Understanding Sustainability: Ecosystems and Economics

  • Posted on: 3 December 2020
  • By: KateArmour
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6

What is sustainability? Why is it important? This term, we begin by understanding how a sustainable future considers and depends on four aspects: environmental, economic, social and cultural. Using a local case study, the Waikirikiri Selwyn River, we focus first on the environmental aspect of sustainability. On a field trip, we’ll gather data on the ecosystem to help us see how human activities are affecting the river.


Human activities are heavily influenced by economics. As a student of sustainability, you need to know the basics of economic systems. As a student of the Waikirikiri Selwyn River, you need to understand the economics driving dairy farming in the region. Integrating your ecosystem and economics information, you will make a call on whether (or how) dairy farming is a sustainable use of the area.

Two assessments are offered this term. The first involves gathering data on the river ecosystem and discussing human impacts. The second requires you to assess whether the river is, or could be, used sustainably.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Check out the course overview for the year in this google doc before signing up. It has lots more information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xtPvCp9GwcuZTqKacYsquj-FJVMed7rItH7M...

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