Sustainable development – development that meets the needs of the present without affecting the future generations from sustaining theirs, basically sustainable development is about the big picture of how the social, cultural, economic, political and environmental factors fit together, it’s about improving the life of everyone regardless of the part of this world they reside and we must achieve this together through the understanding the needs of today and tomorrow’s world.
Dr. Klaus Topper states that Sustainable Development is the peace policy of the future.
In order to shape the world in a sustainable fashion we need to identify our sustainable development goals and outline where they came from by undertaking this exercise we have a unique opportunity to come together and plan for our future, in a holistic manner seriously considering our social, economic and environment matters and their contributions to our life.
At a world population of 7.2 billion (2013) and rapidly increasing since the industrial revolution, this is quickly becoming a very complicated world, causing a great gap between the world’s rich and poor along with extreme environmental challenges in our attempt to satisfy the needs of all. Collectively we have the power to bring about real changes and determine which species survive and how many will be extinct in years to come, the type air we breathe or the type of water we drink and how we use and reuse our resources are in the hands of every human alive. We are now a part of a world that is extremely connected to our economies, manufacturing, financing, ideas, advertising, human resources and our individual development.
We are now living in an unprecedented situation and as the world population and environmental conditions continue to change, a number of countries worldwide are stuck in the 1980’s addressing the demand of only one third of their population alive, let’s look a at Bangledesh as a prime example this country has a population of 157 million people an increase of 90 million in 44 years, and with the number of births rapidly exceeding deaths we can just imagine the population growth in the next 10 years. The question is can Bangledesh withstand such an increase in a sustainable way and in a manner where all of the population have access to clean drinking water, clean air to breath, access to education, transport, jobs, health care, proper living condition and healthy food the short answer is no.
Young boy walking in piles of garbage in Bangledesh
Source: http://www.old.endignorance.org/get-informed/spotlights/rural-and-urban-poverty- bangladesh
Many countries around the world like Bangledesh are crippled with poverty, poor infrastructure, solid waste woes, pollution, inadequate transport and job opportunities simply because this country could not keep up with the population increases, and so the same picture could be painted for the entire world the long and short is that the world cannot keep up with the population growth and advancement, taking on unbelievable stress causing climate changes and global warming hence the reasoning behind the importance of sustainable development, we now have to accept that the world’s population is growing, address issues and decide collectively what we could do to ensure that we can survive 100 years from now.
Young boy walking in piles of garbage in India
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York world leaders came together to adopt a declaration by committing their nations to a new global partnership where they would be accountable for their action and lack thereof to reduce extreme poverty and setting a number of time bound targets, these goals are most commonly referred to as the “Millennium Development Goals”. The eight millennium Development Goals as outlined in the image below form what you can call is a blueprint agreed to by all the countries in the world and prominent development institutions in an attempt to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.
As a result of this collective agreement presently worldwide there are 700 million fewer people living in poverty, 90% of boys and girls worldwide are getting a primary school education, there is still a lot of work still to be done, with 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty and as a result of the financial crisis millions of people are still unemployed worldwide the more active we get at achieving sustainable development goals the more we build momentum to seriously address this situation in an integrated and problem solving way.
But the biggest problem of all is that most often the world’s population have no idea about sustainable development and what it means along are not concerned with the changes in the environment or how it would further affect their already poor living conditions. So what do we need to achieve sustainable development a shared vision communicated to all of the world’s population that their input matters, an all inclusive framework for action and clearly defined goals and targets, there must be a series of awareness campaigns lead my governments and NGO to get collective partnership by all of the world’s stakeholders.
Sustainable Development is the masterful balance of meeting our own needs without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to do the same.