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Sustainability was first coined by the Brundtland commission of the UN for environment and development (UNED, 1983) stating that sustainability is [meeting] “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.“ In all, there are many definitions for the term, but is usually connected to maintaining human existence and well being while reducing the environmental impact, reducing resources usage and land exploitation within the limits of nature. It is ususally defined as consisting of three pillars, social, environmental and economical.

This new field of science was officially introduced at the World Congress "Challenges of a Changing Earth 2001" in Amsterdam organized by the International Council for Science.

The sustainability science is an interdisciplinary field aiming at providing tools and methods to assess the current state of the earth and to provide ways to reduce human impact and align it with the Earth’s carrying capacity using economical, social and environmental sciences.

To this end, indicator tools assessing the current human burden on resources and land are developed (Sustainable Indicators), while ways of reducing the environmental footprint are sought, through encouragement of sustainable development practices and reduction in consuming un-environmental products by asserting their 'real' price (ecost) and environmental load (Life Cycle Assessment).

Sustainability Map

Useful links of leading initiatives

  1. The factor 10 Institute
  2. The Club of Rome
  3. The Greening of Industry Network
  4. Population Reference Bureau
  5. The Dec 09 Copenhagen Climate conference
  6. World Bank sustainable development assessment report
  7. The agriculture "IPCC" group
  8. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report (The Human-ecosystem "IPCC" report)
  9. panarchy
  10. the new economics foundation

Leading Scientists and Contributors In Israel

  1. Ofira Ayalon, Technion, Israel [1]
  2. Meidad Kissinger, Ben Gurion University, Israel [2]
  3. Eran Feitelson, Hebrew University, Israel [3]
  4. Michal Eitan, Israel [4]

Leading Scientists Abroad

  1. Gidi Eshel, Bard College, NY, USA, [5]
  2. Reinout Heijungs, University of Leiden, Netherlands, [6]
  3. Ram Fishman, Columbia Univeristy, NY, USA, [7]
  4. William A. McDonough, Virginia, USA, [8]
  5. Thomas Budde Christensen, Ruskilde, Denmark [9]
  6. Paul Ehrlich, Standford, USA - "population Bomb" [10]
  7. Williams Rees, British Columbia, Canada [11]
  8. David Pimentel, Cornell university, USA [12]
  9. Yael Parag, Oxford University, UK [13]
  10. Garnett Hardin life and works in science
  11. Jules Pretty, Essex University, UK [14]
  12. Joel E. Cohen, Columbia and Rockefeller University, USA [15]

Other Terms

  1. ecost
  2. Life Cycle Assessment
  3. ecological footprint