Sustainability assessment has been defined as the method that is used to support the decision making on issues centered on the environment, society and the economies (Clark & Dickson, 2003).However, the analysis and problem-solving context have to be centered on scientific principles and techniques. As a matter of fact, the methodology is very complex and the analysis has to be used by a person with broad scientific knowledge. However, all this is geared towards the analysis of impacts and the planning and decision making that may be used to mitigate humanity from a certain disaster. There are various definitions all on the focus on the society and sustainable development but have the focal point as the society and environment.
The sustainability development approach is a principle that helps the decision makers to take the best course of action in order to make the society a better place with the plans focused on activities which provide an optimal solution to sustainable development. The basis of these decisions is that the present use should not compromise the ability of the future generations to adequately meet their needs. As such, there is bound to be challenges particularly on the scientific approaches to be used in providing a distinction between sustainable development approaches and those that do not meet the criteria of sustainable development. The use of non-renewable resources is a case example because the use of materials such as fossil fuels and oils results in a depletion of the resources without necessarily providing a platform for them to regenerate (Castellani, et al., 2013). Therefore, all these scientific approaches should ensure that the ecosystem and the natural resources are within the vision of sustainability without necessarily having an impact on the society and the future generations (Gasparatos, et al., 2008). Another challenge that may be posed is the measurability of sustainable development approaches because most people tend to claim that they observe the principles of sustainable development. Therefore, these principles should also provide the necessary definitions of where whom and how in sustainable development. There is a methodology that has been involved in the measurement of sustainable development and it is known as Bellagio STAMP (Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1993). The principle was developed in the year 1986 and provides the guiding principle for the measurement of sustainable development (Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1993). The development has been able to separate the principles from the actual platform but it is very difficult because the measurement of sustainable development is still largely based on the comparison of the alternatives.
Methodologies for sustainable development
Methodologies for analysis should focus on the present as well as the past techniques used in sustainable development but should also focus on the production and consumption techniques employed. The consumptions, as well as the production, provide significant insight on the expected impact on the environment. The production and consumption of various commodities should be easily assessable and transparent for easier measurement. Although the process may have a simple definition, the actual process is very complex and entails rigorous as well as complex analysis procedures.
It is important to understand that all scientific disciplines should work interactively and coherently to provide the basic procedure for assessment with the main aim to solve the urgent and more pressing problems (Kissinger, et al., 2011). All this is because various scientific methodologies provide various procedures for assessment without each having a foothold on the requirement of the society as well as the environment. There is a concept known as the conceptual break that was introduced in line with meeting the needs of the present without having to compromise intergenerational equity and has been widely adopted in various instances because of the clear-cut objectives (Gasparatos, et al., 2008). The process is aimed at providing a scientific approach to sustainable development and has various underlying principles.
The ability to solve a societal and environmental problem begins with first understanding, on a full scale, the interaction between the various factors of society and the environment (Finnveden & Moberg, 2005).In doing so, the weak spots that surround these pillars of sustainable development can be observed from where various solutions may be devised. These solutions may provide a platform for resilience towards the degradation of this relationship.
The problems observed are broken down into a much simpler contest and basically entails transferring the problems from multidisciplinary towards transdisciplinary (Jahn, 2008).Breaking down the problems of sustainable development to a more basic level will ensure that all the problems are much simpler which will provide a common base to understand the different interactions. Therefore, complex problems can be easily analyzed and the solutions implemented. Some of the principles under this include integration of knowledge from the various disciplines, linking the problems of the society, environment, and economy, the integration of the relevant and important values in the analysis.
The next step is to provide normative functions that provide the extent to which the three pillars of sustainable development are linked. This analysis will provide an understanding on how the various problems would be addressed if they were interlinked and therefore provides significant insight on the pathways that would be observed to prevent the degradation of the link between humans and the environment.
The next step involves providing insight and promoting learning to the society on the methodologies and principles that need to be adopted for sustainable development. Knowledge sharing is aimed at meeting all the parties that are involved in the utilization of the environment and include businesses, teachers, politicians, engineers etc. The final aspect is the ability to deal with uncertain events and problems (Boshetti, 2011). Uncertainty is a factor that needs to be included in this analysis because of the complex nature of these interactions. The ability to base the analysis on assumptions and probability is a crucial factor in any analysis because it provides a very sound and robust decision-making process (Boshetti, 2011). As with any country, especially those that are on development, the methodology may be used to assess the impact on the environment and the ability to prevent any disaster likely to affect the goals of sustainable development.
Boshetti, F., 2011. A graphical representation of uncertainty in complex decision-making. s.l.:s.n.
Castellani, V., Pizzaalunga, A. & Sala, S., 2013. Research findings and decision-making: the case of renewable energy. Environmental science, Volume 25.
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Finnveden, G. & Moberg, A., 2005. Environmental system analysis tool-an overview. s.l.:s.n.
Funtowicz, S. O. & Ravetz, J. R., 1993. Science for the post-normal age. s.l.:s.n.
Gasparatos, A., el-haram, M. & Horner, M., 2008. A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability. Environmental impact assessment.
Jahn, T., 2008. Transdisciplinary in the practice of research. s.l.:s.n.
Kissinger, M., Rees, W. E. & trimmer, V., 2011. Interregional sustainability: governance and policy in an ecologically dependent world. s.l.:s.n.