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Sustainable Development - Its Meaning and Purpose

Published Saturday, June 09, 2007

There is no doubt that human activities are having negative impacts on the environment. With global warming (which is said by some scientist to be caused by human activities), deforestation, the progressive destruction of our land resources (forest, soil and wetland), the depletion of our non renewable resources and even the depletion of renewable resources that is exceeding the rate for regeneration has caused quite alarm in the science community. It is therefore important for the present generation to create conservative polices and practices so that human activities do not cause permanent damage to the environment or rob resources from future generations. Sustainable Development is therefore needed to deal with issues relating to the environment (energy, pollution, global warming, and water).

Sustainable development is the development by human intervention that aims to meet and satisfy the needs and aspirations of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet those same needs. In other words, it aims to improve the quality of life of all mankind without increasing the use of natural and physical resources beyond the capacity of the environment to supply them indefinitely. It therefore means the creation of innovative ways by the present generation to come up with a collection of methods (policies and practices) to create and sustain development which have long term benefits rather than short term benefits. These long terms benefits should change the institutional management approach to the environment and also a change in the behavior of people (a change in individual behavior) who make up the society and nation as a whole. In so doing, it would therefore be possible to avoid irreversible damage to our natural resources.

Sustainable development can be divided into four categories: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, political sustainability and social sustainability. Knowing that our inaction now poses a serious threat for future generation requires the corporation of the government, its citizens, as well as, the corporation among international countries. The changing of policies and practices should take place in each citizen right up to the highest level both nationally and internationally. Sustainable development involves a progressive transformation of the economy and society. It is about maintaining and improving the quality of life while safeguarding the quality of life of generations to come. In so doing, creating and also achieving economic and social goals in ways that can be supported for the long term by conserving resources, protecting the environment, and ensuring human health and welfare (improving standards of living, relieving poverty and providing basic needs for the poor).

Related Articles:
What is Global Warming?
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
Types of Renewable Resources and their Purpose
Countries and their Natural Resources: The Natural Wealth of a Country


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