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08/04/2014
Environmental Sustainability Technical report 2012
ESI2012cover 









The South African constitution recognises that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and also recognises the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Environmental Sustainability Indicator Technical Report aims to provide some information on the country's ability to protect its environment. The report further aims to provide an indication on whether the country is moving towards a future of environmental sustainability.

To download the 2012 Environmental Sustainability Indicators report please click here
The 2012 report is the fourth update of the initial 2008 Environmental Sustainability Indicator Technical report and consists of 9 datasets which are integrated into a set of 20 indicators of environmental sustainability.

The concept of environmental sustainability, in its broadest context, can be separated into the following five components which are considered necessary conditions for environmental sustainability. These components include:

  • The state of environmental systems. Environmental sustainability can only be realized if vital environmental systems are maintained at healthy levels. Indicators grouped under this theme include aspects such as air quality, biodiversity, water resources etc.
  • The stresses on environmental systems. Environmental sustainability can only be realised if levels of human impacts are low enough not to cause harm to environmental systems. Indicators grouped under this theme include aspects such as waste and consumption pressures, population pressure, water stress etc.Environmental sustainability can only be realised if levels of human impacts are low enough not to cause harm to environmental systems. Indicators grouped under this theme include aspects such as etc.
  • Human vulnerability to environmental change. Environmental sustainability can only be realised if people and social systems are not vulnerable to environmental change. Indicators grouped under this theme include basic human sustenance and environmental health.
  • The social and institutional capacity to cope with environmental change. Environmental sustainability can only be realised if the necessary institutional capacity and underlying social patterns of skills, attitudes and networks that foster effective responses to environmental challenges exist. Indicators grouped under this theme include aspects such as environmental governance, science and technology etc.
  • The ability to respond to the demands of global stewardship. Environmental sustainability can only be realised if there is cooperation with other countries to manage common environmental problems. Indicators grouped under this theme include aspects such as reducing transboundary environmental pressures, greenhouse gas emissions etc.



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