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At the Edge is a rich and evocative call to action at a time when new ideas are urgently needed. Mandatory reading for policy analysts and decision makers in the public, private, and volunteer sectors, it will be equally useful to scholars, teachers, students, and others interested in creating sustainable societies. Throughout the world, biophysical evidence is mounting that human growth and activity patterns are slowly destroying the earth. This ecological deterioration is accompanied by similar social and economic decline, with potentially grave consequences for the continued existence of human societies.
Yet, as Ann Dale compassionately argues, it is not too late to take action. Hope lies in sustainable development -- the fundamental human imperative of the 21st century. Sustainable development, in Dale's view, is the process of reconciling three imperatives: the ecological, the social, and the economic. Equitable access to resources in all three spheres is fundamental to the global realization of sustainable development. This will not be realized without strong leadership by governments at all levels. Ultimately needed is a new framework for governance based on human responsibility and a recognition of the interconnectedness of human and natural systems.
Ann Dale is the winner of the 2001 Outstanding Research Contribution Award on Sustainable Development, Policy Research Initiative, Office of the Privy Council.