The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is a not-for-profit research & consultancy foundation coordinating projects like the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), the nature news website Nature Today (click here for English) including the Dutch phenological network Nature’s Calendar, and the Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (ESVD).
Although the need for sustainable development is widely recognized, human society is still far from achieving a sustainable relationship with the natural environment. On a global scale, ecosystem degradation and loss of biodiversity still continue at an alarming rate. An important reason for this is the undervaluation of the true importance of nature and a healthy natural environment in economic planning and decision-making.
‘Sustainable Development’ is a broad – and often misused – concept that encompasses integration of economic objectives, such as efficiency and prosperity; social objectives, such as equality and social justice; and ecological objectives, such as the conservation and sustainable management of the biosphere.
There is still much debate about the practical implications of the sustainability concept for day-to-day living, planning and decision-making. This debate is unfortunate since it distracts from the main purpose of sustainable development which is to safeguard the long-term health of the biosphere, our only life-support system in an otherwise harsh cosmic environment.
An integrated approach to man-environment interactions is therefore essential to bridge the gap between long-term ecological goals and short-term economic interests.
The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) was initiated in response to these challenges. As a not-for-profit organization, it aims to support the conservation and sustainable use of natural ecosystems by building knowledge and stimulating awareness of the many ways in which people benefit from natural ecosystems. FSD’s scientific assessments and ongoing research are utilised by a range of organisations and institutions as input into decision-making that strives for outcomes based on ecological integrity, social well-being and economic welfare.
The main objectives of FSD are:
to carry out research on principles and methods to facilitate the practical implementation of the concept “sustainable development”;
to increase public awareness of the many benefits and socio-economic values of natural ecosystems; planning & ecosystem management; and understandable manner;
to develop training programs that translate research results into practical instruments for sustainable land use;
to make information from our research readily and accessible to a wide variety of stakeholders;
to effectively communicate and synthesize research results to other interested parties;
- to offer advice on the practical application of the principles and tools for sustainable development.