The Implementation of Sustainable Development

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The Implementation of Sustainable Development In November 1992, more than half of all living Nobel Prize winners signed a document called "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" that began with this stark statement: Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society. … No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished. (Union of Concerned Scientists) Earlier that year, in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders endorsed a detailed agenda for saving the environment while tackling poverty. Since then, however, very little progress has been made and many environmental problems have become significantly worse. Biodiversity, for example, is increasingly under threat from pollution and development, which destroys or degrades natural habitats. More than 50,000 species vanish annually (Suzuki, 1999). Waste production continues to increase world-wide in both absolute and per capita terms (Bell, 1997). Deforestation has cost the world an average of 12 million hectares of natural forest per year since 1980 (Bell, 1997). Current forms of energy production and use - which are based primarily on fossil fuels - contaminate air, water, and soil and contribute to global warming. The global ecosystems on which our future depends thus continue to deteriorate, alarmingly. Furthermore, despite expanding corporate and individual wealth, social inequality within and between nations continues to widen. Over two billion peop... ... middle of paper ... ...n, June 1993: 24-26. Strong, Maurice. "From the Earth Summit Down to Action." Ecodecision, Spring 1997: 18-19. Suzuki, David. "Saving the Earth." Maclean's, 14 June 1999: 42. Suzuki, David. "Time to Change" (review). Quill and Quire, May 1994: 31. Union of Concerned Scientists. "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity." www.ucsusa.org/about/warning.html. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development. "Johannesburg Summit 2002." http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/basic_info/basicinfo.html. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. "Sustainable Human Development." http://www.unesco.org/iau/tfsd_first.html#What is Sustainable. Willums, Jann Olaf, Ulrich Goluke. "From Ideas to Action: Business and Sustainable Development" (review). Alternatives, November/December 1993: 37.
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