The Most Commonly Used Definition Of Sustainable Development

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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).
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However, it also has major impacts on the natural and built environments and on the well being and culture of host populations. In roughly that same period, the concept of sustainable development has become widely accepted as the way to a better future, even though its roots go back to the 1980s (Making Tourism More Sustainable, 2005).

Tourism plays a significant role in sustainable development and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organization (WTO) wish to encourage all countries to make sure that their policies and actions for its development and management fully embrace the principles of sustainability. Likewise, policies to promote sustainable development should take full account of the opportunities offered by tourism. Various international conventions and declarations have put forward principles and guidelines for sustainable tourism and the importance of tourism and its sustainability was underlined at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Many countries declare that they are pursuing, or wish to pursue, policies for ‘sustainable tourism’. Despite this interest, there remains a degree of uncertainty over the scope and priorities for making tourism more sustainable and only partial appreciation of how to put this into practice (Making Tourism More Sustainable, 2005).
All tourism should be more sustainable
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