate. Governments should protect their mineral resources from depletion by not allowing people to engage in mining activities without permits. There needs to be regulation concerning the same.
Moreover, the world should seek for alternative sources of energy. People should harness wind, sunshine, and other factors that are free in nature. These will help to protect the depletion of resources such as oil. By using these resources, we shall also be protecting the environment from pollution. As we know, solar energy or wind energy does not produce waste products like petroleum products.
As a person, I can contribute to sustainability in my own ways. One of the things that I will try to do is to avoid environmental pollution. I should not undertake to clear forests due to my selfish interests if I wish to see sustainability becoming a reality. Instead, I should focus to engage in afforestation measures that will help to boost the forest cover in my country. I should take it upon myself to plant trees occasionally.
Moreover, I should take part in initiatives that relate to agribusiness management. People in my community do not know about the rearing of genetically engineered animals. I should tell them the advantages of dealing with these animals, in addition to the natural species. This is a move towards food security in my community. I should undertake initiatives to educate people about the effects of overfishing to the future generations. I should also tell them how we can overcome the problem. For instance, I should tell them introduction of genetically engineered species of fish in rivers and other water catchment areas. This is a move to ensure conservation of the population of fish.
I can also undertake research in a variety of energy sources. For instance, by researching about wind energy sources and solar energy, I can introduce these concepts in my community. This will help avert the need to rely on oil sources of energy. Wind and solar energy can be equally productive and reliable. This will help to guard against depletion of available oil reserves as this will be insecure for future generations.
Education is instrumental is we have to achieve sustainable development in the world. Governments should educate people. Teaching of scientific concepts in schools helps to boost creativity. As an individual, I will encourage kids in my community to read industriously and work smart. I will encourage them to ensure they are creative and innovative. Innovation will do wonders in helping to create a sustainable world.
Achieving sustainability is not an easy task. It requires that we come together for a common course. It requires that each of us strives to protect the environment in the basic ways that we can. Food security is one of the most strategic ways of ensuring that there is sustainability in the world. We can achieve this through science. Science provides a basis for innovation. Through Genetically Modified Foods, we are able to produce enough food for a rapidly growing world population. This is a crucial move towards sustainability. Sustainability requires a concerted effort between governments, organizations and individuals. Through sustainability, the world can be a better place.