What is Sustainability?

At the Center for Sustainability Law, we define sustainability quite simply as valuing both future and past generations just as much as we value our own. This means not only thinking about the immediate impact of our actions, but about our total impact – from how our actions might affect people elsewhere in the world to how they might affect those who have not yet been born. Sustainability leverages strategies of adaptation and resiliency in the face of connected social and ecological crises.

Why Community Led?

When the social, economic and environmental impacts of unsustainable industries and their associated development activities are externalized, the results are visible in local communities. Local communities live with daily reminders of these externalities that include: the pollution of groundwater and surface water with nitrates, sediments, phosphates, and pesticides; soil erosion and salinization, loss of soil organic matter and soil carbon sequestration; loss of heirloom seeds and ability to save seed; contamination of food; viewsheds of clear-cut forests and missing mountaintops. All too often the decisions that detrimentally impact local communities are made out-of-town by regulators. We believe that local communities have a right to be involved in the regulatory decision-making that impacts their communities and depletes the limited natural resources in their backyards.

Mission Statement

We are an environmental advocacy organization based in Eugene, Oregon working to secure sustainable land use, food systems and property rights for all by ensuring that underrepresented peoples have their voices heard in negotiations over the world’s increasingly limited natural resources. Through this work we catalyze local adaptation and resiliency in the face of changing property, land use and regulatory issues; changes which can destabilize their connected physical, economic, and ecological health and wellbeing.

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