What is Sustainable Development?
Common Future, the Bruntland Report in 1987 said that sustainable
"is development that meets that needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
first to have a say was probably Thomas Jefferson in 1789:
"Then I say the earth belongs to each generation during its
course, fully and in its own right, no generation can contract debts
greater than may be paid during its own existence".
Ruskin in 1849 said in The Seven Lamps of Architecture:
"God has lent us the earth for our life; it is a great entail.
It belongs as much to those who are to come after us, and whose names
are already written in the book of creation, as to us; and we have
no right, by anything that we do or neglect, to involve them in unnecessary
penalties, or deprive them of benefits which it is in power to bequeath"
Ward isthe person generally recognised as coining the phrase at the
1972 UN Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. When taking
over the presidency of the International
Institute for Environment and Development in 1973, she said that
the original Institute name be changed to include the word "Development"
- "without which the concept of preserving the environment
has no real meaning for the poorer two thirds of mankind".
of United Nations 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development:
'Poverty eradication, changing consumption and production patterns
and protecting and managing the material resource base for economic
and social objectives are overarching objectives of and essential
requirements for sustainable development.'
Clarke, UK Secretary of State for Education 2003, in 'Action Plan
for Sustainable Development in Education & Skills' said: "In
this rapidly changing world of immediate demand and quick profit,
we run the risk that we may lose sight of how our actions affect others
- not just those we touch in our daily lives but also those further
away. This to me is what sustainable development is all about "
Wuppeerthal Institute (1998) says:
"The idea of sustainable development, although broad, loose,
and tinged with ambiguity around its edges, turned out to be palatable
to everybody. This may have been its greatest virtue. It is radical
and yet not offensive".
Spangenburg says that:
"Sustainability as defined in Agenda 21 is a complex system
of interacting targets in four dimensions: social, environmental,
economic and institutional (in wider sense including preferences and
habits). In the economic debate, these are as well known four types
of capital (man-made, natural, human, and social capital), which all
need to be served with investments from the surplus generated"
Gilman President of the Context Institute came up with:
"Sustainability refers to the ability of a society, ecosystem,
or any such ongoing system to continue functioning into the indefinite
future without being forced into decline through exhaustion of key
for the Future definition, 1996
"Sustainable development is a dynamic process which enables
all people to realise their potential and to improve their quality
of life in ways that simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth's
life support systems".
Blair said at the Second Environment Summit in New York in 1997
"Our solemn duty as world leaders is to treasure the precious
heritage and hand on to our children and grandchildren an environment
that will enable them to enjoy the same full life we took for granted"
Annual Conference Motion 1998 from Newcastle City.
"The principles of sustainability and social justice lie at
the heart of Local Agenda 21 and aim to ensure that the resources
of the planet are shared more equally and used more responsibly by
the present generation so as not damage the environment and to ensure
its preservation for future generations"
Labour government said in 1999:
"Sustainable development is a very simple idea. It is about
ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations
to come. To achieve this, sustainable development is concerned with
achieving economic growth, in the form of higher living standards,
while protecting and where possible enhancing the environment - not
just for its own sake but because a damaged environment will sooner
or later hold back economic growth and lower the quality of life -
and making sure that these economic and environmental benefits are
available to everyone, not just to a privileged few."
"Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality
of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. It encompasses
environmental, social and economic goals. It is about protecting and
where possible enhancing the environment, not just for its own sake
but because a damaged environment will sooner or later hold back economic
development and lower the quality of life. It is about seeking to
satisfy people's basic needs, such as providing warm homes and safe
streets and giving people the opportunity to achieve their potential
through education, information, participation and good health. And
it requires a robust economy to create the wealth that allows needs
to be satisfied, now and in the future".
DETR Sustainable Local Communities for the 21st Century: Why and How
to Prepare an Effective Local Agenda 21 Strategy
"It is taking care of the future"
a Native American Indian (on Jon Anderson "Toltec" music
"We are the gardener. And the gardener will not get back his
pay unless the garden is beautiful. And we have a long ways to go
to make our garden beautiful."
reckons it is "healthier for people, the planet and the future".
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