Sustainable development categories

There are no hard-and-fast sustainable development topics or categories. We created this matrix in 2007 to in an attempt to helpfully group SD topics by sphere - environment, society, economy - and category. We consider the first six categories as requirements for our primary needs, and the last two as requirements of our secondary needs. We welcome discussion of this matrix.

- Environmental systems, ecosystem, biosphere
- Social systems
- Breakdown of ecosystems, shrinking biodiversity, loss of natural habitats and species
- Sustainable development policy development and principles (human response)
- Economic systems
1: Systems level
Interaction of the environment and human activity (HA)
- Air, atmosphere (nature of, quality)
- Air, atmostphere (part of ecosystem, human need for oxygen)
- Air, atmosphere pollution, toxic chemicals in the air (human impact)
- Air, atmosphere rejuvenation (human response)
- Wind power, solar energy
2: Air
- Land, coast (nature of, quality)
- Natural resources, fossil fuels (quality, quantity)
- Water (quality, quantity)
- Land, coast (part of ecosystem, human need for shelter, food, water)
- Land pollution, toxic chemicals in the soil (human impact)
- Soil erosion
- Invasive and alien species (spread by humans)
- Resource management, resource allocation
- Land rejuvenation, permaculture (human response)
- Food technology (human response)
- Water pollution, toxic chemicals in the water (human impact)
- Accessibilty of fresh drinking water, water allocation
- Water rejuvenation, cleaning (human response)
- Forestry
- Mining
- Building industry (housing)
- Agriculture, farming, and food industries
- Water industry, supply and sanitation
3: Land and water
- Sea (nature of, quality)
- Sea (part of ecosystem, human need for seafood)
- Sea pollution, toxic chemicals in the sea (human impact)
- Dwindling fish stocks
- Sea rejuvenation (human response)
- Fishing and seafood industries
4: Sea
- Climate, climate change (natural)
- Climate (human need for habitable climate)
- Climate change (human impact)
- Climate rejuvenation, conservation (human response)
5: Climate
  - Energy (human need)
- Dwindling energy sources (peak oil, reliance on fossil fuels, photo-synthetic ceiling)
- New energy sources and technology, renewable energy, reducing energy usage (human response)
- Waste (byproduct of HA, escalating production)
- Waste management, reducing waste (human response)
- Health (human need)
- Energy generation, energy industry
- Energy-efficient products (economic response)
- Waste management industry
- Health industry
6: Energy, waste, health
  - Language, identity, ethnicity, culture, religion
- Community, politics, law, ethics, world views
- Arts, entertainment, media, recreation
- Education and research
- Transport and communications
- Lifestyle, individual ecological footprint (human impact)
- Systems thinking, mindset change, lifestyle change (human response)
- Arts, entertainment, media, sports, tourism industries
- Education industry, R&D
- Transport industry, communications industry
- Eco-tourism (economic response)
7: Well-being
  - Global population growth, species ecological footprint (human impact)
- Global population management, health, infrastructure
- Global economic growth
- Globalization
- Green accounting (economic response)
8: Population
(the 'multiplier')