Paragraphs on Sustainable Development!
Definition of Sustainable Development:
The most significant problem today is that human beings sometimes make use of resources without keeping in mind the limits or constraints on their use.
There are 3 important policy issues concerning the use of resources:
1. Depletion of resources, especially to meet the demand for energy.
2. Destruction of resources through pollution.
3. Maximum utilisation of resources for the worlds food supply.
(i) In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, published its title “Our Common Future”. It is popularly known as the Brundtland Report.
According to the Brundtland Report – “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
There are two key concepts here:
(a) The concept of needs refers to requirements of the world’s poor, to which the most priority should be given.
(b) The concept of limitations, imposed by the state of technology and social organizations, or the capacity of the environment to meet present and future needs.
(ii) According to R. K. Turner (1988 — Sustainable Environmental Management, Belhaven, London), sustainable development “would seek to maintain an ‘acceptable’ rate of growth in per-capita real incomes without depleting the national capital asset stock or the natural environmental asset stock.”
(iii) According to G. R. Conway (1987 — ‘The Properties of Agro-ecosystems’, Agricultural Systems), sustainable development is “The net productivity of bio-mass (positive mass balance per unit area per unit time) maintained over decades to centuries.”
It can be concluded by saying that sustainable development aims at maintaining development over time.
Objectives of Sustainable Development:
The most important objective of development is the satisfaction of human needs and aspirations. The basic needs of the people — food, clothing and shelter — go unnoticed in the developing countries. Beyond these basic needs, the people still yearn for an improved quality of life.
A world where poverty and inequality have become a way of life will always be susceptible to ecological and other crises. This is where sustainable development is required, for meeting the basic needs of all and giving them the opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life.
Basic Principles for Sustainable Development:
As population numbers grow, the changing technologies have also simultaneously increased. This is not only affecting the present, but will have long-term consequences in the future states of the environment.
There are three major principles underlying the process of sustainable development:
I. Principle of Inter-Generational Equity or Principle of Futurity:
This principle is to ensure that, in considering any human activity, one has to consider the effects it might have on future generations to meet their needs.
II. Principle of Social Justice:
This is concerned with the present generation, where poverty is found to be the principal cause of degradation. Sustainable development calls for an evenly exercised control over the distribution of resources, keeping in mind the basic needs of common aspiration.
III. Principle of Trans-Frontier Responsibility:
Wherever possible, the impacts of any human activity should not involve any geographical displacement of environmental hazards that will remain uncompensated, i.e., trans-frontier pollution must be identified and controlled. In this regard, wealthy nations should not overexploit the resources of other nations that might lead to an imbalance in regional economies and ecosystems. Similarly, the detrimental effects of urban activities should not go beyond the metropolitan boundaries.