Sustainable development

Lesson 24: Social issues and the environment

Sustainable development

Sustainable Development is often an over-used word, but goes to the heart of tackling a number of inter-related global issues such as poverty, inequality, hunger and environmental degradation.

The idea of sustainable development grew from numerous environmental movements in earlier decades. Summits such as the Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, 1992, were major international meetings to bring sustainable development to the mainstream. However, the record on moving towards sustainability so far appears to have been quite poor.


Sustainable development is defined as pattern of social and structured economic transmissions (i.e., development) which optimizes the economic and societal benefits available in the present without jeopardizing the likely potential for similar benefits in future, a primary goal of sustainable development is to achieve a reasonable and equitable distributed level of economic well-being that can be perpetuated continuously for many human generations.

It is also defined as “development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Last modified: Tuesday, 3 January 2012, 11:09 AM