The Concept Of Sustainable Development Essay

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The concept of sustainable development is generally understood in two similar but differing perspectives. The first of these is the 'social-scientific ' definition explicated most frequently in relation to the 1987 report of the Brundtland commission.1 This report defines sustainable development as our “...ability to make development sustainable—to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”2. The second perspective of sustainable development is that of the 'ecological ' definition, which holds that it is a necessity to maintaining healthy, thriving ecosystems in order to facilitate concurrent healthy and thriving human societies.3 Thus both of these definitions are propounding a pragmatic normativity, albeit from slightly differing outlooks: the former concerned more with socio-economic factors, and the latter more with environmental considerations.4

Although the term 'sustainable development ' was first coined within the Brundtland report,5 the concept of sustainable consumption is not a new one, with it 's roots in historic forestry management practices.6 However, since the late 20th century the need for a sustainable form of development has increasingly becoming more and more evident. Advances in technology and increasing levels of global economic development coupled with a rapidly growing population levels has led to a concurrent rise in the unsustainable consumption of resources.7
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