Sustainable Development, Myth Or Reality

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Unquestionably, the 21 century is a time defining moment for both humans and nature. With issues of economic instability, social inequalities and natural resources depletion being seen primarily in the lesser developed world- the demand for more creative and innovative solutions to improve the quality of human life and ensure environmental protection for future generations should be high on all agenda .

The very definition of sustainable development coined by the World Commission on Environment and Development in it the Brundtland Report “development meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” it helps to underscore the need for greater long-term creativity and innovation as suggested. Even though this definition of sustainable development coined in the Brundtland Report is one that is very much widely accepted and used, its accuracy is somewhat ambiguous according to.In her published literature on sustainable development and its challenges, posited that this definition doesn’t not clearly distinguish between that of sustainable development and sustainability; both very critical and inseparable concept. However, to draw a clear distinction and understanding between the two terms, the definition provided by the University of Alberta was examined for sustainability. The University defines sustainability as “the process of living within the limits of available physical, natural and social resources in ways that allow the living systems in which humans are embedded to thrive in perpetuity”.

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Further, if one should examine the concept of sustainable development, it places emphasis on what is considered the interconnected pillars of sustainable development; environmental, social and economic. This concept leaves sustainability in the middle of the Venn diagram. According to synergizing these pillars and interpreting them into the language of specific activities possess a major challenge. Even though the idea of sustainable development is a global process that patterns something ideally desirous for environmental protection and human livelihood, it is a desire that can never be reached. Moreover, noted that because of it be a global process concerning our entire planet it can therefore only be achieve at the global level and not at a country or region level. This is where many of the challenges manifest it selves making the concept much complex and difficult to achieve. Sustainable development requires highly skilled human resource, advance technologies, policies, programme and project to support, low energy consumption patterns and minimal degradation of natural resources. This can only be achieved in highly developed countries which have surpass the post-industrial stages of development . This support the views expressed by that to realize a sustainable environment in the lesser developed societies, a different approach must be taken given that “the problems and their scale, the development priorities, the capacity of the local industry and governments, as well as the skills levels often radically different”.

Ultimately, if the views on sustainable development is continue to be seen as a microcosm, it will continue to deteriorate as a policy goal and the protagonist looking to promote environmental sustainability and social justice will be hampered if their views are not clear of the tensions and potential conflicts between these desirable goals .       

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