ESD and the Australian Government

Objectives of the Australian ESD Strategy

The Australian ESD strategy includes three key objectives:

  • To enhance individual and community well-being and welfare by following a path of economic development that safeguards the welfare of future generations.
  • To provide for equity within and between generations.
  • To protect biological diversity and maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems.

Whilst ESD has often been wrongly assumed to address only environmental issues, these three objectives, along with the seven guiding principles contained within the Australian ESD strategy, recognise that continued development (i.e. utilisation of resources in a sustainable manner) is a necessary element in meeting them.

It is the integration of the wider economic, social and environmental implications within resource management decision-making processes that is the cornerstone – and major innovation – of ESD.

Finally, the issues addressed within ESD are not fixed.  Instead, they are likely to be subject to an ongoing process of evolution.  In this respect, ESD should be seen as a means, not an end.

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