The Commission working definition


While trying to convince myself on the issue of global warning, I decided to first think about the Commission working definition of sustainable development which I believe contradict its meaning

Over the last fifteen years, the environment has become the main focus of development thinkers. It needs to play a major part of development practice in the future. There is no doubt that too much attention has been given to economic in the past over environmental development. However, since 1987, the Brundtland Commission has focused it attention on the idea of sustainable development. Although, looking at the interest of different groups, there are many debates on sustainable development. Most of these have adopted the Commission working definition of sustainability, which is meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generation (World Commission 1987.8). But one thing we need to know is that the idea of sustainable development is difficult to understand and contradictory. My question here is, can the poor discount the future while their urgent needs are not met?




One Response to “The Commission working definition”

  1. rlinton Says:

    For me sustainable development isn’t just about looking after the environment. Indeed, I see no contradiction in this definition. There is no suggestion here that the needs of the poor should not be met. This would, as you suggest, be contrary to the notion of development. However, what is being suggested is that rather than giving in to quick fixes that will lead to problems in the long term (such as climate change) that will undermine this initial bandaid approach, a long term view is taken to ensure that interventions support people now and in the future. As such, there is now contradiction.

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