The booklet Strong Sustainability for New Zealand: Principles and Scenarios seeks to answer two questions: What does true sustainability look like and how can we get from here to there?
It provides this definition of Strong Sustainability:
- Strong sustainability is the prerequisite and foundation of any human development, whether social, economic or technological.
- Strong sustainability means the preservation of the integrity of all ecological systems in the biosphere.
- Ecological integrity means the ability of an ecosystem to recover from disturbance and reestablish its stability, diversity and resilience.
- A strongly sustainable human society lives and develops as an integral part of ecosystems that have ecological integrity.
- Ethics, values and ‘world views’ directly support strong sustainability because people know that they are integral with the ecological systems of the biosphere. Therefore, people desire the integrity of those systems.
Strong Sustainability is based on the scientific understanding of the necessity of healthy ecological systems to all life on earth – “… the Earth is a closed or self-contained system except for sunlight received, heat reflected into space, and external gravitational effects. Thus, all human life and actions are contained within the biosphere and are part of it. A subset of human actions is known as the economy, which is part of the sociosphere.”