Module 22: Sustainability for Environment, Health, and the Future

The environment undeniably has an enormous impact on human health and well-being.  The health of our planet's natural resources will continue to be vital to the livelihood of all of Earth's living things. It is crucial for us to safeguard our natural resources as well as to implement environmental protections that will ensure that plants, animals, and humans are assured a sustainable future. Though clearly this is easier said than done, the work of many individuals, organizations, and institutions across the environmental sectors serve as inspiration for future endeavors and are crucial in the journey towards a truly sustainable future. With continued efforts and campaigns to raise awareness about environmental issues, we can alleviate poverty, improve the livelihoods of the world's citizens, and shape the future. It all begins with an understanding of our individual ecological footprints, and subsequently making changes to our lifestyle so that we can contribute to the spread of good environmental practices.

The Global Footprint Network was established to enable a sustainable future. The organization created a resource called the Ecological Footprint that measures how much of our natural resources are available, how much of it we use, and who uses what. The Ecological Footprint accounts work like bank statements, documenting whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming natural resources faster than the planet can renew them. The Ten-in-Ten campaign engages national governments to establish the Ecological Footprint as a prominent, globally accepted metric. The National Footprint Accounts allow the Ecological Footprint to be supported with scientific quality and precision.

The Global Footprint Network is working to develop international Footprint Standards to be met by nations around the world. Such standards, coupled with the many innovations of organizations across diverse sectors, are creating a global dialogue about ecological sustainability.(1)

Footnotes

(1) "Global Footprint Network: Advancing the Science of Sustainability." https://www.footprintnetwork.org/. Accessed on 27 August 2018.