Development is a complex process with many of its components intricately connected. For example, economic development can either promote or distort the pace and direction of social development. However, both economic and social developments are vital for total development.
Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains two key concepts – needs and limitations.
In both the developed and the developing countries, efforts to achieve quick results in economic development have damaged the natural resources.
Image source: Ecowarrior Princess
The development should be always based on the conservation of the ecological and environmental systems.
All kinds of living organisms including human beings depend directly or indirectly upon the environment for their existence.
Intensive cultivation, deforestation, wetlands exploitation, coastal zones, and overfishing, all due to population growth, have affected the ability of renewable resources to renew themselves.
The future generations need these resources for their living. Taking more now from nature leaves less for the future.
This leads to a disastrous situation. The present generations cannot take away completely all the natural resources without leaving them for future generations. We must alter the development activities in such a way that it helps in improving the natural resources rather than distorting them in a big way.
It is quite clear that long-term economic development is interlinked with environmental protection.
It is a common observation also that continued economic development requires adequate safe water supplies, efficient energy use, continued productivity of forests and farmlands, and preservation of natural areas.
Practicing the sustainable development paradigm assures a livable future. The concept of development poses a challenge, as people must learn to live on the ‘world ecological interest’ and not on the ‘ecological capital’.
There should be a vision and mission in terms of concrete milestones to enforce the various initiatives towards sustainable development.
Some of the features to achieve sustainable development in the world are – save forests, demand for energy efficiency in our lifestyle, safeguarding biodiversity, implementing water resources management, saving coastal zones and ocean fisheries, reducing pollution, better urban planning, controlling the world population, and many more.
The above-mentioned initiatives should be a part of our education system and they must be rigorously followed. The unused or untapped minds of students could change our lifestyle in a positive way.
The various steps have been taken by both the developed and the developing countries, however, still more work to be achieved in a timely manner.
It is quite necessary to conserve the quality of our environment. No development becomes sustainable without the proper conservation of both natural resources and biodiversity.
The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
With these new universal goals in place, it was agreed that, over the next 15 years, countries would mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. The basic idea was to ensure that no one is left behind.