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The Role of Natural Capital in the Week versus Strong Sustainability Debate - Essay Example

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Topic: The Role of Natural Capital in the Weak versus Strong Sustainability Debate Institution Affiliation: Date: Growth and development is an on-going process in every aspect of the world. Cultural, social, economic and political aspects are central to development undertakings in an economy or a business unit that utilizes resources for the benefit of the larger population…
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The Role of Natural Capital in the Week versus Strong Sustainability Debate
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"The Role of Natural Capital in the Week versus Strong Sustainability Debate"

Download file to see previous pages The issue of sustainability is therefore subject to both traditional and contemporary arguments, the underlying interest being to define the natural world in the view of both arguments. The weak versus strong sustainability debate emanates from both environmental and economic concerns. A sustainable development is one that is rooted on the strongholds of both the economy and the environmental. In this regard, two principle concepts emerge. These are: natural and manufactured capital. The debate surrounding these two concepts gives rise to weak versus strong sustainability debate, with the role of natural capital being the focal point in the debate. The defining variables of both weak and strong sustainability are essential to consider in the evaluation of the role of natural capital in the context of the two. Sustainable development is defined as that development that provides the potential and ability to meet present needs without jeopardising the potential and ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Hartwick, 2007, p.972-974). In other words, the needs of both present and future generations are central to the achievement of sustainable development. It is important to note that the needs referred to are cultural, social, economic and political in nature. ...
The process to sustainable development is not a smooth process. There are biases associated with sustainable development, each of which influences the process in one way or another. These biases include: tragedy of the commons, common costs, private profits, uncertainty, future discounting among others (Pearce, 2006, p.85-101). A number of phenomena are presented by the highlighted biases. Common ownership of resources is evident, exacerbating the need to grab resources within the shortest time possible. Industrial pollution is inevitable in land, air and water. Furthermore, the cost of pollution is transferred to the society, while profits are reaped by privately owned enterprises. The process of sustainable development is therefore highly characterized by externalities, both positive and negative. Uncertainty continues to encompass economic and environmental undertakings prior to sustainable development. Global warming around the world remains evident, but its extent is uncertain. There are underlying ecological and/or economic disasters that need to be accounted for in sustainable development process. It is also argued that sustainable development is primarily concerned with the future. While this is true, the present must be set in a way that aids concern for the future. The availability of resources today does not guarantee the same availability in future. Utilization and conservation of resources for the present and future generations yields the weak versus strong sustainability debate, with emphasis on natural capital today and in future. Natural capital is defined as the capacity of the environment to provide goods and services for use by the population (Pezzey, 2009, p.26). The population in this case ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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