During the past decade, sustainability science has rapidly developed into a globally well-recognized and important new science of the 21st century. However, sustainability science has not received much attention from scientists and practitioners in China where sustainable development and ecological civilization have been prominent themes. To promote the development of sustainability science in China, Wu, et al. (2014) published the first in-depth review on the subject in Chinese, entitled "What is sustainability science?" Here, we revisit the question, and discuss the relationship between sustainability science and sustainable development research, the scientific paradigm and the core research questions of sustainability science. Our review of the recent advances in this field reveals contrasting trends for the world versus China. On the one hand, the world is witnessing sustainability science maturing with global momentum to systematically advance sustainability research and education. On the other hand, China greatly lags behind developed countries and South Africa, albeit the great deal of new passion and desire for sustainable development. To promote the science and practice of sustainability in China, we propose a trinity strategy: 1) "bringing in" from the global community to guide Chinese practices in sustainable development; 2) "reaching out" to the global community to share Chinese wisdom of sustainable development; and 3) "integrating traditional Chinese philosophy with western science" to lead the development of sustainability science.
- Coupled human-environment system
- Linking knowledge and action
- Sustainability science
- Sustainable development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics