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Our Vision of a Sustainable United States of America
Our vision is of a life-sustaining Earth. We are committed to the
achievement of a dignified, peaceful, and equitable existence. We
believe a sustainable United States will have a growing economy that
equitably provides opportunities for satisfying livelihoods and a safe,
healthy, high quality of life for current and future generations. Our
Nation will protect its environment, its natural resource base, and the
functions and viability of natural systems on which all life depends.
The Principles of Sustainability
We must preserve and, where possible, restore the health and
regenerative capacity of natural systems, including soils, water, air,
and living organisms, that are essential to both economic prosperity and
human life itself.
Because economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity
are interdependent, mutually reinforcing goals, local, regional, and
national policies to attain them must be integrated.
In conjunction with appropriate laws and regulations, the power of
free markets and private initiative should be harnessed to protect and
improve the environment.
Human population must be stabilized at a level consistent with the
capacity of the earth to support all its inhabitants in healthy
conditions over the long term.
In order to protect natural systems and preserve their benefits for
future generations, current patterns of consumption should be altered
through steady improvements in the efficiency of natural resource use.
Steady progress in reducing poverty is essential to economic growth,
environmental quality, and social justice.
All segments of society should share equitably in both the costs and
benefits of economic growth and environmental protection.
Recognizing our responsibility to the future, the present generation
should preserve for posterity the widest possible range of economic
opportunities and choices.
Where public health may be affected adversely, or environmental
damage may be serious or irreversible, protective action may be necessary
even in the face of scientific uncertainty.
The traditional behavior of government, private institutions, and
individuals must change fundamentally if we are to ensure economic
growth, environmental protection, and social equity over the long term.
A growing economy and a healthy environment are essential to both
national and global security.
Sustainable development is best attained in a society where free
A knowledgeable public, the free flow of information, and
opportunities for review and redress are critically important to open,
equitable, and effective decisionmaking.
We must make steady advances in science and technology to help
improve economic efficiency, protect and restore natural systems, and
modify consumption patterns.
Since sustainability in the United States is closely tied to global
sustainability, U.S. policies regarding trade, economic development, and
environmental protection must evolve in the context of their
Citizens must have access to formal and lifelong non-formal education
that enables them to understand the interdependence of economic growth,
environmental quality, and social equity, and prepares them to take
actions that support all three.