Sustainability: Linking Built and Natural Environment
AbstractSustainable is allowing something to continue for a period of time, and sustainability denotes the noun for the effort, to continue. Relating this term to the natural environment, would means the ability of earths various systems including human cultural systems and economies to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Built and natural environment exist in the same space and time. The earth has existed about 3.7 billion years ago; and through several major global changes has managed to retain harmony between living and the non-living components. With the arrival of human being estimated some 350,000 years ago, global changes become more intense and unpredictable. Human activities have impacted on the ecosystem equilibrium and negative effects are being felt by people: global warming, increase in pollution level and rate of biodiversity erosion are some issues frequently quoted. As people race to achieve socio-economic development ranking, they lose sight of their role as stewards of the environment. Being created divine, equipped with brain and aqal human could still turn back, learn some lessons and move forward to better the earth, not only for themselves but the future generations. This paper will discuss how to simulate some sustainability principles from nature to guide and assist people in handling built environment, to achieve sustainable living, in the Malaysian context. Examples given are often at micro-level: activities that could be carried out by a single human being, which when accumulate may produce substantial changes. Before too late, it is time to learn and copy how nature sustains itself to help guide in managing our built environment, to achieve sustainable living.
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