A Safe and Just Space for Humanity - Can We Live Within The Doughnut?
A new Oxfam report says that human deprivation and environmental degradation must be tackled together because humanity’s two major operating boundaries – “social boundaries” like hunger, inequality and ill-health and the “planetary or environmental boundaries” like climate change and biodiversity loss - are inextricably linked.
Oxfam has published the discussion paper “A Safe and Just Space for Humanity – Can We Live Within The Doughnut?” as a contribution to the debate in the run-up to the UN conference on sustainable development (Rio+20) in June. The paper suggests a new way of approaching economic development within environmental and social limits. Oxfam discussion papers are intended to encourage public debate but do not represent Oxfam policy.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre originally published the concept of nine planetary boundaries, beyond which lies unacceptable environmental degradation. To these, Raworth has added the concept of social boundaries, below which lies unacceptable human deprivation.
Together, the two sets of boundaries create an area - shaped like a doughnut - that defines an environmentally safe and socially just space for humanity to thrive in. This simple visual framework brings together the social, environmental and economic priorities that underpin inclusive and sustainable development.