Culture describes everything a human being is able to move by his creative power through action and mind and brings forth. Human civilization is defined by culture and therefore culture is often seen as a conscious contrast to nature. It’s all about the general possibilities that open up for people.
But by no means everything which is possible is desirable or even useful in terms of a sustainable relationship with nature. Therefore, the use of cultural achievements in the context of human-nature interaction is justifying particularly the need for responsible thinking and acting that are based on ethical principles.
A sustainable culture is determined by the realization that it “today, in times of the Internet, a global politics and economy and increasingly multicultural societies … a basic consensus on values and norms [is needed] which is true irrespective of culture, religion or nationality” (Hans Küng, Swiss theologian and church critics about a global Ethic code).
“Culture” is not just music, poetry, sculpture, monuments, history, tradtitions. The word is originally derived from Latin and describes terms as “maintain” or “make reclaimed”. The roots originate from agriculture and thus provide the fundamental relationship of man to nature.
A Culture of Sustainability builds directly on this, and is the measure of human creative power. To be effective it requires a basic value framework which is common to global society because: “No society can function without a unifying foundation of values” (Hans Küng/Parliament of the World’s Religions: Declaration Towards a Global Ethic).
This common set of values is based on a common understanding of the principle of humanity, the “Golden Rule” of reciprocity, on the commitment to nonviolence, for justice, for truth and for partnership.
As participation feeds into the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability, culture supplies the instruments or rules to take effect on sustainable development.