‘The development which meets the need of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need’ – Definition of sustainable development given by WECD
The principle objective of the development planning is the economic growth with equitable distribution of benefits with least deterioration of the ecosystem. To achieve this objective sustainable development approach would be appropriate.
Sustainable development is a fluid concept & various definitions have emerged over the past 2 decades. Despite an ongoing debate on the actual meaning, a principles tend to be emphasized.
The first is commitment to equity & fairness. As such priority should be given to improving the conditions of the world’s poorest & decisions should account for the rights of future generations.
The second one is a long term view that emphasized the precautionary principle i.e. ‘where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation’
Third, sustainable development embodies integration, understanding & acting on the complex interconnections that exist between the environment, economy and society. This is not a balancing act or a playing of one issue off against the other but recognizing the interdependent nature of these three pillars.
The term sustainable development can be well understood by using Environmental Kuznet Curve where the inverted ‘U’ shaped curve establishes the long term relationship between environmental impact & economic growth in the society.
According to EKC, at higher levels of development, structural changes towards tertiary sector leads to increased income with less environmental degradation & low income disparity thus society finally tends towards sustainable development.
Sustainability can also be understood in social sense, meaning a thriving economy & social order with productive structures & relations which ensure fair distribution of income, power & opportunity thus providing basis for social peace.
Thus sustainable development is a people centric & nature oriented approach in which social justice, welfare, quality of life and environment protection are kept at par with the economic growth. At the same time local population resource, needs, aspirations & capabilities are given due attention in the development planning. It requires multilevel planning for implementing equitable growth policies.
Some Appreciation Please!