Sustainable Development Commission publishes ‘Know your environmental limits’

March 18th, 2011 by Sustainable Development Commission

(click cover to download guide)

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) have published a guide, “Know your environmental limits: A local leaders’ guide” to enable members of local governance bodies and community groups to recognise the importance and inherent value of the natural environment and to ‘live within environmental limits’, one of the five principles of sustainable development.

It proposes a definition of environmental limits and applies OECD’s ‘Pressure-State-Response’ framework to examine seven key environmental areas, highlighting existing legislative limits and where these do not exist. The SDC calls on central Government to take particular steps to recognise environmental limits for land use and soil management as there is currently little or no recognition of the concept in these areas. The report also makes recommendations and suggestions for direct action by local governance bodies and community groups.

The SDC had originally planned a long-term research project on this issue; however, this has not been possible due to the closing of the SDC following DEFRA’s withdrawal of funding. Under these circumstances we have gathered evidence and consulted with stakeholders to produce this guide as a starting point upon which others may build. We hope that it will prove useful to its local-level audience and that other organisations may use it as a basis for further work in this area.

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