Sustainable Development : The Definition Of Sustainable Development

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In the past several decades, the term sustainable development has gained a lot of attention, however, it has since been overused to a point of saturation where it has lost the influence it previously elucidated and become a jargon for developers and slogan for environmentalists. What does sustainable development mean? For years scholars have tried to define and articulate the concept of sustainable development which has led it to become an oxymoron of sorts.
Over a century before the use of phrase "sustainable development" came to practice several publications had been dealing with what we would come to call sustainable development. John Stuart Mill (1984) in his publication Principles of political economics, infers that in order to
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In 1971 Barbara Ward, often considered by some as the pioneer of sustainable development, founded IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development) which further played a significant role in the Brundtland Commission to help define sustainable development. It reflected ideas from her pioneering book along with Rene Dubos, Only one Earth: care and maintenance of a small planet (1972). Ward is considered by many to have coined the term ‘sustainable development' and once the term gained traction it was now realized that development needed to focus on not only economic aspects but also on social and environmental facades. Moreover, in 1972, the Club of Rome published The limits of growth, a report outlined its central message i.e. “the impossibility of infinite growth within earth’s finite biosphere”, (Pezzoli, 1997, p. 551). Conscious of this profound predicament, prominent scientists and leaders came together in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on Human environment leading to the establishment of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In 1974 UNEP and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development convened the Cocoyoc seminar which led to a historic union of those who argued that priority had to be given to satisfying basic needs of people
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