Sustainable Development

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This is a principle of meeting human development while sustaining the ability of natural resources and ecosystem services, which the society and economy depends on. The principle is rooted in the early ideas of sustainable forest management and 20th century environmental concerns. However, as the concept developed, it is changing focus to economic development, environmental protection and social development for future generations.

One of the most acceptable definition is the one presented by World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In a similar fashion, Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development sees the concept as “long-term continuous development of the society aimed at satisfaction of humanity’s need at present and in the future via rational usage and replenishment of natural resources, preserving the earth for future generations”. All the definitions revolve around continuity in rational utilisation of resources in a manner that satisfy the present generation and maintains hope for the better future (Abdullahi, Cheri & Dlakwa, 2018).

It is significant to adjust from ‘development’ to ‘sustainable development’ because it signals both a shift in objectives (towards sustainability) and a shift in scope (from ‘developing’ countries to “all countries”). This act has put sustainability at the centre of global political debate, policy, and programmes for years to come. In this context, sustainability is not simply defined as one easy-to-reach goal, but as a complex set of visions for the future of humanity (Duxbury,Kangas & De Beukelaer, 2017). The explanation provided in the SDG’s website is as follows (UN, 2015):

“We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured…”

“We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realisation of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity…”

“We envisage a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. A world in which consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources – from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas – are sustainable. One in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger…”

The SDGs, which started in 2016, follows the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that ended 2015, as a framework for concerted action towards global development. They are interconnected and are predicted to be achieved by 2030. UNDP (2016) briefly highlighted the goals as follows:

  • null

    End poverty in all its forms everywhere

    More than 800 million people around the world still live on less than $1.25 a day. That is about the equivalent of the entire population of Europe living in extreme poverty.

  • null

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

    We can end hunger and malnutrition once and for all, through doing things such as promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small farmers. Nearly 1 out of every 9 people on earth go to bed hungry every night. Imagine a world where everyone has access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round.

  • null

    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

    Our health affects everything from how much we enjoy life to what work we can perform. That’s why there’s a Goal to make sure everyone has health coverage and access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines. 6 million children die every year before their fifth birthday, or that AIDS is the leading cause of death for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. We have the means to turn that around and make good health more than just a wish.

  • null

    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

    Poverty, armed conflict and other emergencies keep many kids around the world out of school. In fact, kids from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Let us do better and achieve the goal of universal primary and secondary education, affordable vocational training, access to higher education and more.

  • null

    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    In just about every way, women and girls lag behind. There are still gross inequalities in work and wages, lots of unpaid “women’s work” such as childcare and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision-making.

  • null

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Everyone on earth should have access to safe and affordable drinking water. While many people take clean drinking water and sanitation for granted, many others don’t. Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of people around the world, and that number is projected to go even higher as a result of climate change. We should start protecting wetlands and rivers, sharing water-treatment technologies.

  • null

    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

    As the world’s population continues to rise, more people will need cheap energy to light their homes and streets, use phones and computers, and do their everyday business. How we get that energy is at issue; fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are making drastic changes in the climate, leading to big problems on every continent. Instead, we can become more energy-efficient and invest in clean energy sources such as solar and wind. This way, we will meet electricity needs and protect the environment.

  • null

    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

    Today, job growth is not keeping pace with the growing labour force. We should promote policies that encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. We can eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking, and in the end, we can achieve the goal of decent work for all women and men by 2030.

  • null

    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

    Technological progress helps us address big global challenges such as creating jobs and becoming more energy efficient. For example, the world is becoming ever more interconnected and prosperous, thanks to the internet. The more connected we are, the more we can all benefit from the wisdom and contributions of people everywhere on earth. Yet four billion people have no way of getting online, the vast majority of them in developing countries. The more we invest in innovation and infrastructure, the better off we will all be. Bridging the digital divide, promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

  • null

    Reduce inequality within and among countries

    It’s an old story: the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. We can and must adopt policies that create opportunity for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Income inequality is a global problem that requires global solutions. That means improving the regulation of financial markets and institutions, sending development aid where it is most needed and helping people migrate safely so they can pursue opportunities. Together, we can now change the direction of the old story of inequality.

  • null

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    Many people love cities, they are centres of culture, business and life. The thing is, they are also often centres of extreme poverty. To make cities sustainable for all, we can create good, affordable public housing. We can upgrade slum settlements. We can invest in public transport, create green spaces, and get a broader range of people involved in urban planning decisions. That way, we can keep the things we love about cities, and change the things we don’t.

  • null

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    Some people use a lot of stuff, and some people use very little—in fact, a big share of the world population is consuming too little to meet even their basic needs. Instead, we can have a world where everybody gets what they need to survive and thrive. In addition, we can consume in a way that preserves our natural resources so that our children can enjoy them, and their children and their children after that. The hard part is how to achieve that goal. We can manage our natural resources more efficiently and dispose of toxic waste better. Cut per capita food waste in half globally. Get businesses and consumers to reduce and recycle waste. Moreover, help countries that have typically not consumed a lot to move towards more responsible consumption patterns.

  • null

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    Every country in the world is seeing the drastic effects of climate change, some more than others. On average, the annual losses just from earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones and flooding count in the hundreds of billions of dollars. We can reduce the loss of life and property by helping more vulnerable regions—such as land-locked countries and island states—become more resilient. It is still possible, with the political will and technological measures, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels—and thus avoid the worst effects of climate change.

  • null

    Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

    The oceans make human life possible. Their temperature, chemistry, currents, life forms. For one thing, more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal diversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing nearly a third of the world’s fish stocks overexploited. That is not a sustainable way of life. Even people who live nowhere near the ocean cannot live without it. Oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans produce, but we’re producing more carbon dioxide than ever before and that makes the oceans more acidic—26% more, since the start of the industrial revolution. Our trash does not help either—13,000 pieces of plastic litter on every square kilometre of ocean.

  • null

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    Humans and other animals rely on other forms of life on land for food, clean air, clean water, and as a means of combatting climate change. Plant life makes up 80% of the human diet. Forests, which cover 30% of the Earth’s surface, help, keep the air and water clean, and the Earth’s climate in balance. They are also home to millions of animal species. However, the land and life on it are in trouble. Arable land is disappearing 30 to 35 times faster than it has historically. Deserts are spreading. Animal breeds are going extinct. We can turn these trends around.

  • null

    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

    How can a country develop – How can people eat, teach, learn, work and raise families without peace? How can a country have peace without justice, without human rights, without government based on the rule of law? Some parts of the world are plagued by armed conflict, crime, torture and exploitation, all of which hinders their development. The SDGs aim to reduce all forms of violence and propose that governments and communities find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. That means strengthening the rule of law, reducing the flow of illicit arms, and bringing developing countries more into the centre of institutions of global governance.

  • null

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

    The world is more interconnected today than ever before, thanks to the internet, travel and global institutions. There is a growing consensus about the need to work together to stop climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals are no small matter either. 193 countries agreed on these goals. The final goal lays out a way for nations to work together to achieve all the other Goals.

  • null

    The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

    The SDGs address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030. Further details can be gotten from:

    https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Sustainable Development

This is a principle of meeting human development while sustaining the ability of natural resources and ecosystem services, which the society and economy depends on. The principle is rooted in the early ideas of sustainable forest management and 20th century environmental concerns. However, as the concept developed, it is changing focus to economic development, environmental protection and social development for future generations.

One of the most acceptable definition is the one presented by World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In a similar fashion, Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development sees the concept as “long-term continuous development of the society aimed at satisfaction of humanity’s need at present and in the future via rational usage and replenishment of natural resources, preserving the earth for future generations”. All the definitions revolve around continuity in rational utilisation of resources in a manner that satisfy the present generation and maintains hope for the better future (Abdullahi, Cheri & Dlakwa, 2018).

It is significant to adjust from ‘development’ to ‘sustainable development’ because it signals both a shift in objectives (towards sustainability) and a shift in scope (from ‘developing’ countries to “all countries”). This act has put sustainability at the centre of global political debate, policy, and programmes for years to come. In this context, sustainability is not simply defined as one easy-to-reach goal, but as a complex set of visions for the future of humanity (Duxbury,Kangas & De Beukelaer, 2017). The explanation provided in the SDG’s website is as follows (UN, 2015):

“We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured…”

“We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realisation of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity…”

“We envisage a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. A world in which consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources – from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas – are sustainable. One in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger…”

Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs, which started in 2016, follows the earlier Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that ended 2015, as a framework for concerted action towards global development. They are interconnected and are predicted to be achieved by 2030. UNDP (2016) briefly highlighted the goals as follows:

  • null

    End poverty in all its forms everywhere

    More than 800 million people around the world still live on less than $1.25 a day. That is about the equivalent of the entire population of Europe living in extreme poverty.

  • null

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

    We can end hunger and malnutrition once and for all, through doing things such as promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small farmers. Nearly 1 out of every 9 people on earth go to bed hungry every night. Imagine a world where everyone has access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round.

  • null

    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

    Our health affects everything from how much we enjoy life to what work we can perform. That’s why there’s a Goal to make sure everyone has health coverage and access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines. 6 million children die every year before their fifth birthday, or that AIDS is the leading cause of death for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. We have the means to turn that around and make good health more than just a wish.

  • null

    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

    Poverty, armed conflict and other emergencies keep many kids around the world out of school. In fact, kids from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Let us do better and achieve the goal of universal primary and secondary education, affordable vocational training, access to higher education and more.

  • null

    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    In just about every way, women and girls lag behind. There are still gross inequalities in work and wages, lots of unpaid “women’s work” such as childcare and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision-making.

  • null

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Everyone on earth should have access to safe and affordable drinking water. While many people take clean drinking water and sanitation for granted, many others don’t. Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of people around the world, and that number is projected to go even higher as a result of climate change. We should start protecting wetlands and rivers, sharing water-treatment technologies.

  • null

    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

    As the world’s population continues to rise, more people will need cheap energy to light their homes and streets, use phones and computers, and do their everyday business. How we get that energy is at issue; fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are making drastic changes in the climate, leading to big problems on every continent. Instead, we can become more energy-efficient and invest in clean energy sources such as solar and wind. This way, we will meet electricity needs and protect the environment.

  • null

    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

    Today, job growth is not keeping pace with the growing labour force. We should promote policies that encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. We can eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking, and in the end, we can achieve the goal of decent work for all women and men by 2030.

  • null

    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

    Technological progress helps us address big global challenges such as creating jobs and becoming more energy efficient. For example, the world is becoming ever more interconnected and prosperous, thanks to the internet. The more connected we are, the more we can all benefit from the wisdom and contributions of people everywhere on earth. Yet four billion people have no way of getting online, the vast majority of them in developing countries. The more we invest in innovation and infrastructure, the better off we will all be. Bridging the digital divide, promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

  • null

    Reduce inequality within and among countries

    It’s an old story: the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. We can and must adopt policies that create opportunity for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Income inequality is a global problem that requires global solutions. That means improving the regulation of financial markets and institutions, sending development aid where it is most needed and helping people migrate safely so they can pursue opportunities. Together, we can now change the direction of the old story of inequality.

  • null

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    Many people love cities, they are centres of culture, business and life. The thing is, they are also often centres of extreme poverty. To make cities sustainable for all, we can create good, affordable public housing. We can upgrade slum settlements. We can invest in public transport, create green spaces, and get a broader range of people involved in urban planning decisions. That way, we can keep the things we love about cities, and change the things we don’t.

  • null

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    Some people use a lot of stuff, and some people use very little—in fact, a big share of the world population is consuming too little to meet even their basic needs. Instead, we can have a world where everybody gets what they need to survive and thrive. In addition, we can consume in a way that preserves our natural resources so that our children can enjoy them, and their children and their children after that. The hard part is how to achieve that goal. We can manage our natural resources more efficiently and dispose of toxic waste better. Cut per capita food waste in half globally. Get businesses and consumers to reduce and recycle waste. Moreover, help countries that have typically not consumed a lot to move towards more responsible consumption patterns.

  • null

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    Every country in the world is seeing the drastic effects of climate change, some more than others. On average, the annual losses just from earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones and flooding count in the hundreds of billions of dollars. We can reduce the loss of life and property by helping more vulnerable regions—such as land-locked countries and island states—become more resilient. It is still possible, with the political will and technological measures, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels—and thus avoid the worst effects of climate change.

  • null

    Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

    The oceans make human life possible. Their temperature, chemistry, currents, life forms. For one thing, more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal diversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing nearly a third of the world’s fish stocks overexploited. That is not a sustainable way of life. Even people who live nowhere near the ocean cannot live without it. Oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans produce, but we’re producing more carbon dioxide than ever before and that makes the oceans more acidic—26% more, since the start of the industrial revolution. Our trash does not help either—13,000 pieces of plastic litter on every square kilometre of ocean.

  • null

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    Humans and other animals rely on other forms of life on land for food, clean air, clean water, and as a means of combatting climate change. Plant life makes up 80% of the human diet. Forests, which cover 30% of the Earth’s surface, help, keep the air and water clean, and the Earth’s climate in balance. They are also home to millions of animal species. However, the land and life on it are in trouble. Arable land is disappearing 30 to 35 times faster than it has historically. Deserts are spreading. Animal breeds are going extinct. We can turn these trends around.

  • null

    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

    How can a country develop – How can people eat, teach, learn, work and raise families without peace? How can a country have peace without justice, without human rights, without government based on the rule of law? Some parts of the world are plagued by armed conflict, crime, torture and exploitation, all of which hinders their development. The SDGs aim to reduce all forms of violence and propose that governments and communities find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. That means strengthening the rule of law, reducing the flow of illicit arms, and bringing developing countries more into the centre of institutions of global governance.

  • null

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

    The world is more interconnected today than ever before, thanks to the internet, travel and global institutions. There is a growing consensus about the need to work together to stop climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals are no small matter either. 193 countries agreed on these goals. The final goal lays out a way for nations to work together to achieve all the other Goals.

  • null

    The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

    The SDGs address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030. Further details can be gotten from:

    https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/