Berlin Declaration on Sustainability
Monday, October 29, 2012
The ad hoc task group of the SETAC Advisory Group on Sustainability has appreciated your comments on the Berlin Declaration on Sustainability discussion, which offers a view of how the emerging science of sustainability can guide and inform societal decision-making processes. SETAC, with its competencies and its tripartite membership of scientists and environmental professionals from academia, business and government, offers a model system for the transdisciplinary development of a science of sustainability and for an open and transparent dialogue among stakeholders.
You can also download a copy of the declaration as a .pdf file.
PREAMBLEWhereas since its inception in 1979, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) has focused on the sciences to inform environmental policy and management and has been guided by its mission "to support the development of principles and practices for protection, enhancement, and management of sustainable environmental quality and ecosystem integrity”;
Whereas SETAC has encouraged leadership in developing tools and frameworks in many disciplines that inform policy and management decisions in the realm of sustainability including life-cycle analysis, ecosystem services, environmental risk assessment, and international strategies for managing chemicals;
Whereas SETAC’s tripartite structure of academia, industry, and government provides a model for dialogue on complex issues;
Whereas in 2011, the SETAC World Council approved the formation of an Advisory Group on Sustainability, signalling a new level of participation in the global dialogue on sustainability;
Whereas the growing recognition of the complexity of environmental issues has required a shift in the ecological sciences to a transdisciplinary approach including social, economic, and behavioural sciences, and more direct collaboration with the traditional biophysical sciences;
Whereas the challenges of meeting the needs of a growing population of seven billion humans with increasing disparity in the use of natural resources , and all that entails in terms of a 21st Century society, will require new insights and new sciences;
Now, Therefore THE SETAC WORLD COUNCIL proclaims THIS DECLARATION ON SUSTAINABILITY as a foundation to promote social equity and basic dignities for the human population living and working within the global economy, but also to promote wise management of the Earth’s Natural Capital, defined to include ecosystem products and services, and pertaining to the maintenance of biocomplexity, provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services at local, regional, and global scales.
Promote the development and application of the sciences and tools that enable citizens and organizations to reduce their ecological footprint.
Promote resource-efficient economies that allow us to better manage natural resources in light of the increasing demands.
Cultivate the development of long-term perspectives for resource management and energy use that reflect the nested interrelationships of ecological systems, societies, and economies at local, regional, and global scales.
Promote respectful dialogue about the challenges of an ever increasing human population and the inalienable rights of citizens to experience social equity and equal access to resources while protecting genetic and biological diversity.
Engage academic, business, governmental and non-governmental sectors in the pursuit of informed policies that promote continual improvement in our collective understanding of the direct linkages between ecological dynamics, global societies and human well-being.