Sustainability in Relation to the Brundtland Report and How It Applies to Africa


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For over thousand years Earth has been able to sustain life. The four spheres of Earth are lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere and all this sphere overlap and interlink to form the environment. The environment can be defined as an ecosystem surrounded by both abiotic and biotic factors. When an environment can no longer be suitable for its species we term that process environmental degradation. Environmental impact are the results due to environmental degradation. In addition, environmental assessment is the analysis and assessing of the impact that has been done. It is important to note ecosystem services because it is this services that enables life for us humans.

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On the off chance that the environment can never again give one of this administrations shown in figure 1 certain measurements should be taken to guarantee sustainability. An intriguing term sustainability which refers to avoidance of natural resources to deplete so as to meet the demands for the needs of current generation and upcoming generations. On the other hand, sustainable development is a procedure of growth in finding ways and methods which promote the wise use of resources in meeting the current generational needs without endangering the future generational needs. It has been observed that human activities that poses a threat the earth on a worldwide scale incorporate human multiplication, overconsumption, overexploitation, contamination, and deforestation. With such threats came food insecurity, no fresh water and global warming. At that point, in 1982 the World Commission on Environment and Development proposed and detailed a worldwide plan for change which was known as The Brundtland Report normally known as “Our common future”. In brief, the report was a call for action, a call for awareness and a call to accomplish sustainability. The focus of this essay will be on environmental problems, causes of environmental problems and possible solutions in terms of sustainability that is discussed in the Brundtland report and how it applies to Africa.

Environmental Problems

The Brundtland Report recognizes various ecological issues that are understanding by Africa and the world universally. Firstly, issue of acid precipitation. Which alludes to precipitation made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that causes harm, principally to woods and lakes. Secondly, another environmental issue is global warming. Which refers to a continuous increment in the general temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by extended levels of carbon dioxide. Thirdly, another ecological issue is draining of the ozone layer. Which is decrease in the centralization of ozone in the ozone layer. Fourthly, another ecological issue is across the board desertification/droughts. Which alludes to the procedure by which ripe land progresses toward becoming desert, normally because of dry spell, deforestation, or improper horticulture. Finally, the last ecological issue is species loss. Which alludes to the elimination of species.

Acid Precipitations

Acid precipitation is caused by modern consuming of coal and other petroleum derivatives, the waste gases from which contain sulfur and nitrogen oxides which consolidate with atmospheric water to frame acids/corrosive rain. At the point when corrosive rain lands on Earth, it streams over the surface in overflow water, enters water frameworks, and sinks into the soil. Corrosive rain makes waters acidic, and makes them ingest the aluminum that advances from soil into lakes and streams. This blend makes waters lethal to crawfish, mollusks, angle, and other oceanic creatures. A few animal varieties can endure acidic waters superior to others. Be that as it may, in an interconnected biological community, what impacts a few animal groups in the end impacts numerous more all through the natural pecking order including non-oceanic species, for example, birds. Acid rain is still a problem even today however it seems to be decreasing in intensity. This decrease might be due to initiatives like Acid Rain Program taken by the United States Environmental Protection Agency developed in 1990.

Global Warming

Global warming is the increase in average temperature. The impacts of global warming including. Melting ice bed covers, early snowmelt, and outrageous dry seasons, rising sea levels will incite shoreline front flooding and disturbance of habitat for instance, coral reefs and drive many plant and animal species to demolition. Global warming is still a problem today and it continues to increase. This maybe due to more burning of fossil fuels and increase in number of motor vehicles.

Ozone Depletion

Ozone layer or ozone shield is a locale of Earth’s stratosphere that ingests the majority of the Sun’s bright radiation. It contains high groupings of ozone (O3). Exhaustion starts when CFC’s get into the stratosphere. Ultra violet radiation from the sun separates these CFCs. The separating activity discharges Chlorine molecules. Chlorine iotas respond with Ozone, beginning a substance cycle that obliterates the great ozone here. One chlorine iota can break separated in excess of 100,000 ozone atoms. Ozone depletion is still a problem today, it increased very rapidly since 1980 to 1995 but almost remained constant after 2000. Initiatives such as Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Protocol where developed around 1987 to stop the ozone depletion.


Desertification is a kind of land degradation in which a moderately dry territory of land turns out to be progressively dry, regularly losing its waterways and in addition vegetation and wild life. It is caused by variety of elements, for example, through environmental change (especially the current global warming) and through the overexploitation of soil through human action. When deserts rise due to the widespread and unchecked exhaustion of supplements in soil that are fundamental for it to stay arable, at that point a virtual “soil passing” can be talked about, which follows its motivation back to human overexploitation. Desertification is a huge worldwide biological and ecological issue. Desertification continues to be a major issue in Africa. It has been evaluated that 319 million hectares of Africa are defenseless against desertification dangers because of sand development. An UNEP (The United Nations Environment Program) evaluation of land Degradation in Africa proposes that huge zones of nations north of the equator experience the ill effects of genuine desertification issues. For instance, the desert is said to move at a yearly rate of 5 km in the semi-dry territories of West Africa.

Species Loss

Species loss is the reduction and extinction of species. Species loss can occur as a result of habitat destruction such as deforestation and desertification. The Brundtland Report makes an example of deforestation in Amazonia. Whereby if it somehow managed to proceed, around 15 for every penny of plant species would be lost. Were Amazonia’s woods cover to be at last decreased to those regions currently settled as parks and reserves, 66 for every penny of plant species would in the long run vanish, together with right around 69 for each penny of winged animal species and comparable extents of all other significant classifications of species.

Causes of Environmental Problems

As indicated by The Brundtland Report they have distinguished various reasons for environmental problems. Firstly, poverty plays a big role in causing environmental problems. Secondly, population growth specifically the exponential growth of people and overconsumption that follows. Thirdly, land/habitat destruction which is the clearing or destroying land and modifying it to other types of land. Lastly, pollution which is the contamination of land, water and air. This reasons for natural issues result in the ecological issues said above.


The Brundtland Report mentions poverty being the most important factor that causes environmental problems. Goes on further to state that the is a huge a gap between the developing countries and developed countries. Developing countries tend to be poor and rely heavily on the natural resources to generate food and income. While, the developed countries tend to consume more of resouces because of affluence. Poverty causes environmental problems because it causes individuals to have expanded weight on natural assets as more individuals have been compelled to depend all the more straightforwardly upon them. Numerous governments have reduced endeavors to ensure the earth and to bring environmental contemplations into advancement arranging. Even after 20 decades since the Brundtland Report was published Africa especially it stills faces porverty. However, it seems to be decreasing since 1990 according to the world bank.

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