Posts Tagged what is sustainable development
Copyright (c) 2008 Daniel Lafleche
Today’s journals of trade and popular culture are all but awash in the buzzwords ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’. Here, we are obliged to raise the red flag and warn of lurking danger. These diverse and many advocates do a great disservice in more ways than they know.
For in this great sea of ‘sustainability’, which spans business strategies and regimens of weight loss, one all too easily loses sight of the real battle. We know that over-use of a term can have an unintended blunting effect. But the word is so much in vogue, and its employment so overzealous, that it has in many instances become obscured entirely. So, you ask, what is sustainable development? Who are its proponents and antagonists? And, oh yes, why exactly is it to be so desired after all?
Ours is an age in which we have come under the twin pressures of burgeoning population growth and an accompanying intensification of economic development. This development is necessary for the provision of the surging population’s needs and wants. Though rates of population growth show signs of slowing, the number of earth’s inhabitants will continue to expand massively in the foreseeable future. With the added variable of impending climate change, there is a sudden and new awareness of the potentially destructive nature of the human project.
These realities have given immense weight to calls for an oversight which explicitly takes account of the fate of future generations. Many nuanced definitions have been devised, but the most commonly evoked is that sustainable development “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” General consensus holds that the sustainability project spans three interactive domains; these are (1) environmental sustainability, (2) economic sustainability, and (3) social-political sustainability.
Environmental sustainability is concerned with the preservation of resources and our earth’s natural environment. In the strictest sense, any process which allows natural capital (the net sum of all natural resources and other bounties of the earth) to be depleted faster than it can be replenished threatens its ability to function and to serve us properly and indefinitely. Advocates of environmental protection actively seek solutions which will minimize the present and future burden to our natural environment of industrial and other pursuits. The best solutions are those which find ways to incorporate renewable methods of resource exploitation.
The notion of environmental sustainability is thus inextricably bound to the premise of economic sustainability. Rapid advances in new technologies and production techniques are constantly altering and expanding the boundary of production possibilities. But ultimately, economics is the science of the allocation of a finite resource pool. Promotion of economic sustainability thus seeks to allow for future generations to reach their own optimal allocations free from constraints imposed by our own patterns of exploitation in the here and now.
The sphere of social-political sustainability is interesting in that it expands beyond the simple necessity of economic growth and its effect on the natural environment to more directly include the human element in the equation. Social-political sustainability promotes social harmony and continuity of healthy political institutions so that a mechanism is in place for the enactment of the collective will (presumably a will which is favorable to sustainability).
The project of sustainable development has inevitably encountered resistance. Some are eager to point out that any economic pursuit which entails resource depletion is by that very fact unsustainable. But to make this charge is to reduce the debate to semantics; to contend that the impossibility of an absolute application invalidates the endeavor wholesale is to court the ridiculous.
Another more prominent criticism is slightly more troublesome to counter. Available evidence seems to confirm the wisdom that as nations emerge from poverty and amass wealth they are more willing to dedicate a portion of their incomes to combat pollution and other unpleasantries. The wealthy industrialized nations of the world at one time advanced through dirtier stages analogous to the present progress of developing economies. However at that time there were no monitors or whistle-blowers. This school of critics cries hypocrisy. They uphold “dirty” mediums of economic growth that wealthier nations can now afford to bypass as the only hope to elevate massive populations from abject misery. In so doing, they seek to force arbiters of sustainable development into the unenviable position of choosing between the welfare of the earth’s poor and that of the earth itself.
In the face of these criticisms, proponents of sustainable development strive for the national and international coordination of environmental, economic and sometimes social policies in the advancement of responsible progress. They are mindful that the world more than ever is a system of actors, none of whose actions bear no consequence for others. Their goal is the day-to-day management of policy decisions such that humanity might enjoy the bounty of our natural environment without exhausting it, and without selfishly revoking the privilege of coming generations to do the same.
Without sounding the bells of certain alarmists, sustainability of this color is to be venerated and upheld. Dilution of the term’s strength by those who would seek to hijack its nobility is, on the other hand, to be regretted and indeed resisted.Tags: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, interactive domains, sustainability project, what is sustainable development
Do those living today owe anything to the future? If answered, “Yes”, then we must now determine what and how much we owe future generations, since continuing our present course unabated too far into the twenty-first century, will inevitably destroy many options for generations that follow.
In times past, the survivors of dying communities could simply move themselves to less populated, more fertile areas. Today however, there are no such places left to move to.
Unquestionably, communities face enormous challenges as their social, economic, and environmental resources are damaged or depleted. Since these elements of communities are interconnected, there are no straightforward answers. In addition, whatever issues we find ourselves facing, be it disease, human disorder, family breakdown, child abuse, crime, injustice, armed conflict, weakened economies, poverty, lack of quality jobs, extinction of species, forest destruction, pollution, energy shortages, or nuclear power, there are common elements and interrelated steps that provide solutions to these seemingly diverse problems.
The interdependencies of the economic, environmental, and social justice elements of our world require varied and innovative thought, taking action that will truly create a future where human society and nature coexist with mutual benefit, and where the suffering caused by poverty and natural resource abuse is eliminated.
Sustainable development calls for improving the quality of life for all people of the world without increasing the use of our natural resources beyond the earth’s enduring capacity. While sustainable development may require different actions in various regions of the world, the efforts to build a truly sustainable way of life require the integration of action in three key areas: Economic Growth and Equity – Today’s interlinked, global economic systems demand an integrated approach in order to foster responsible long-term growth while ensuring that no nation or community is left behind; Conserving Natural Resources and the Environment – To conserve our environmental heritage and natural resources for future generations, economically viable solutions must be developed to reduce resource consumption, effectively manage pollution and conserve natural habitats; Social Development – Throughout the world, people require jobs, food, education, energy, health care, water and sanitation. While addressing these vital needs, the world community must also ensure that the rich fabric of cultural and social diversity, including the rights of workers, are respected, and that all members of society are empowered to play a role in determining their futures.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development depicted in their 2002 brochure, that sustainable development is the parallel consideration of healthy environments, life, and human well-being. This includes issues of population, climate, economic prosperity, energy, natural resource use, waste management, biodiversity, watershed protection, technology, agriculture, safe water supplies, international security, politics, green building, sustainable cities, smart development, community and family relations, human values, along with many others. All these “pieces” are parts of the sustainable society puzzle, because they are the basic ingredients of everyday life.
Sustainable development represents a process in which economics, finance, trade, energy, agriculture, industry, and all other policies are implemented in a way to bring about development that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Thus, the goal of sustainable development is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, thereby maintaining the balance of the “Sustainability Stool”.
In practicing sustainable development over the long-term one shall: a) not diminish the quality of the present environment; b) not critically reduce the availability of renewable resources; c) take into consideration the value of non-renewable resources to future generations; and d) not compromise the ability of other species or future generations to meet their needs.
According to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, one of the definitions of sustainability that appears to have more resonance with the general public than all others is: Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow. This focus on improving quality of life is becoming more widely accepted by governments, companies, and civil society organizations. It makes the sustainability concept more aspirational and changes the emphasis of the sustainable development debate towards solutions rather than problems.
David Suzuki, a well recognised Canadian science broadcaster and environmental activist, believes that our resources are limited. Our little planet can only provide so many goods and absorb so much of our waste. Given these constraints, our current economy, which is predicated on relentless growth, is unsustainable. Something has to give.
We at Globacorp share the same beliefs and concerns and are genuinely doing our part to reduce the impact our communities and operations have on the environment. We are strategically planning and engineering our community developments to continually improve the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to follow.
Our latest efforts, Paraiso Del Rio Grande Resort Community, will certainly be one of the most sustainable and green residential developments in the Americas, revitalising over 100 Hectares of previously slash-and-burn land located in Coclé, a central province of The Republic of Panama.
Tags: enormous challenges, extinction of species, fertile areas, straightforward answers, what is sustainable development
Today, trade magazines and popular culture are all but collapses under the slogan “sustainable” and “sustainability”. Here we have to hoist the red flag and warn of impending danger. These many and varied supporters a disservice in more ways than they know.
Because in this great sea of ”sustainability”, which covers business strategies and weight loss plans, too easy to lose sight of the real battle. We know that abuse of a term may have an involuntary dullness. But the word is so popular and its use in an exaggerated manner, which in many cases has been totally eclipsed. So I ask, what is sustainable development and have their supporters and opponents and, oh yeah, why exactly is needed, after all
We have an age in which we are developing the combined pressures of population growth and accompanying economic development. This development is essential to provide a growing population, needs and desires. Although the rates of population growth for signs of a slowdown, the number of people around the world continue to expand strongly in the near future. When a variable is added to the impending climate change, a sudden awareness of new and potentially destructive to the human project.
These realities have given control of the enormous weight that requires explicitly takes into account the fate of future generations. Many of the definitions were blurred formats, but the most commonly noticed is that sustainable development is to satisfy the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The general consensus that the sustainable development of the project consists of three interactive areas, these are (1) environmental sustainability, (2) economic sustainability, and (3) Social-political sustainability.
Environmental sustainability is a matter of resources and safeguarding the natural environment of our planet. In the strict sense of any process that allows the natural capital (the net amount of all natural resources and other areas of the country’s size), come to an end faster than it can be completed by a threat to its ability to function and serve us properly and forever. Supports the protection of the environment to actively seek solutions to minimize current and future weight of the natural pursuits and industries. The best solutions are those that are looking for ways to integrate the methods of exploitation of renewable resources.
The concept of environmental sustainability is inextricably linked to the premise of economic viability. Rapid advances in new technologies and production techniques are constantly evolving and expanding the production possibility frontier. But ultimately, economics is the science of allocating a finite resource pool. Promotion of economic sustainability and designed to allow future generations to meet their own optimal allocations without limits of our own business models in the here and now.
Social security and political sustainability is interesting because it extends only a necessity for economic growth and its impact more directly on nature and the human element in the equation. Political and social sustainability, promoting social harmony and continuity of a healthy political entity, so that the mechanism is in place tweaking the collective will (presumably what is the advantage of resistance).
Sustainability of the project is inevitably met with resistance. Some are eager to point out that the pursuit of economy, which requires the exhaustion of natural resources is the fact unsustainable. But to make this payment is to reduce the semantics of the debate, arguing that the impossibility of ever application seeking to invalidate the wholesaler is the court’s ridiculous.
Even more important criticism is a bit more difficult to counter. The available data seem to confirm the wisdom that as nations in poverty and accumulate wealth, they are more willing to devote part of their income to prevent pollution and other nuisances. The rich industrialized nations in the world with both advanced stages dirty corresponding to the current progress of developing economies. But right now there were no monitors or whistle-blowers. This school of critics cry hypocrisy. Supports the sales champion of economic growth than the rich nations can now afford to ignore that the only hope to lift large populations of abject misery. Thus, they seek to compel the judges of sustainable development in the unenviable position of choosing between the welfare of the poor of the earth and the earth itself.
The criticism in front of supporters of sustainable development, to seek national and international coordination of environmental policies, economic and social, sometimes leading responsibility for progress. They are aware that the world is now more than ever is a system of actors, none of whose activities have no consequences for others. Their goal is a daily treatment of political decisions, so that mankind can enjoy the grace of the natural environment, without exhausting it, selfishly, and without withdrawing the privilege of future generations to do the same.
Without the bells of some alarmists, the sustainability of this color is to be revered and respected. Dilution of sense for those who seek to divert their nobility, for its part, regret and even resisted.Tags: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, future generations, sudden awareness, what is sustainable development