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The strategy

The ten management rules

The national sustainability strategy is not intended to be a theoretical or academic paper. It seeks to provide practical guidelines to help politicians and society as a whole align their actions to the imperatives of sustainability.

Ten golden rules

– Basic rule –

(1) Each generation must solve its own problems and not burden the next generations with them. It must also make provisions for foreseeable future problems.

– Rules of sustainability for individual areas of action –

(2) Renewable natural goods (e.g. wood or fish populations) should, on a long term basis, be used only within the bounds of their ability to regenerate.

Equally, non-renewable natural goods (e.g. minerals or fossil energy sources) should only be used to the extent that their functions can be replaced by other materials or energy sources.

(3) The release of materials into the environment should, in the long run, not exceed the adaptability of the eco-system – e.g. the climate, forests and oceans.

(4) Dangers and unjustifiable risks to human health should be avoided.

(5) Structural change triggered by technical developments and international competition should be shaped in a way that is economically successful as well as ecologically and socially sustainable. For this purpose, political fields should be integrated so that economic growth, high employment, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand.

(6) Energy and natural resource consumption and the provision of transport services should be decoupled from economic growth. At the same time, we should aim for growth-related increases in demand for energy, resources and transport to be more than offset by efficiency gains. In this context, adding to the body of knowledge through R&D and disseminating it through education have a decisive role to play.

(7) Public budgets are to take account of intergenerational equity. The Federal Government, the Länder and the municipalities should present balanced budgets and then take the further step of continually reducing their debt position.

(8) Sustainable agriculture needs to be compatible with nature and the environment and take into account the requirements of livestock farming in a way that is fair to the animals and provides consumer protection, particularly concerning health matters.

(9) In order to strengthen social cohesion

  • poverty and social exclusion should be prevented as far as possible,
  • opportunities for participating in economic development should be open to all sections of society,
  • necessary adaptations to demographic change should take place at an early stage at the political and economic levels and in society,
  • everybody should take part in social and political life.

(10) General international conditions should be shaped jointly in a manner which ensures that people in all countries can lead a life worthy of a human being and according to their ideas and in unison with their regional environment while at the same time profiting from economic developments. Environment and development form a unit. Sustainable global action is based on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. An integrated approach should link the fight against poverty and hunger with

  • the respect of human rights,
  • economic development,
  • environmental protection, and
  • responsible action by governments (good governance).