The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the four ‘interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars’ of sustainable development as including: economic development, social development and environmental protection.The fourth pillar is indigenous people and culture.
(e) Participation of the people in the decision-making process.
(f) Diversification of economy to enable the population to select their life-style.
To achieve the goal of sustainable development, the convention uttered: “The use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations”.
Regarding the identification of problems of sustainability and recommending the way out, the convention pointed out some key aspects: i.
So, sustainable development should be ecologically conformable, economically viable and socially acceptable.
The most widely used term ‘Sustainable Development’ was first coined by ‘Cocoyoc Declaration’ in 1970.It prescribed sustainability as the only way out to wipe out the increasing danger visible on the future survival of mankind.The Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro (1992) reaffirmed its faith on Sustainable Development as the long-term strategy for human development.We cannot continue to run our planet this way any more than we could run a business for long by running down and living off its capital.Indeed our Earth, if it were an incorporated entity, would be headed for bankruptcy, if we continue on our present course”.In 1992, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro proclaimed certain objectives, known as Agenda 21. All countries should strive to promote sustainable consumption patterns. Developed countries should take the lead in achieving sustainable patterns. Developing countries should seek to achieve sustainable consumption patterns in their development process, guaranteeing the provision of basic needs for the poor, while avoiding those unsustainable patterns, particularly in industrialized countries, generally recognized as unduly hazardous to the environment, inefficient and wasteful, in their development processes.This requires enhanced technological and other assistance from industrialized countries.Not only international development reports, but individuals like Barbier (1987), Daly (1989), Pezzy (1989) and Rees (1988) also tried earnestly to develop the idea of sustainability of development.Despite difference of opinions among different countries, commissions and international agencies, major objectives of sustainable development can be earmarked very easily: A. Environment and bio-diversity should be preserved for the ultimate future of mankind. Individuals and countries should be integrated to the process of sustainable development.Beyond these two limits, sustainable development cannot sustain, it breaks down suddenly.Social disharmony and inequality among inhabitants lead to environmental disorder, war, social tensions or ethnic conflict.