Sustainable development has its jargons and it is multi-discipline in nature. As a result, sustainable development terms are not always clear to many people.
What sustainable development means to an engineer is slightly different from what it means to an economist. Though every profession aims to optimise resources in a manner that protect the earth, yet the demand across various sustainable practice seems divergent.
Generally, sustainable development is “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report.
Each of the three dimensions of sustainable development has its primary terms. For example, the environmental dimension draws largely from natural sciences. In addition, the economic dimension draws from social sciences. And the social dimension is dynamic and covers wide scope than the first two dimentions. Thus sustainable development terms are not the same to sustainable development professionals.
More so, the understanding of sustainable development terms is not only challenge to professional but also to academics and students. Because of cross discipline nature of sustainable development, understanding interconnectivity of these dimensions often pose challenges to learning and research.
Still, 2020 is a special year for sustainable development. First, as a year that commences decade of action for sustainable development goals, SDGs. The achievement of these goals will be a win for humanity and environment at the same time. Secondly, the Coronavirus disease outbreak shows the need for man to relate with his environment in a sustainable manner. There is more need than ever to pursue achievement of SDGs for better quality of life and environment.
Recognizing the significance of understanding what sustainable development actually means, this page aims to provide basic definitions of sustainability terms.
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