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The Implementation of Sustainable Development

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3585 words
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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...

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...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.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that more than half of nobel prize winners signed a document called "world scientists' warning to humanity" in november 1992.
  • Opines that human activities inflict harsh and irreversible damage on the environment and critical resources. if not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society.
  • Argues that the upcoming united nations world summit on sustainable development (wssd) in johannesburg provides a critical second chance for leaders from around the world to deliver on truly sustainable development.
  • Explains that the earth summit 2002, also known as rio +10, will review progress since the united nations conference on environment and development (unced) held in rio in 1992.
  • Opines that rio has witnessed a waning in the public enthusiasm and momentum initially generated by the earth summit.
  • Explains that the united nations general assembly agreed to hold a world summit in johannesburg, which will focus on the further implementation of agenda 21, and the consideration of strategic plans and concrete actions to advance global sustainable development in the 21st century.
  • Explains the concept of sustainable development, coined by an environmental ngo in 1980, and its implications for society as a whole.
  • Argues that canada must ensure that economic development is accompanied by an active social-political development strategy defined by clear goals.
  • Argues that a practical definition of sustainable development must also address the use of renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Opines that canada must work toward a standard for measuring sustainable development. there is no general agreement on what should be sustainable or what'sustainable' means.
  • Opines that implementing sustainable development requires a genuine global partnership.
  • Explains that people must understand the dangers of unsustainable development. the global economic order also poses a significant challenge.
  • Explains that unsustainable production and consumption in industrialised countries and population growth in developing countries are the major contributors to our current unethical course.
  • Opines that canada should promote actions that would move the world toward such a'mutation' through education.
  • Argues that the conventional approach to development has been successful at expanding economic activity, but it has failed to reduce income differences or satisfy the basic needs of the world's poorest one billion people.
  • Opines that earth summit 2002 presents an excellent opportunity to renew the enthusiasm and momentum generated by rio, and to pinpoint obstacles that must be overcome if the agreements reached a decade ago are to be fulfilled and extended.
  • Opines that earth summit 2002 provides an opportunity to refocus on the roots of sustainable development.
  • Quotes bueckert, dennis, on canada's stance on breaking earth summit promises.
  • Explains crabbe, philippe, "sustainable development: passing fancy or pragmatism?" micro: the micro-economic research bulletin.
  • Opines that development or disaster: debate over rain forest continues. financial post daily.
  • Explains hardi, peter, and stephan barg, pitfalls in measuring sustainable development, micro: the micro-economic research bulletin, spring 1998.
  • Explains that rowan, malcolm, "what recent history tells us about environmental concerns." plant, 25 june 2001: 26.
  • States that the united nations department of economic and social affairs, division for sustainable development, "johannesburg summit 2002."
  • Reviews willums, olaf, and goluke's "from ideas to action: business and sustainable development".
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