Achieving planetary sustainability: a critical journey to survival

Document Type : Review


1 Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE), Institute of Tropical Aquaculture and Fisheries (AKUATROP), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.

2 Department of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.


The concept of sustainability has evolved over time as a response to the environmental challenges arising from industrialization and the exploitative use of natural resources. This paper critically examines the history of sustainability, planetary sustainability, and what is required to attain it. It explores the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and
economic dimensions, emphasizes the need for an integrated and multidisciplinary approach, and highlights the importance of technological innovation, education and awareness, policy interventions, and individual actions in this regard. It discusses key milestones in the sustainability discourse, including the Brundtland Commission’s report, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and the role of influential initiatives such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. It underscores the urgent need for action to address the escalating climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and other ecological threats by critically analyzing past efforts, identifying gaps and shortcomings, and proposing innovative solutions; this paper aims to contribute to the ongoing journey toward achieving planetary sustainability.

Graphical Abstract

Achieving planetary sustainability: a critical journey to survival


  • This paper provides a comprehensive exploration of the concept of planetary sustainability, examining its historical
    evolution and the critical role it plays in addressing global environmental and social challenges.
  • The significance of key frameworks and initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Brundtland Commission’s report is underscored, highlighting their contributions to shaping sustainable development strategies at the local, national, and global levels.
  • The paper emphasizes the urgent need for an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to tackle pressing sustainability issues, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality, recognizing the interconnectedness of ecological, social, and economic systems and the importance of holistic solutions.


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