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Sustainability and sustainable development : a goal and an approach for development in Western Samoa

Lincoln College, University of Canterbury
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  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development
  • Western Samoa
  • Environmental Policy
  • Economic Development
  • Natural Resources
  • Land Productivity
  • Biological Diversity
  • Development
  • Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Economics


The study interprets sustainability and sustainable development. It argues that Western Samoa should adopt a sustainable development approach and outlines how that approach may be put into operation. Sustainability is a development ideal, a dynamic condition of material well-being achieved and maintained by the efficient use of a sustainable level of physical resource throughput. Sustainable development is the process of achieving sustainability, hence of reorienting society onto a sustainable path. Western Samoa must adopt sustainable development. The logical consequence of her current development approach is, ultimately, the depletion of forests, water resources, land productivity, and the loss of biological diversity. This is the outcome of the collective impact of economically rational individuals operating under conditions of laxed customary land tenure rules and agricultural incentives. The unrestrained pursuit of economic growth under conditions of extreme vulnerability to commodity price fluctuations, also encourages the short-term exploitation of a rapidly dwindling stock of natural resources. The immediate priorities of sustainable development in Western Samoa is the removal of unsustainable policies and strategies in the natural resources sector and the direct protection of the environment by alienating lands for conservation purposes.

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