The simplest definition of sustainable development comes from a conference of the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development held more than ten years ago. Sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” and has become the accepted definition of sustainable development.
In 1992, the Rio Earth Summit was the first summit to examine the progress made toward achieving sustainable development. Since then, each of the five global conferences has dealt with sustainable development in one form or another.
The debate continues
Debate continues as to whether the three elements of sustainability, environment, economic development, and social justice can ever be equally linked. Many people, especially environmentalists, feel that sustainable development can never be achieved due to the sheer scale of the problem. Despite this negativity, many countries and cities are actively working towards the goal of a sustainable future. SQM Club will help you in this case.
The US created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development during the Clinton administration. This council had representatives from environmental organizations, and the business and government sectors. They have developed policies to support a growing economy coupled with a healthy environment that is essential to our national and global security.
Everyone seems to agree that it is essential for all groups to work together to improve the quality of life on our planet. Efficient ways must be developed to use our natural resources, protect our global commons, manage human settlements, manage our chemicals and waste, and achieve sustainable economic growth. How to achieve this is hotly debated.
Fortunately, sustainable development is gaining attention. A Google search returned 23 million occurrences of the word on the Internet. The term is becoming so familiar that it is often abbreviated to “SD”. Despite its growing popularity, the definition remains vague and difficult to define.
After World War II, four common themes emerged as values that people in the world want to achieve. These values are peace, freedom, development, and the environment. World summits held since then have taken these four common themes into account and SD has evolved.
These three components, the environment, and economic and social spheres, overlap, and no sphere can exist independently. Whether sustainable development is understood as a goal, concept or movement, SD is promoted at the international, national, corporate, city and local levels. Including all components of sustainable development remains a complex issue, as everyone has their own idea of what TUR is and how it can be achieved.
The future of SD
It simply means that our activities should not cause natural resources to be depleted faster than they can be replaced. Depleting our resources faster than they can be naturally replaced will theoretically lead to a situation where the planet is unable to sustain human life. The end result of this catastrophic failure could be the extinction of the human race.
So what is sustainable development? The full answer is certainly not clear, and perhaps never will be, but the direction we should be heading is increasingly clear.
Beverly Saltonstall is an environmental writer. You have the right to reprint this article, but the title and content must remain unchanged and must include the author’s name and contact information.