1.1 1.2 Introduction

What is Sustainable Development

Meaning of Sustainability, Development and Sustainable Development
Critiques of Growth Model Industrialisation Urbanisation Inequities Resource Utilisation

1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6

Origins of Sustainable Development Definitions of Sustainable Development (Dimensions and Concepts)
Sustainable and Non-sustainable Activities

Summary Terminal Questions



Sustainable development today it is the most politicised catchword of international developmental conferences and programmes. What does it mean? We address this question right in the beginning of the unit. You will discover that it is a multidimensional concept and its interpretation and understanding is often content and context specific. Sustainable development has emerged out of the fears of depleting natural resources and a subsequent slowing or even closing down of much of the economic activities and production systems. It is the result of rapacious misuse of earth’s precious and limited resource base by those few who had a control over production systems. The concept has emerged as a broad framework to debate and decide on desirable direction of change in social and economic systems, policies, programmes and actions at the national, community or individual levels. It developed in the 1960s when people became aware of the detrimental effects of industrialisation on the environment. You need to understand the context in which it came about to appreciate why it has become so important to all of us. You must also recognise that sustainability offers long term planning for productive techniques, industrial processes and equitable distribution policies for the exploitation of resources, such as, to name a few, coal, oil and water. This planning ensures their longer life span and a broader user base so that the greatest number of people may benefit out of it for the longest...