By definition, the goal of a sustainable economy is to establish local economies that are economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable. It is necessary for all members of a community to participate in identifying community needs, determining innovative solutions and also implementing them appropriately.

corn-65304_1280A Sustainable economy also includes the regeneration of our natural resources, so that we don’t use up our resources faster than they can be regenerated by nature. Goals of sustainable economic development are not to sacrifice our resources for short term profits, but to gain profitability in thriving ecosystems and communities.

Below are support organizations using different approaches and techniques to help communities successfully develop the key aspects of economic development based on sustainability.

Food and Agriculture

sunflower-11574_1280Communities can support local farmers and encourage sustainable farming practices. Community efforts can also help preserve agricultural farm lands, help promote locally grown food products by buying, selling and distributing locally produced products from local farmers, cooperative food buying programs, and farmers’ markets.

Below is a list of sustainable agriculture resources for communities.

  1. AgDevONLINE : This is a website community that supports the work of academics, professionals, and activists, who are focused on issues related to food and agriculture, with community development tools.
  2. American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) : This is a membership organization of professionals, supporters, and volunteers working to support and promote all aspects of community food, urban forestry,ornamental gardening and preservation and management of open space.
  3. American Farmland Trust (AFT) : AFT works to reduce the productive farmland loss. It also promotes environmentally healthy farming practices.
  4. Sustainable Livestock Nutrition: This is a sustainable feeding program for livestock, and also a partner initiative of the Center for Ecolonomic Excellence and Development (CEED). Through this program, you can learn about alternative nutritional strategies and methods that you can use to feed your animals.


aquaculture-china-fishfarm-4325672-oMarine wildlife is a key factor in the sustainability of both our ocean and fresh water ecosystems. Communities, therefore, should take extra care in preserving ecosystem involving marine wildlife and manage these resources with responsibility. Communities must provide support to the preservation of ecological balance of aquatic wildlife by preventing overfishing, participating in remedial programs and encouraging sound management practices for both recreational and commercial fishing.

  1. Abandoned Seas: Reversing the Decline of the Oceans. Worldwatch Paper 116: This report focuses on the threats to the oceans due to overfishing, coastal habitat destruction, and pollution from homes and industries that drains into sea water on a regular basis.
  2. Boat-to-Table Fishing CSAs Catching On : Fishing communities from coast to coast working collectively to save their way of life and restore marine resources.
  3. WorldWide Aquaculture: WorldWide Aquaculture, LLC (WWA) is an international research, consulting and development company working with sustainable aquaculture.
  4. Greenpeace USA, Inc.: Greenpeace is an independent organization, campaigning to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

How does sustainable development fit into the larger picture of economic development?

To help us understand how environmental sustainability is being included in large-scale community economic development, Jeff Finkle of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will be joining us on our next webinar! Register today to learn how communities are finding recovery through green initiatives!

  1. Source: Nourish the Planet