Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Sustainable Development

Economy and environment are interrelated. Development at the cost of the environment destroys the environment. A sustainable development is required in order to allow the future generation to have the quality of life which is atleast on par with the quality of life that is enjoyed by the present generation. United Nations has placed emphasis on the concept of sustainable development. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) has defined sustainable development as “Development that meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs.”

The terms 'need' and the phrase 'future generations' in the definitions are the catch phrases. The seminal report- Our Common Future- that gave the above definition explained sustainable development as 'meeting the basic needs of all and extending to all the opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life'. The needs of everybody require the redistribution of resources and meeting them becomes a moral issue.

Edward Barbier has defined sustainable development as one which is directly concerned with increasing the material standard of living of the poor at grass root level. This can be measured in a quantitative fashion in terms of real income, increased income, educational services, water supply etc. Specifically, the purpose of sustainable development is to decrease the absolute poverty of the poor by providing lasting and secure livelihoods which minimizes the depletion of resources, the degradation of the environment, cultural disruption and social instability. Therefore, sustainable development fulfils the basic needs of everyone particularly the poor and provides food, employment, energy, water and housing and ensures the growth of power, agriculture, manufacture and services to meet and fulfill these needs.

A commission called the Brundtland commission has stressed on the protection of he future generation. The same is reiterated by environmentalists who feel that we have a moral obligation to hand over our planet in good order to the future generations. This means that we should improve the environmental conditions now and pass it on to the coming generation.

Our generation should promote growth and developments which lead to the growth and development of the natural resources and the environment. The promotion of growth should be compatible with:
  1. Conservation of natural assets
  2. Preserving the regeneration capacities of the natural ecological systems of the world.
  3. Avoiding adding on the burden of additional costs on the future generations.
A leading economist called Herman Daley feels that in order to attain sustainable development the following steps have to be taken:
  • Limiting the human population to a limit within the carrying capacity of the environment. If the population grows beyond the carrying capacity, there will be a deviation from the sustainable overall growth.
  • Technological progress should not be input consuming but should be input efficient.
  • The rate of extraction of renewable resources should be within the rate of regeneration of the environment.
  • In case of the non renewable energy sources, the rate of depletion should be lesser than the rate of creation.
  • The inefficiencies caused by pollution should be addressed and rectified.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name