Sustainability: meaning and measurement with application to agriculture

Graham, Mary 2007, Sustainability: meaning and measurement with application to agriculture, International journal of environmental, cultural, economic & social sustainability, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 51-63.

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Title Sustainability: meaning and measurement with application to agriculture
Author(s) Graham, Mary
Journal name International journal of environmental, cultural, economic & social sustainability
Volume number 2
Issue number 6
Start page 51
End page 63
Publisher Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd
Place of publication Altona, Vic.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1832-2077
Keyword(s) Sustainability
Private and environmental impacts
Summary Sustainability refers to having the ability to meet present needs without impacting on future generations to meet their needs. It incorporates social, economic and environmental aspects, and as a measure of sustainability, a range of sustainability indicators at the economy, regional, and individual level, have been suggested. However, given the complex and multidisciplinary nature of the concept, an interdisciplinary approach is necessary. Sustainability is not something that is easily measurable, and the aim of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for quantifying sustainability on the basis of social economic efficiency. According to neoclassical economic theory, economic activity will only be sustained by the private sector as long as it is profitable. However, private economic decisions do not always ensure long-term sustainability of environmental resources or production. The approach suggested here is to derive a measure of social economic efficiency as a measure of sustainability. For dairy farmers, increased productivity has been emphasized, while recognizing the need to reduce greenhouse emissions, pests and disease, nutrient run-off into the environment and degradation of the soil structure. By incorporating environmental and economic impacts, a fuller measure of efficiency, social economic efficiency, and sustainability of the farming practice can be developed.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 140201 Agricultural Economics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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