A directory of sites, with descriptions, to sustainable development resources for individuals, businesses, communities and governments at all levels.

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Ecologically Sustainable Development

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The majority of links below go to external sites. Use your right mouse button to open a new window to these sites, or use your back button to return here. NB: Amazon titles will open in a new window.


  • Powerhouse Museum- Ecologic: EcoLogic resources; What is ecologically sustainable development ? Excellent range of ESD resources, with an Australian emphasis.
  • International Forest Carbon Initiative  Updated link"Australia uses IFCI to lead developing countries toward reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. We are developing a Global Carbon Monitoring System (GCMS) that can measure rates of deforestation and forest degradation by Monitoring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) emissions of greenhouse gases due to these activities."
  • Carbon Accounting  A useful introduction to the concept of carbon accounting and trading in plantation and old growth forests, from Wikipedia.
  • Australia's National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development Updated link (1992). So you wanna be sustainable?  Here's the checklist, with lot's of common-sense solutions.  Everything you need to consider is here, no matter what kind of development or enterprise you're contemplating.  Now in its 25th year, I wonder if we'd be up the flooded/fire ravaged creek as badly as we are now, had this strategy been fully embraced from the start.
  • Ecosustainable "Improving the quality of life for ourselves and for future generations.  This site is intended as our contribution towards ecology, environment and sustainability by providing a one-stop connection to resources and tools that are made available to visitors and researchers without charge. It is also intended to provide a means of introducing Eco Sustainable Developments to a broader audience."  Comprehensive selection of resources in Australia and worldwide.
  • The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF)  Updated link “We are a university research institute that has been creating change towards sustainable futures by conducting independent project based research for Australian and international clients since 1997. Our researchers and professional staff come from varied backgrounds, including engineering, architecture, management, economics, science, the social sciences, international studies and political studies."
  • Clean Energy Regulator Updated link "The Renewable Energy Target is an Australian Government scheme designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and encourage the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources.  ​The Clean Energy Regulator administers the Renewable Energy Target's two schemes: the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme."
  • Parliament of Australia Parliamentry Library "... is part of the Department of Parliamentary Services and provides services to senators, members, their staff, the staff of parliamentary departments and the Governor-General."
  • Urban Ecology Australia (UEA)"is a community based non profit educational association that provides information on urban ecological issues. ... working to promote and create ecologically integrated human settlements." Excellent South Australian based site with conference proceedings, papers, projects and a great links page to additional sustainable/ecofriendly resources, including EcoBuildings, EcoCities, EcoVillages and EcoPolitics.
  • The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences. Through an award-winning magazine, our online presence, and the Doomsday Clock, we reach policy leaders and audiences around the world with information and analysis about efforts to address the dangers and prevent catastrophe. With fellowships for students and awards to young journalists, we help educate the next generation." Home of the Doomsday Clock, the site provides in depth analysis and policy options.
  • The Guardian (UK)- Green politics A collection of Guardian reports, articles, stories and advertising features themed around green politics.
  • David Suzuki Foundation:  "Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Focusing on four program areas – oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and the Nature Challenge - the Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature and help achieve sustainability within a generation. "  Great looking web site with newsroom, reports, publications and weekly columns.  Issues are clearly described and solutions guides are available for download in PDF, with additional externsive links resources to other Canadian and international solutions based web sites.
  • The International Bicycle Fund"is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation."
  • Earth Council Alliance   Previously the "Earth Council for Sustainable Development", The mission of Earth Council Alliance is to Connect, Empower, and Advance Individuals and Organizations to create a Sustainable, Just and Peaceful Earth. The ECA emphasis is on supporting pragmatic, results-oriented programs worldwide, and matching people, partners, and resources to support local, regional, and national initiatives. ECA will use the Earth Charter and Agenda 21 as historical baselines to measure and celebrate progress .
  • "The Ecology Project is ... supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and in conjunction with the Philosophy Department and the Conservation Biology Program of the University of California, Riverside. The formal title of the project is Implications of Disequilibrium Ecology for Environmental Ethics and Policy."  An interesting paper on the emerging dispute between the "old-paradigm" and "new-paradigm" ecologists. The site is no rather long in the tooth, but still interesting food for thought.
  • A 'Green Airport'? Meet the Star Port.   by Jim Starry (Earth Island Institute Journal Autumn 2001 Vol. 16, No. 3). Economic Development Through Environmental Design. "Thousands of new airports are set to be built worldwide within the next decade. An innovative design called the StarPort could produce fuel savings of 300 million gallons a year at each airport, would require only one-third of the land as a conventional facility and yield four times the revenue." It's one of the big dilemmas for any type of tourism.  We usually want to get to where we're going as quickly as possible, and much of the time, it's by decidedly environmentally unfriendly modes of transport.  Whilst it's US centric, here's one possible way to help mitigate the effects of using air travel.
    • The Airport Design Utopian.  Star Port revisited 12/06/12, by Sarah C. Rich — Architecture,Physics,Public Works,Transportation | Smithsonian.com
    • See also How to clean up your act. The Guardian Saturday November 23, 2002. "Feeling guilty about the pollution your flights cause? Environment correspondent John Vidal reveals how to do something about it." (Short of walking!)
  • International Dark-Sky Association   "To preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting." ... Light pollution is not a matter of life and death. Yet it is important nonetheless, ... It produces only glare and clutter, costing more than $1 billion annually in wasted energy in the United States alone. Reducing light pollution is not difficult, but it does require that public officials and ordinary citizens be aware of the problem and act to counter it. ..."  What can YOU DO?  Lot's!  And there's plenty of practical material on this site to ... (ahem) show you the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) "The International Institute for Sustainable Development is a Canadian-based, international public policy research institute for sustainable development. ... IISD has chosen to focus on topics that are ripe for transformation—where a shift in policy has the potential to snowball and, before too long, to change the nature of the game. It is only through a focus on game-changers that we will make up the sustainability deficit that has accumulated and move towards a better future. Because we aim to make a difference in how policy is crafted and implemented, we translate the research insight into practical, realistic and cost-effective policy options that can be taken up by policy-makers at all levels."
  • Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development "UNESCO works to advance and promote science in the interests of peace, sustainable development and human security and well-being, in close collaboration with its Member States and a wide variety of partners. It is the only United Nations specialized agency, symbolized by the 'S' in the acronym, with a specific mandate for science."
    • Man and the Biosphere "Biosphere reserves are sites established by countries working with the UNESCO-MAB Programme to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, based on local community efforts and sound science.  As places which seek to reconcile economic development, social development and environmental protection, through partnerships between people and nature, they are ideal to test and demonstrate approaches to sustainable development at a regional scale."
  • Overpopulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  "Overpopulation is the condition of any organism's numbers exceeding the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. In common parlance, the term usually refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth."
    • Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) "Formerly known as Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population, SPA is an ecological group dedicated to preserving species' habitats globally and in Australia from the degradation caused by human population growth. We work on many fronts to encourage informed public debate about how Australia and the world can achieve an ecologically sustainable population."
    • The United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) So, how are we doing?  "...was held from 5-13 September 1994 in Cairo, Egypt. During this two week period world leaders, high ranking officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies gathered to agree on a Programme of Action." Extensive links on the conference and related documentation.
    • Population Connection "Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources."
  • SolarAid  "Power to the people Two of the biggest threats facing humanity today are climate change and global poverty. SolarAid helps to combat both, simply by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world." The best ideas are simply brilliant and brilliantly simple.  Great idea, great web site!
  • Sustainable Measures: Thanks to Maureen Hart and staff for providing this well designed and comprehensive site, with lot's of valuable sustainable indicators information (in html) and links to related sites world-wide."This web site is about indicators of sustainable community: ways to measure how well a community is meeting the needs and expectations of its present and future members. One of the primary goals of our site is to explain what indicators are, how indicators relate to sustainability, how to identify good indicators of sustainability, and how indicators can be used to measure progress toward building a sustainable community."
  • "Stern Review on the economics of climate change" Link goes to the UK Government Web Archive.  Like Grandma always said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
  • Revisiting Carrying Capacity: Area-Based Indicators of Sustainability. by William E. Rees PhD, 1996.  "Conventional wisdom suggests that because of technology and trade, human carrying capacity is infinitely expandable and therefore virtually irrelevant to demography and development planning. By contrast, this article argues that ecological carrying capacity remains the fundamental basis for demographic accounting."  Almost 20 years later and there still seems to be little regard for carrying capacity in econimic modelling.
  • Sustainable Communities Online Updated link"Sustainable Communities Online is the newly revised, updated, and redesigned website formerly known as the Sustainable Communities Network (SCN) website which was developed by a broad coalition of organizations around the United States in the mid-1990s. The intent of the SCN was to pool information on sustainability to make it more readily accessible to the public. CONCERN, Inc. and the Community Sustainability Resource Institute managed the SCN from 1993–2001 and CONCERN has managed it since then."
  • United Nations Division for Sustainable Development  "The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership in promoting and coordinating implementation of the sustainable development agenda of the United Nations. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) which concluded on 22 June 2012, is been considered one of the largest conferences in the history of the United Nations. Governments renewed their strong political commitment to sustainable development and to promote integration and coherence of policies and the implementation of actions in the social, economic and environmental areas." Documents, reports and resources.
    • Sustainable Development in the 21st century (SD21)" The overarching objective of the project is to construct a coherent vision of sustainable development in the 21st century, which will contribute to the success of the Rio+20 conference. The project, funded by the European Commission - Directorate-General for Environment, aims to provide a high quality analytical input to the Rio+20 conference."
  • The World Resources Institute WRI spurs progress by providing practical strategies for change and effective tools to implement them. We measure our success in the form of new policies, products, and practices that shift the ways governments work, businesses operate, and people act." Policy wonk* heaven with solid real world solutions as examples!

See also Australian Government Agencies, Development and Environment, Sustainable Design & Management and Ecotourism Projects & Tourism Planning

*see World Wide Words: Policy wonk. 1Problems: Henry J Kaiser.