Sustainable Living

Sustainable Development


Sustainable Development
Courtesy of Comhar SDC

The most common definition of sustainable development comes from the Commission on Environment and Development, commonly known as the Brundtland report (1987) - ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. This definition basically means that each generation should not take more than its fair share of natural resources and should consider the long term impacts of its actions on future generations.

Economic and social development is dependent on a healthy and functioning environment. In the same way that each country produces financial accounts, we also need to measure our other assets in the form of natural, social, human and physical capital. Our economy depends on supplies of natural resources and on the environment's ability to absorb all the wastes that we generate. At the moment we are using the planet’s resources faster than they can be renewed. In fact, the amount of resources that we use in a year exceeds the planet’s ability to regenerate by about 30 per cent (See the WWF Living Planet Report for more information). If we continue to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at the same rate as the present, we will impose huge burdens on future generations

Sustainable development is a continuous process of environmental, social and economic development which aims to deliver wellbeing for people now and in the future. Sustainability is about considering economic, environmental and social concerns together and identifying synergies and trade offs. Comhar SDC has developed Principles for Sustainable Development to be used in policy and decision making. 


Comhar SDC's Principles for Sustainable Development

Further information on the  principles for sustainable development is available in a Comhar publication (2003).

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