Sustainable development may be defined as the development to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generations.
It is a process whereby the development can be sustained for generation. It affords the future generation the same, if not more, capacity to prosper as the present generation.
Economic development is not a blessing for the human beings. No doubt, it brings higher material welfare by increasing national output of goods and services on one hand and on the other hand it pollutes the environment badly by overuse and misuse of natural resources.
In the course of economic development, the cost of environmental damage in the shape of deforestation, land degradation, soil erosion and air and water pollution etc. may exceed the benefits of having more output of goods and service.
The aftereffects of environmental damage have already been appearing in the form of green house effects, inclement weather, Irregular monsoon, global warming and acid rain etc. Now the basic question is how economic development and congenial environment can co-exist so that development can be sustained for generations. That is why ‘sustainable development’ has come into discussion.
Literally speaking environment means external conditions and surroundings in which person, animals and plants live. Simply speaking, environment means the surroundings and external conditions affecting the life and development of an area.
Environment may be defined as the sum total of all natural factors that directly influence the chance of organisms (plants, animals, human beings) to survive and reproduce. The environmental factors that influence the life on earth may be broadly classified as abiotic and biotic components. Abiotic component includes the climatic factors related to aerial environment. Soil conditions, topographic factors. Biotic factors include living organisms like plants, animals and human beings.
Nature has maintained a fine balance among the various components of environment to enable the plants, animals and human beings to survive and reproduce. But during the course of economic development, this balance of nature got distributed which is termed as environmental crisis.
Meaning of Sustainable Development:
Simply speaking sustainable development means the development which should keep going. Ordinarily speaking, it is a situation in which economic development does not decrease over time, Sustainable development is the development that is everlasting. Sustainable development is a process in which natural resource base is not allowed to deteriorate.
Sustainable development may be defined as the development to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generations. It is a process whereby the development can be sustained for generation. It affords the future generation the same, if not more, capacity to prosper as the present generation.
Relationship between Environment and Sustainable Development:
(a) Sustainable development minimizes environmental degradation. As development involves some disturbances in our environment, sustainable development has to be understood as an endeavor to minimize the rate of environmental degradation. It ensures that however small a degradation that does occur is made up in the best acceptable form and as fast as possible.
(b) Environment is one of the dimension of sustainable development. Sustainable development is one which raises national and per capita income by keeping the environmental damage within a tolerable limit so that the future generation will get equal benefits in terms of output and congenial environment.
Objective of Sustainable Development:
Following are the main objectives:
(i) Sustainable improvements:
The sustainable development aims at creating sustainable improvements in the quality of life of all people.
(ii) Increase in economic growth:
The sustainable development aims at increasing the economic growth through meeting basic needs i.e. raising the standard of living.
(iii) Public participation:
The sustainable development aims at public participation to keep the environment clean.
(iv) Maintenance of environment resources:
The sustainable development aims at maintenance of natural and environmental resources along with economic development.