What is sustainable development? This question has been asked many times in the past, but it is only recently with the emergence of the environmental and sustainability movements that people are beginning to get at the real answers. Most people have a very narrow perception of what is sustainable development and how it relates to the business world. They tend to think in terms of green design, organic farming and community participation as some of the ways in which developments are undertaken, however, there is much more to sustainable development than this. What is sustainable development? is a complex question that requires an in depth understanding of several related concepts.
It is argued that sustainable development is not a single concept but rather the integration of different approaches to development, with the aim of promoting environmental justice, social responsibility, economic sustainability, gender equality, and quality of life for all. Essentially, sustainable development seeks to overcome the current environmental crisis, make the most of the natural resources that we possess, foster a sense of social responsibility and participate actively in building a better world for the future. The term sustainable development is now widely used by governments, civil societies and businesses to describe their objectives and work practices.
The need for a global strategy for sustainable development was highlighted by the environmental impact of development processes, which were found to be contributing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Green paper was drafted to create a set of sustainable development guidelines. These emerged from the efforts of the World Wildlife Fund (WNF) and other such organisations.
At the heart of sustainable development is an idea of ‘interdependence’, a concept which has been called the ‘cancer of civilization’. With growing interdependence, there is increasing pressure to develop economic policies that are in the interests of the whole population and environment. Green paper seeks to highlight the negative environmental impact of development processes and suggests a number of strategies for mitigating these effects. Some of the main environmental impacts of a sustainable development process are increased pressure on natural ecosystems and biodiversity, changes in global temperature and air quality, adverse impact on water systems and increased vulnerability to natural disasters.
A sustainable development policy might incorporate energy efficiency, improved transportation systems, improved water management, greater use of renewable energy sources and reduction in the use of non-renewable resources. The overall environmental impact should not be underestimated, since the potential long term damage on the environment cannot be reversed. More importantly, sustainable development promotes a sense of interdependence and interdependency between different actors within the development process. These positive outcomes form the basis of a community of action, which aims to overcome some of the constraints that may be associated with the development process.
What is sustainable development is not only about helping people live better and develop in a more efficient and productive way but also promotes a sense of responsibility. It is an excellent reference guide for anyone who wants to become more involved in the development process. This book can be downloaded from the website cited below.