Put simply, sustainability refers to systems and processes that are able to operate independently over long periods of time (Robertson 2014). Sustainability in terms of development means the maintenance of development over an extended period of time (Elliot 1999). Discussions about sustainability often refer to an idea called the “triple bottom line”, sometimes referred to as the three pillars of sustainability or the “three E’s” (Elkington 2012). The first ‘E’ represents environment and is concerned with the preservation and restoration of the health living systems. The second ‘E’ stands for economy and relates to even distribution of resources over the long term, with each individual being
The most commonly used definition of sustainable development is still that given in the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), i.e. sustainable development is ‘a process to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ Sustainable development is therefore about creating a better life for all people in ways that will be as viable in the future as they are at present. In other words, sustainable development is based on principles of sound husbandry of the world’s resources, and on equity in the way those resources are used and in the way in which the benefits obtained from them are distributed (Making Tourism More Sustainable, 2005).
The occurrence of globalization, sustainable development, and the ecological footprint are all seemingly connected in today’s environmental capacities. To further understand these environmental processes, one must divulge into these individual environmental concepts to properly understand their facilitations. Furthermore, according to professor Vamvakas “a major theme of Sustainable development is the alternative to the destruction of the world environment by the economic imperative of globalization” (Vamvakas, 2014).
Sustainable development is defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (IISD, par. 1 ).
The ideas continued to develop and by the 1970s there was a realization that “progress” had provided an excuse for “the reign of the free market, for colonial exploitation of non-Western societies, and for ravaging the biosphere”. (Du Pisani, 2007) In 1983 the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) addressed these issues and four years later they released The Brundtland Report. It centres around the interests and needs of humankind and argues for global equity for future generations by encouraging economic growth in poorer nations. It also argues that social equity, economic growth and environmental maintenance are all possible and core elements of the practice of SD. It also offers a definition of SD that has achieved widespread recognition.
However, for the purpose of this essay, sustainability will be defined as “the concept of sustainability explores the relationship among economic development, environmental quality, and social equity.” Furthermore, this concept of sustainability has been evolving since 1972, where it was introduced at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. (Smith 2011).
The UN formally defined sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” . Many authors and activists have given their own interpretation of what sustainability means to all of us. In a sense, sustainability refers to the processes and practices that help sustain human life on planet Earth, but the concept of sustainability is broad and applies to many disciplines. In my paper, I will be comparing sustainability from three different viewpoints; Michael Pollen’s, Andres Edwards’, and Vandana Shiva’s, and adding my own personal perspective.
Of the various definitions for “sustainability” and “sustainable development” put forth by Agyeman, Bullard, and Evans, the most compelling and useful defines one sustainability as “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now, and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, while living within the limits of supporting ecosystems (Agyeman et al., p. 2). This definition is particularly suitable to sustainability because it captures its social justice component rather than portraying it as a solely environmental issue. Another key part is the mentioning of intra-generational equity which is crucial because many people fighting for sustainability will not be able to see the fruits of their labor but must still
The need to link the economical development with a greater concern about our planet gave birth to a new concept of sustainable development, which identifies a progress compatible with the preservation of the environment and resources for the future generations.
Sustainable development suggests the implementation of state-imposed limitations, with the purpose of reducing the amount of resources and space we overtake and ultimately, the amount of damage we cause to our planet’s future. It requires that we view the earth as a system that both contains space and connects time. We are all interconnected, and the selfish, wasteful lifestyle that a country might live in North America can affect people all around the world, presently even. Generally, sustainable development can be separated into sections-two of them being social and environmental. Social sustainability places emphasis on the importance of public policy-making. It requires a political framework that consists of six areas-natural resource management, measurement and assessment, international trade and investment, climate change and energy, economic policy and communication technologies. Environment sustainability is concerned with the diversity and productivity of natural environments, and requires our generation to innovate activities so that they cause minimal harm to our natural environments. Our future on this earth will directly depend on our ability to introduce and implement the sustainable development techniques discussed in these fundamental sectors.
Sustainable development is at the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework of 2012, and is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development includes three key pillars- social, environmental and economic, however in reality these issues often overlap and do not fit directly into one category (Hopwood, Mellor and O’Brien, 2005).
Sustainable development is a vehicle to permute many and varied corporate and institutional interest whilst giving impression of adherence to and observation of environmentally sound principles (David and Santillo 2007)
This is an approach towards considering the finite resources of the Earth. Its goal is defined as working towards developing means by which the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainability has been at the forefront of much international policy in the recent years, however how it should be implemented is contested. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a set of guidelines and goals for nations around the world. This however, is telling about the predominant voices on sustainable development where there is a focus on international assistance and management. This section will look at how exactly the international voices interact with the local ones on how sustainable development should actually be achieved in developing countries.
Sustainability is frequently depicted as a stool with three legs; each leg represents one of the pillars of sustainability: economic development, social equity and environmental protection. In order to have a functioning stool all the legs must have the same length. There has to be balance between them to address sustainability, otherwise the stool would not be stable (Scottish Environment Protection Agency, 2003). This definition simply describes the model without specifically considering what each pillar