in: The world today, Volume 58, Issue 8/9, p. 4-18
Discusses background to and prospects for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug.-Sept. 2002; 7 articles. Contents: We will have to do better, by Duncan Brack; Strange new alliances, by Fanny Calder; Poverty is all, by Alex Kirby; Tools for growth, by Bob Scholes; Thirsty world, by David Knighton; Double challenge, by John V. Mitchell; Gene wars go south, by Robert Falkner.
Abstract Development is an innate manifestation on earth. It is not even surprising that the world has developed tremendously over the past decade considering the development in the previous decades. That is, development precipitates development. Therefore, even though everybody can see what risks it brings to the earth, we cannot simply restrain it. Of course, we cannot restrain it. The bottomline is that we have no choice but to be part of the development and be one of those who assist in the ever spontaneous development by trying to minimize its unwanted effects to the planet and its inhabitantants, the humans. Even looking at the 'development' from one's own microcosm, we can perceive that as we go through life and gain some of what this world can offer, we produce tons and tons of wastes. These wastes, which are naturally not part of the earth, pollute and disrupt the natural processes of the planet. It is also simple to notice that the fundamental cause of the depletion of the earth's natural resources was definitely proportional to the increase in population and to the development itself. Here lies one of the underlying global problems at hand aside from poverty, hunger, low access to education, and other socio-anthropological issues we have, this is the issue on natural resources depletion. Even to worldleaders from well-developed countries can recognize that they will also be the ones at the receiving end of this problem. It is basic that living organisms rely on their environment or the abiotic factors, to live sustainably. Considering these problems, the United Nations, with the worldleaders as its composition, has come up with strategies that advocate development while keeping the earth's natural resources from depletion or the earth's natural processes from disruption. This advocacy is called Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development is the development that meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of the next generation to meet their own needs. It is, at its core, an advocacy for futurism and the next generation. Sustainable Development is primarily anchored with the case of the "carrying capacity" of the planet Earth. It was already implied by several natural scientists as well as social scientists that indeed the Planet Earth increasingly finds it hard to sustain the needs of the human races because of overpopulation. These things result to poverty and hunger around the world. On the otherhand, it is increasing implied that most of the Natural Resources of the planet goes to the well-developed countries, leaving the developing and underdeveloped countries with meager resources. This further increases cases of hunger and poverty. Although it is deceptive that the call for a sustainable development should take its toll on the countries with bigger economy since they consume the most and pollute the most, it is very definite that there should be a much more intensive application in developing countries since we are just about to experience what the rest of the developed countries have already experienced. More importantly, developing countries should advocate Sustainable Development since it is a common knowledge that even if they contribute least to the causes of natural resource depletion and disruption of natural processes, they are the ones who suffer most from the devastating effects of unsustainable development. As citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, we are one of those who suffer most.
This adaptation of the Preface to The Vulnerable Planet (Korean edition, no date) addresses the 1992 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Earth Summit international agreement to strive for sustainable development, focusing on the lack of consensus between those parties defining sustainable development as continued economic development & those viewing it as protecting the environment. Rather than suggesting concession by either party, an ecological critique of development is encouraged. It is argued that what has been named development in the past & present is truly maldevelopment, & people & nature should be considered more important than profit & production. Ecological damage caused by economic growth in South Korea illustrates the point. T. Shimane
Sustainable development (SD) is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This definition is articulated in Our Common Future, a political manifesto published in 1987 by the United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). SD promises to resolve in a positive-sum manner the most daunting economic, environmental, political, and social challenges the world is currently facing. However, it has also become a much contested concept, mainly due to the comprehensiveness, ambiguity, and optimism inherent in its underlying assumptions. Ongoing debates within the literature deal with how to define, operationalize, and measure SD; how economic development and environmental protection are conceptualized as mutually supportive; how "nature" is treated in the literature; equity and overconsumption challenges to SD; and the governance, social learning, and normative transformations required to achieve SD. Reaching some consensus on definitions and operationalization of the multiple aspects of SD will lead to standards by which to assess development and environmental policies. Among the most urgent issues that must be addressed in future research are the roles and influence of the relatively new participants in governance, such as intergovernmental/nongovernmental organizations and corporations; the new modes of governance including public-private and private-private partnerships and network governance; and the impacts of implementing compatible and contradictory policies on the various levels and across policy areas.
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat is a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. The Department works in three main interlinked areas: (i) it compiles, generates and analyses a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which Member States of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policy options; (ii) it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and (iii) it advises interested Governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities. Note The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country or territory or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers. The term “country ” as used in the text of the present report also refers, as appropriate, to territories or areas. The designations of country groups in the text and the tables are intended solely for statistical or analytical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process. Mention of the names of firms and commercial products does not imply the endorsement of the United Nations.
"To enhance sustainable development research and practice the values of the researchers, project managers and participants must first be made explicit. Values in Sustainable Development introduces and compares worldviews and values from multiple countries and perspectives, providing a survey of empirical methods available to study environmental values as affected by sustainable development. The first part is methodological, looking at what values are, why they are important, and how to include values in sustainable development. The second part looks at how values differ across social contexts, religions and viewpoints demonstrating how various individuals may value nature from a variety of cultural, social, and religious points of view. The third and final part presents case studies ordered by scale from the individual and community levels through to the national, regional and international levels. These examples show how values can motivate, be incorporated into and be an integral part of the success of a project."--pub. desc.
While sustainability has become a buzzword in discussions about the environment and development, work on theories of sustainable development has received much less attention. However, theory is vital as understanding the origins and development of the concept is the key to achieving successful implementation of sustainability. This book offers an interdisciplinary collection of research articles on the theories of sustainable development, drawing on a wide range of subjects including history, politics, governance, complex systems, economics and philosophy. It advocates viewing sustainable deve.
A lecture given at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Annual Meeting, 2009, Chicago: Our Planet and Its Life: Origins and Futures. ; In sustainability debates, there are two poles, complements yet opposites. Economy can be prioritized, with the environment contributory to economics at the center. This is sustainable development, widely advocated, including statements by the United Nations. At the other pole, the environment is prioritized. A sustainable biosphere model demands a baseline quality of environment, respect for the integrity of natural systems. The economy must be worked out within such quality of life in a quality environment. This is advocated by the Ecological Society of America. Neither economics nor ecology is well equipped to analyze this issue ethically.