Sufficiency and Subsistence – On two important concepts for Sustainable Development

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Since in 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) has been held in Rio de Janeiro, efforts to achieve sustainable development appear to have made insufficient progress, as the results of the 2012 follow-up conference show. One reason for this is that among the various paths to sustainability being discussed, the strategies enjoying greater support are those that continue to be committed to economic and material growth, this as opposed to those that question the growth paradigm. Among the latter are the sufficiency and subsistence approaches. The sufficiency approach delves into the causes and (supposed) boons of a continuous increase in material and immaterial goods. With the demand that individuals not always be forced to always want more, it points out a way to a structural transition in society. The subsistence approach, on the other hand, seeks to draft a path to greater autonomy and quality of life by strengthening regional, local or individual self-provisioning. To be in harmony with sustainability, it must be possible to freely choose the two ways of life; they must not be mandated by the authorities.
Translated title of the contributionWystarczalność i samozaopatrzenie - W sprawie dwóch ważnych dla zrównoważonego rozwoju idei
Original languageEnglish
JournalProblemy Ekorozwoju
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Mölders, Tanja/ von Winterfeld, Uta/ Szumelda, Anna (2014): Sufficiency and Subsistence – on two important concepts for Sustainable Development. In: Problemy Ekorozwoju – Problems of Sustainable Development 9 (1/2014). S. 21-27.