5. Intersectional Sustainability
As sustainability grows into a widely-accepted notion, it is often mistaken with environmentalism. While environmental conservation is an important part of sustainability, it is not what sustainability is all about. Sustainability is multi-layered, encompassing social, political and environmental justice, and the intersections between them all.
Nicholas Kaspareck from Casa Congo, a conservation NGO in Nicaragua, has talked about the significance of empowering local economies in developing countries. Unlike conventional charities that offer donations and take a “laissez-faire” attitude, Casa Congo works towards the long-term financial viability of local communities. Studies suggest that those who are financially vulnerable form the most at-risk socio-economic groups. Creating employment opportunities by boosting ecotourism is invaluable to supporting local economies. Needless to say, the world cannot turn a blind eye to the humanitarian aspect of sustainability.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to sustainability because, as Guillem Bargalló Torrent from El Bien Social stated, sustainability is like a living ecosystem and how we handle it is very much situational. We have to enhance both our societal and individual efforts towards sustainability with a sense of hope and creativity by adopting a visionary mindset. As we listened with our fellow earthlings, Giordano Margalio from Ostia Clean-Up inspired us to start taking action today. Regardless of where we are now, we can all take steps to become responsible members of society by being kinder to the others and the planet.