The latter part of the twentieth century saw
an increasing concern for the environment.
The concept of “sustainable development” (as
defined by the World Commission on
Environment and Development in 1987) is:
“development that meets the needs of the
present generation without compromising
the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.”
There are many views about
the nature of sustainability. In
its simplest form it is about
ensuring a better quality of
life for everyone, now and
for future generations. To
achieve this, sustainable
development is concerned
with achieving economic
growth alongside the protection
of the environment
and also at the same time
making sure that these
economic and environmental
benefits are available to
everyone. These three aspects
- economic, environmental
and social form the basis of
Rio and after
By the early 1990s there was considerable
pressure for governments to create
agreements concerning the environment
and its protection.
In 1992 the United Nations Conference
on Environmental and Development
(UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro.
The main outcome of the conference
was Agenda 21, which marked an
important landmark in the sustainable
development fight, and inter country
Agenda 21 was the main document
signed at the conference. It was over 800
pages long, and represented a new
global commitment to sustainable development.
It was not a legally binding
document, but was devised as a working
plan which countries would follow.
The conference marked the start of
global co-operation, which was needed
to deal with the many issues, including
concern for the environment.
The concept and support for, sustainable
development is growing. Many businesses
have integrated a strategy of sustainability
(taking into account its 3 main aspects -
economic, environment, social). It makes
good business sense...