Sustainability Plan

A DYNAMIC LIVING PLAN THAT HELPS SHAPE THE FUTURE OF NIMBIN

 

The Sustainable Nimbin Community Plan (SNCP) is a dynamic, living plan under which many outcomes have been achieved since it was first developed by the community in 2009. At least 400 people have had input into the development of the SNCP to date, and many more have been involved in its implementation. The SNCP aims to maximise collaboration between community members to enable us to effectively build a sustainable community.

What do we mean by Sustainability?

Since the early 1990s, principles of sustainability in various forms have been formally developed and adopted throughout theworld by government and non-government agencies. These principles have common threads and generally encompass similar key principles, including the precautionary/‘do no harm’, intergenerational equity and social license principles.The Australian Government first formally adopted principles of sustainable development in 1992, defining ecologically sustainable development as:

'using, conserving and enhancing the community's resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased'.

The principles adopted in 1992, areas follows: (Australian Government, 1992 NationalStrategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development):

  1. Decision making processes should effectively integrate both long and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity considerations.
  2. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.
  3. The global dimension of environmental impacts of actions and policies should be recognised and considered.
  4. The need to develop a strong, growing and diversified economy which can enhance the capacity for environmental protection should be recognised.
  5. The need to maintain and enhance international competitiveness in an environmentally sound manner should be recognised.
  6. Cost effective and flexible policy instruments should be adopted, such as improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms.
  7. Social License and inclusiveness-decisions and actions should provide for broad community involvement on issues which affect them:
    • to enhance individual and community well-being and welfare by following a path of economic development that safeguards the welfare of future generations
    • to provide for equity within and between generations
    • to protect biological diversity and maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems.

Since the 1990s, the term sustainability has become commonly used such that the true complexity of the nature of a sustainable existence can easily be trivialised.

This concern was raised in conversations between Nimbin community members via social media and led to a discussion being conducted between the participants at the community workshop in November 2015 about the use of the term and whether its meaning had become diminished.

It was decided that, despite its limitations, it is still the best term available to describe the overall aims of the SNCP.

The structure of the plan reflects the understanding of the many factors which must be integrated in order for people to achieve a reasonable, equitable standard of living and a vibrant community, whilst working in sympathy with, and indeed supporting the ecosystem upon which we and future generations are dependent to survive.

This information has been provided by Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre, the organisation with carriage of the sustainable Nimbin community planning process.

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