Sustainable Development

  Sustainable Development - Basics


In report, "Our Common Future", Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland defined sustainable development as -“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


Why Sustainability??


Temporal dimension of sustainable development looks at sustainability which is now and also that which we offer to the generations to come. ‘The spatial dimension’ looks at where we live – here or anywhere. Therefore sustainability requires equitable distribution of well being in both time and space

  Dimensions of Sustainability

Spatial Dimensions

The mandate for change cannot be made possible when we are faced with spatial issues such as uneven development, poverty and population growth which provide unprecedented pressures on Earth’s lands, waters, forests and other natural resources

Temporal Dimensions:

talks of long term environmental issues like global warming, deforestation, species loss, toxic wastes and disasters like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy etc. and the appropriate efforts needed to deal successfully with problems of protecting and enhancing the environment so that humanity’s activities fit in with the larger patterns of the Cosmos, so crucial for the sustenance of future generations

The links between the temporal dimension of environmentalism and the spatial dimensions of poverty, inequality, political will, international economic relations and development form the basis of analysis in Brundtland ‘s ‘Our Common Future’

Brundtland report emphasis on the following temporal and spatial dimensions of sustainable development:


  Indicators of Sustainability

All these parameters are inter-related and tell about sustainability. If we are economically settled and no fresh air to breath then its not the sustainable environment and vice versa. Sustainability is always measured in Environment, Economic and Social sphere of life.

  Sustainable Development in Economics

  Types of Sustainability Views

Strong Sustainability

Strong sustainability recognizes that there are natural assets that do not have substitutes—for example the ozone layer—whose loss would entailcserious harm to human beings and nature. Strong sustainability therefore requires that some critical amount of the non-substitutable natural capital be preserved, independent of any increases in value of other social or physical assets. NEED TO PRESERVE. All developing nations follow strong sustainability principles.

Weak Sustainability

According to this line of reasoning as our petroleum supplies decrease, we will find other equally viable forms of energy; as our freshwater resources decrease, we will invent new methods of desalination and purification; as our arable land productivity diminishes through overuse, we will genetically alter plants with higher yields and lower water needs to increase production. NEED TO INNOVATE RATHER THAN PRESERVING. All technical developed nations like USA follow weak sustainability principles.