Essay On Sustainable Development

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The concept of sustainability can be attributed to the Roman Empire development. The Romans focused on the development of cities and settlements in a planned and proper way, with a vision of how future expansion would be conducted (Swarbrooke, 2000). Early traditional agricultural practices were also based on the principles of sustainability in some contexts. The traditional farm land was managed to preserve the land from one season to the next (Swarbrooke, 2000). The industrial revolution changed these ideas and concepts. The industrial revolution made urbanization of larger areas and enhanced more pressure on the natural environment and flora and funa (Murphy, 1985; Phillis & Andriantiatsaholiniaina, 2001). The perceived environmental problems…show more content…
The concept of sustainability was formalized in 1987 with the publishing of Our Common Future, also known as the Brunndtaland Report, by the World Commission on the Environment and Development (WCED). Sustainable development was defined in this report as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 43). Murphy (1998) identified 14 major components of sustainable development based on his interpretation of Our Common Future. A summary of these components has three general concepts that are environmental concepts, social concepts, and economic concepts. From these concepts one general goal for sustainable development can be developed. The primary goal of sustainable development is to meet the basic needs of society and extend the opportunity for a higher quality of life (WCED, 1987). To achieve this goal the economic system must be able to produce a continuous source of surplus and a source of technical knowledge through a social structure to solve the…show more content…
Increasingly, notions of sustainability are being linked to systems thinking (Bell and Morse, 2003; Kelly and Baker, 2002; Bakkes, 1997) whereby sustainability is understood to be a framework for managing change. A system is a whole whose elements interact as they continually affect each other over time and operate towards a common purpose (after Sengeet al., 1994 in Kelly and Baker, 2002); thus systems thinking encourages thinking about cause and effect and inter-relationships between elements. Whilst this holistic approach to measuring sustainability is valuable, recognizing that “sustainability is not determined by single components” (Ko, 2005: 436), systems theorists are still struggling to suggest a methodology for linking cause and effect in complex systems, to adequately analyze direct, indirect and flow-on effects of any one action and to deal with multiple, tiered temporal and spatial

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