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Key Overview Documents

Key Overview Documents
This initial section on 'Key Overview Documents' lists half dozen of the papers that the Editors believe provide an essential overview of the current state of discussion on science and technology for sustainability. They are meant to highlight broad overviews and programmatic documents relevant to the field of sustainability science in general.

Science and Technology for Sustainable Development
2002 International Council for Science, Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and Third World Academy of Sciences.
This paper presents the consensus conclusions of the Mexico City Synthesis Workshop on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development. The Workshop brought together leaders of, and participants in, more than a dozen fact-finding studies, discussions, conferences, and workshops conducted by the international scientific and technology community over the two years leading up (more)...

What is Sustainable Development? Goals, Indicators, Values, and Practice
2005 Kates, Robert W., Thomas M. Parris, and Anthony A. Leiserowitz
The standard definition of sustainable development from the Brundtland Commission is creatively ambiguous: "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable—to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This malleability allows programs and institutions of government, civil society, business, and industry to create their own emphases (more)...

Science and Technology for Sustainable Development
2003 Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability Program.
A Special Feature on "Science and Technology for Sustainable Development" written by participants of the Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability Program is featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). This Special Feature surveys the current state of (more)...

Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development.
2005 UN Millennium Project Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation
In this report by the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation, the authors underscore the importance of knowledge and innovation for development, outlining (more)...

Earth System Analysis for Sustainability.
2004 Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim, Paul J. Crutzen, William C. Clark, Martin Claussen, and Hermann Held.
This report of the 91st Dahlem Workshop with the same title (May 2003) uses an integrated systems approach to provide a panoramic view of planetary dynamics since the inception of life some four billion years ago and to identify principles for responsible management of the global environment in the future. Perceiving our planet as a single entity with hypercomplex, often (more)...

Framing the Fundamental Issues of Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
2004 Mabogunje, Akin L
This paper frames the fundamental issues of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. It begins by considering the general problems of development in sub-Saharan Africa and then frames the issues as the maintenance or enhancement of the region's capital stocks. The author describes the integration of the region into the global capitalist economy and considers how (more)...

Sustainability Science: Building a New Discipline
2006 Hiroshi Komiyama and Kazuhiko Takeuchi
By discussion among its participating institutions, IR3S has sought to clarify the concept of sustainability science, usually defined as a discipline that points the way toward a sustainable society. In addition to addressing such problems as that of inter-generational equity, as emphasized in the concept of sustainable development, we approach the problem of sustainability at three levels of ''system''—global, social, and human—which we define below. All three systems are crucial to the coexistence of human beings and the environment, and (more)...

Selections from Sharing Innovative Experiences
2005 UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), The Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO), The Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
This series highlights many successful uses of science and technology to overcome social and economic obstacles to development.  Some particularly useful examples that highlight the essence of what science and innovation for sustainable development can and ought to be about are: Rural solar electrification in BurundiEstablishing a herbal clinic in KenyaFiltering out cholera in Bangladesh ($25)

New Visions for Addressing Sustainability
2003 A. J. McMichael, C. D. Butler, and Carl Folke
Attaining sustainability will require concerted interactive efforts among disciplines, many of which have not yet recognized, and internalized, the relevance of environmental issues to their main intellectual discourse. The inability of key scientific disciplines to engage interactively is an obstacle to the actual attainment of sustainability. For example, in the list of Millennium Development Goals from the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002, the seventh of the eight goals, to "ensure environmental sustainability," is presented separately from (more)...

Core Questions of Science and Technology for Sustainability
2000 B. Bolin, W. Clark, R. Corell, N. Dickson, S. Faucheux, G. Gallopín, A. Gruebler, M. Hall, B. Huntley, J. Jäger, C. Jaeger, N. Jodha, R. Kasperson, R. Kates, I. Lowe, A. Mabogunje, P. Matson, J. McCarthy, H. Mooney, B. Moore, T. O'Riordan, J. Schellnhuber, U. Svedin.
Sustainability science focuses on the dynamic interactions between nature and society. Substantial understanding of those interactions has been gained in recent decades through work in environmental science that includes human action on the environment and environmental impacts on humans, work in social and development studies that seeks to account for environmental influences, and a small but growing body of interdisciplinary research.[1] But we urgently need to move beyond these beginnings to shape a better general understanding of the rapidly growing (more)...

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