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Introduction

The principles of sustainability arise from the dramatic changes in the environment. By looking at the indicators of climate change such as pollution, human activities and gas emissions, researchers have come up with ways in which stakeholders can engage in sustainable approaches. This discussion explains the concepts of sustainability in Auckland, New Zealand as a location with unique biodiversity.  The environmental management issues revolve around environmental, economic and social perspectives.  It highlights climate change prediction in New Zealand and the role of organizations in the region. Climate change affects the environment in many ways. Among these is the change in precipitation, sea level, and temperature changes.  This report is a discussion on local sustainability with a reflection of regional and global efforts. It looks at why Auckland invests in this environmental concept. It brings out social aspects such as the impact of sustainability on refugee movement and human actors’ adoption of clean and green sustainability. It also mentions challenges faced by the local government in monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and infrastructural development.

Auckland as Part of New Zealand

The figure 1 shows future predictions for year 2100 with different scenarios of climate frequency. Scenario B1, A1B and A2 indicate multiple averages in global surface warming.  The best climate is within the horizontal lines with gray colored bars. The SRES scenarios address increases greenhouse gas

Figure 1: New Zealand’s climate change predictions (MFE , 2017)

Figure 2 below shows Auckland’s sustainability plan or nature and people. It supports the socio cultural aspects as value for the natural heritage. Its emphasis on the connection between people and the environment is evident.

Figure 2: Auckland’s sustainability plan (The Auckland Council Plan, 2017)

Environmental Protection Efforts

Auckland in New Zealand attracts numerous tourists because of its beautiful islands, mountains, lakes, plant and animal kingdoms. This is a dwelling place for Australia’s Indigenous groups the Maori.  The increased changes in the natural environment caused by greenhouse emissions, changes in humidity and temperatures is the cause for government initiatives towards sustainability. An integrated stakeholder approach provides remedy in economic, political, ecological and social aspects (Cundy, et al., 2013).

Figure 3: Aerial view of environmental destruction with forests cleared for farming in New Zealand ( (Landcare Research, 2017)

Figure 4: Common scenes of charcoal horizon in Auckland caused by deforestation with changes in soil profile (Landcare Research, 2017)

Regional and Global Agenda

Sustainability is a dynamic concept that affects policies in the region. Climate change varies across the regions of New Zealand. Auckland as the biggest city has adopted different plans including the UNs 2030 targets, which provides a framework on the elimination of greenhouse gases, conservation of forests and proper land use (Ministry of Environment, 2016). Following the evidence of effects of climate change impact on the maritime environment, the government developed the Sustainable Development Programme of Action in collaboration with the UN and climate change organizations (New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade, 2017). The policies encourage sustainability, through the adoption of sustainable approaches using global agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, and Paris Agreement. Regional policies such as the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition also provide legally binding policies and support for environmental interventions (Barca, et al., 2012).

Scientific predictions projected the development of a new normal by 2100. Auckland’s adoption of this approach starts with its 2060 plan which integrates innovation, infrastructure, leadership and cultural aspects (Towards 2060, 2017). It looks at the long-term impact on the natural resources and the ability to use renewable resources, replenishing the existing resources and prevent future extinction. Auckland acknowledges effects such as resource depletion, scarcity, degradation of the environment, loss of species and extreme weather patterns. Sustainability thus addresses shortage of resources through actions that support environmental protection such as reduced carbon emissions.

Local Initiatives

The Local Government of New Zealand (2016) has in place the 2050 vision which covers sustaiability in local communities. This plan aligns the economic and cultural activitties to the environmental concerns.   Effects of climatic conditions, changes in temperature and weather patterns affects land use, tourism and manufacturing processes. Sustainability encourages social and cultural prosperity in its redefinition of usability and conservation. It connects the visible environment to healthy approaches in the ecosystems and activities. The emergence of social and economic aspects of sustainability expound on sustainable development as a principle. Auckland is keen on the preservation of the natural resources, conservation and management of the urban environment (De Santo, 2013).

Sustainability in the initial years of Auckland, NZ focused on factors of environmental degradation. In this era, it was evident that human activities were taking a toll on the environment. The creation of sustainable societies led to sustainable development approaches. This had principles such as green growth and human security. The state adopted concepts of de-growth and a circular economy with productions that featured a decolonization approach (Zavala, 2013). This later developed into factors that influence sustainability including poverty, land and biosphere, which is water, and air. Sustainability focuses on human actions and their consequences.

Auckland New Zealand local governance strategies include change in human actor activities (Hall, 2011). The challenge of using renewable energy and alternative sources of energy such as solar, bio diesel and wind power is present due to the limitation of natural resources. Although Auckland has an elaborate approach to construction of houses, and parks, it has a challenge of implementing sustainability in urban construction (Auckland Council, 2017). Ecological sustainability focuses on the biodiversity aspect of natural environments. This came about during the advent of climate change and global warming. However, economic and social elements continue to impede sustainability in the region. Among this is the increase in business approaches and lack of commitment from people on sustainability in industries. The government encourages sustainability in industries such as transport, energy, manufacturing and agriculture.

Sustainability and Economic Development

Sustainability as an intergenerational equity factor looks at the human rights aspect of sustainability. It considers sustainability as a combination of human wellbeing and environment friendly methods. Different industries in Auckland have adopted sustainability for a better ecosystem (Waterfront Auckland, 2013). However, the local government faces challenges with the implementation and monitoring of the greenhouse emissions. Organizations lack transparency by business producers in the country (Auckland Council Governement, 2014).  The city also invests in sustainable commercial activities, organic agricultural and agroforestry production. The consumption of resources is due to the irreversibility of the climate change factors. Noting that there is a limit to the growth of natural resources, the city supports national and regional conservation for a steady supply of these resources. Through compulsory CSR, the city manages to involve business organizations in a holistic process (Scoop;, 2017).

Sustainability ensures that the resources meet the present and future needs. Efforts by the Australian government and global organizations in sustainability features the use of green processes in production, manufacturing, engineering and processes. The rise of global concerns on green gas emissions shifts focus on national efforts in ensuring low emissions. In Auckland, the introduction of electric buses is an indication of the adoption of changes in the energy and public sector (Ministry of Transport, 2017). Efficiency in business operations also comes in as a performance enhancement process.

Figure 5: Dimensions of Sustainability

Social Development

Human Development Features sustainability as social and economic aspects. In this case, the sustainability measures include solving inequalities. The overexploitation of water supplies, minimization of recycling and reduced wastage is on the agenda of sustainability in Auckland. Policies and practices towards sustainability includes issue of society (Shahraki, 2017). An effective plan includes risk management, which highlights the angle taken by environmental principles. Sustainability principles provide solutions for ecological protection and minimizing wastes for Auckland city. The advancement of global activities such as increased production at the expense of agriculture. Manufacturing activities affect the environment through air pollution and exhaustion of natural resources. Recycling is a common factor in Australians activities.  

Sustainability as a practice is a human development factor that covers sustainability as a process and a strategy. In an effort to overcome social, economic and political challenges, communities pursue sustainability as a concept for health practices. The environmental plans focus on improving resources and   safeguarding humanity. Auckland’s regional settlement is a plan focused on sustainability and refugee settlement (Marlowe & Elliott, 2014).

Conclusion

Sustainability principles in the local context borrows from the global approaches. Auckland as an urban city takes up the green approach for present and future approaches. Evidence from the natural environment indicate the adverse effects of climate change. As a result, Auckland’s local council works with the national government in the implementation of sustainability principles. These are concepts for environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, social and economic factors.  Changes in Auckland’s sustainability approaches reveal changes across the years. Although the concept started as a voluntary approach, today it features as a multilevel and multidimensional aspect. The city has set sustainability targets in line with the global agencies like the UN and regional Australian policies. In agreement with collective sustainability, the principle includes policies for organizations and public participation. Although the concept largely focuses on environmental or ecological perspectives, it also has social and economic connotations. Sustainability under CSR has become a legal and ethical principle in Auckland. Organizations across different industries have adopted this plan in support of global initiatives for a better environment.

Bibliography

Auckland Council Governement, 2014. Auckland's Green house gas inventory. [Online]
Available at: http://temp.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/planspoliciespublications/technicalpublications/tr2016044aucklandsgreenhousegasinventoryto2014.pdf
[Accessed 12 September 2017].

Auckland Council, 2017. Sustainable homes. [Online]
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[Accessed 12 September 2017].

Barca, F., McCann, P. & Rodriguez, A., 2012. The case for regional development intervention: place-neutral approaches. Journal of Regional Science, Volume 52, pp. 134-152.

Cundy, A. et al., 2013. Developing principles of sustainability and stakeholder engagement for gentle remediation approaches: The European context. Journal of environmental Management, Volume 129, pp. 283-291.

De Santo, E., 2013. Missing marine protected area ( MPA) targets: how the push for quantity over quality undermines sustainability and social justice. Journal of environmental management, Volume 124, pp. 137-146.

Hall, C., 2011. Policy learning and policy failure in sustainable tourism governance: From first and second order to third-order change?. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(4-5), pp. 649-671.

Landcare Research, 2017. Next Generation Ecosystem Classification. [Online]
Available at: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/maps-satellites/lenz/next-generation-ecosystem-classification
[Accessed 14 September 2017].

Marlowe, J. & Elliott, S., 2014. Global trends and refugee settlement in New Zealand. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 9(2), pp. 43-49.

MFE , 2017. Ministry for the Environment: 2 Projections of Future New Zealand Climate Change. [Online]
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[Accessed 14th September 2017].

Ministry of Environment, 2016. New Zealand's 2030 climate change target. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/climate-change/reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions/New-Zealand%E2%80%99s-post-2020-climate-change-target
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Ministry of Transport, 2017. Electric Vehicles. [Online]
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Scoop;, 2017. Business supports mandatory sustainability reporting, says new CSR survey. Auckland Scoop, 15 June .

Shahraki, A. A., 2017. Regional development assessment: Reflections of the problem oriented urban planning. Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 35, pp. 224-231.

The Auckland Council Plan, 2017. Auckland Environment. [Online]
Available at: http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-environment/
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The Local Government of New Zealand, 2016. The 2050 Challenges: future proofing our communities. [Online]
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Towards 2060, 2017. Auckland sustainability framework: An agenda for the future. [Online]
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Waterfront Auckland, 2013. Sustainable Developmeny Framework. [Online]
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Zavala, M., 2013. What do we mean by decolonizing research strategies? Lessons from decolonizing, Indigenous research projects in New Zealand and Latin America. Decolonization: INdigeneity, Edcation & Society 2, 2(1).

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