The science and sustainability concepts on which we have based our programme are drawn from the principles and best practice of The Natural Step International (TNSI) and broader sustainability expertise.
The Natural Step framework is a simple science-based tool for analysing the complex issues associated with sustainable development. It provides a straightforward way of identifying and analysing problems and allowed us to perform a gap analysis through the lens of sustainability.
To demonstrate the conflicting dynamics of our earth and its resources, it uses the metaphor of a funnel to show the growing economic, social and environmental pressures on our planet and its population.
The upper arrow shows the reducing availability of resources and the ability of the ecosystem to continue to provide them. The lower arrow shows the increasing demand for these resources. Food, clean air, water and other resources are in decline, whilst demand for them is growing. In order to address these conflicting demands one has to look at the four sustainability principles which need to be addressed in order to be successful in reversing the trend illustrated by the funnel.
The four principles present a simple way of addressing the complex relationships between global issues such as resource availability, climate change, loss of biodiversity, destruction of natural ecosystems, water shortages and the ability of the growing population to feed itself, be healthy and ensure sustainable economic viability.