Sustainable development is defined as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own need’.
Sustainability is a dynamic concept born out of the environmental debate of the last quarter century. In order to achieve a sustainable life, a balance and equal distribution of natural resources is necessary throughout the world so that basic needs of each and every living being may be fulfilled.
Sustainable Development as a norm has been accepted in the literature ever since the publication of the Brundtland Commission report in 1987. It is defined as “a pattern of social and structured economic transformations (i.e., development) that optimises the economic and societal benefits available in the present, without jeopardizing the likely potential for similar benefits in the future.”
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There is growing concern nationally and internationally about biodiversity and protection of plants and animals and community based activity. It is important to view sustainable efforts from global perspective that addresses socio-economic and environmental issues.
The idea of sustainable development was conceived in early 1970’s, when the need was felt to preserve our natural resources as they were depleting at a very faster rate. Prior to that, the developments were unsustainable.
Although the fears about such unsustainable growth and development emerged on an international leveling 1992 in the UN Conference on Environment and Development (TINGED), popularly known as The Earth Summit, held at Brazil.
The Rio Summit emphasised on economic growth and poverty alleviation for sustainable development. The basic prerequisite of sustainable development is the evolution of a development process with focus on the enhancement of the living conditions of population as a whole with emphasis on raising the standard of living of the poor.
The Agenda-21 called all countries to develop national strategies for sustainable development to translate the words and commitments of Earth summit into concrete policies and actions. The important issue in the 21st century is to create greater economic and societal well-being without deterioration of the environment and depletion of the resources.
Out of its five significant agreements agenda-21 proposes a global programme of action on sustainable development in social, economic and practical context for the 21st century.