chapter  5
Issues of Scale in Producing Sustainability
WithAndrea J. Nightingale, Linus Karlsson
Pages 19

This chapter examines how sustainability is scaled. Scale is crucial in sustainability debates because some solutions that are considered sustainable by a group of actors for relatively localized problems, for example, are unable to be satisfactorily scaled out to encompass national issues. Measures are usually justified on the grounds that they guarantee the protection of a public good, including virgin forests for climate change mitigation purposes; wetlands for flood prevention, water purification, or erosion control; coral reefs for the protection of biological diversity; and savannas for game and safari tourism. The chapter looks at the problems of scale and responsibility through three specific strategies of sustainable development: conservation, participation, and public—private partnerships. Conservation has long been linked to both the preservation and protection of ecosystems, and to normative ideas of the nation and morality. The idea that the goal of environmental conservation is primarily to ensure use of those environments by humans over the long term has been challenged.