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Indicators

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Water has a number of uses. Water supplies provide drinking water and freshwaters support considerable wildlife. It is therefore of great importance that the water is kept free from pollution. If treatments become too costly or if aquatic life starts to diminish, then it is fair to say that sustainable practices have not been adopted. …

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Forests provide us with a wealth of resources, including timber, biodiversity, and valuable carbon sinks, which help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, human impacts often damage these environments. Much of the damage is a result of direct deforestation for timber and for the conversion of land for agricultural purposes. Forests are otherwise …

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Biodiversity can be defined as the richness and variety of living organisms and their habitats. Not only do we have a responsibility to protect the diversity of life on Earth, but we also rely on species diversity for essential goods and services. In the UK the main sustainability objectives are to conserve the wide variety …

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Health

Health has improved enormously this century, particularly amongst sustainable development economy like the UK. Live expectancy in England and Wales is now in the mid-1970s, 30 years more than at the beginning of the 20th century. This vast improvement is largely the result of significantly reduced infant mortality rates. But the health of many populations …

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Indicators

Indicators provide a way to measure sustainable development and its progress. It is necessary to know the current state of our economy, environment and society, so that we can create a foundation from which to make improvements and monitor progress. Indicators are pieces of information that summarise the characteristics of a system. For example greenhouse …

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Land Use

A key sustainable development objective is to balance the competing demands for the finite quantity of land available. The main issues are to minimise the loss of rural land to development and to maintain the vitality and viability of town centres with people living close to where they work. Land Use Indicators Land covered by …

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Housing

Decent, energy efficient homes contribute to social cohesion, improved health and better use of fossil fuels and other resources. Housing plays a key role in urban renewal and local regeneration. It should be the goal of any government to offer everyone the opportunity of a decent home. The following indicators illustrate the accessibility of good …

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The ozone layer shields the Earth against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the Sun. Man-made CFCs and other chemicals used in refrigeration, aerosol sprays and air conditioning are destroying the ozone layer, allowing more UV radiation to reach the Earths surface. This could pose problems for human health and the natural environment. Fortunately, most …

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Waste

Waste is a product of many human activities and has risen with increasing populations with the demand for more products. Waste therefore needs to be managed responsibly. The concept of sustainable development promotes waste minimisation and supports the use of renewable material and recycling where possible. The use of waste in general and the handling …

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Employment

Full employment is the goal of any government for its workforce. Realistically, full employment is unlikely ever to be achieved, but the reduction of unemployment to as low as is practicably possible without harming other aspects of the economy, our society and our environment should be a core aim for sustainable development. In the field …

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