What is sustainable development?
It is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity.
Examples of sustainable development:
A sustainable city considers the natural environment in its design and aims to reduce the input of energy, water and other resources, as well as minimising the generation of waste and other environmental disturbances. Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain is one example of a sustainable city or eco-city. It has ...view middle of the document...
The levels of waste, particularly hazardous waste have also been greatly reduced.
News of sustainable development:
Ministers stress role of green economy for sustainable development (Feb 2011)
World's environment ministers said a transition to a low-carbon "green economy" is crucial for sustainable development, saying that the next meeting in Brazil offers a key opportunity for acceleration.
The ministers who are meeting in Nairobi said potential challenges, including new kinds of trade barriers, need to be managed.
But a green economy offers a way of realizing sustainable development in the 21st century by "building economies, enhancing social equity and human well-being, while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities."
"The efforts to strengthen international environment governance should be about more than rationalization of fragmentation and seeking efficiencies. Instead it should be about re-envisioning and even dreaming about what it required institutionally for environment and sustainability, and putting this in place," said the summary, whose chair was Rosa Aguilar Rivero, minister for environment, rural and marine affairs of Spain and newly elected president of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Governing Council.
The ministers called on UNEP to support countries keen to operationalize such a transition and to play a key and "active" role in putting the challenges, opportunities and strategies towards a green economy firmly on the agenda for the landmark meeting.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, or Rio+20, also needs to address how the world can better manage and govern the environment including by evolving and strengthening the institutions responsible.
The ministers responsible for the environment, who have been meeting this week at UNEP headquarters, expressed concern that the overall efforts of UN and nations in respect to the "environmental pillar" of sustainable development remained weak, underfunded and fractured.
Sun comes up on power for the green economy
IN JUST two years, the idea of a ''green economy'', with its links to sustainable development and poverty eradication, has gone from interesting idea to one of the top two issues at the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20.
Many people may wonder whether the green economy is just pleasing jargon or a genuinely new pathway to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable 21st century. Is it the fundamental departure from the development models of the past that its advocates proclaim, or just another case of the emperor's new environmental clothes?
Perhaps the answer can be found in some of the extraordinary transitions taking place in the electricity and energy sectors around the world. Many people, for example, scoff at the idea that solar power could be anything but a niche market for enthusiasts or a costly white elephant, overhyped by environmental do-gooders. In...