Georgia’s new paradigm: a shift in perspective
Because of the many changes that have occurred in Georgia in recent years, a new paradigm has emerged. We now have an equal and parallel commitment to encourage a healthy and productive economy and to preserve our natural systems. Business leaders and citizens alike understand that these goals are not mutually exclusive; in fact, all evidence points to the fact that they are internally consistent. But our promotion of these simultaneous goals is being constrained, because we have isolated our economic from our environmental planning. As Georgia considers a statewide water management plan, the strategy should integrate environmental with economic planning, and include comprehensive land use and ecosystem protection, dependence on sound science, and active solicitation of public participation. A regional environmental management strategy integrated with regional economic planning improves social equity, environmental health, and promotes sustainable economic development.