It has been argued that our decision systems and support tools do not suit the nature of sustainability issues. Common patterns were seen in development standards and criteria, rating tools, design methods, development assessment, auditing and reporting methods, futures tools, trading systems, and bioregional planning. Some recurring themes among these decision systems and tools are that they prioritize:
• Choosing over design • Eciency over ecology • Technical over ethical issues • Mitigation over direct action • Assessing future over ongoing impacts • Incremental targets over armative actions • Osets over value-adding
We have seen that sustainability is not just one among many optional values in a zero sum competition of ideas. A sustainable society will not happen unless it is achieved in a manner that makes everyone better o. is requires not only environmental quality, but opportunity for a diversity of responsible lifestyle choices and perpetual, secure access to the means of survival. In a context of diminishing political and social choice, substantive democracy will require greater respect for diversity and basic human rights, as well as acceptance of new responsibilities. is, in turn, requires a new form of development that improves the health and wellbeing of, and relationships between, human and natural systems, and eliminates the inequitable impacts and resource transfers that are embedded in existing development. At the same time, any attempt to impose a particular belief system or set of values would be authoritarian and inconsistent with diversity. us, a constitution of sustainability principles is proposed that couches ecological issues in terms of long-standing and widely-shared precepts of human rights and responsibilities, rather than in a particular ethic.