Sustainable Development

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Sustainable Development in
South Asia
* Sustainable Development (SD) implies economic growth together with the protection of environmental quality, each reinforcing the other. Sustainable Development, thus, is maintaining a balance between the human need to improve lifestyles and feeling of well-being on one hand, and preserving natural resources and ecosystems, on which we and future generations depend. The main features that all the definitions have are as follows: * A desirable human condition : a society that people want to sustain because it meets their needs * A enduring ecosystem condition: an ecosystem that maintains its capacity to support human life and others * A balance between present and future generations; and within the present generation. Principles Defining Sustainable Development

* Sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecologically possible and to which all can reasonably aspire. * Meeting essential needs depends in part on achieving full growth potential, and sustainable development clearly requires economic growth in places where such needs are not being met. * Sustainable development must not endanger the natural systems that support life on Earth; the atmosphere, the waters, the soils, and living beings. * Most renewable resources are part of a complex and interlinked ecosystem and maximal sustained yield must be defined after taking into account system-wide effects of exploitation. * Sustainable development requires that the rate of depletion of non-renewable resources should foreclose as few options as possible. * Sustainable development requires the conservation of plant and animal species. * Sustainable development requires that the adverse impacts on the quality of air, water and other natural elements are minimized so as to sustain the ecosystem’s overall integrity. * Two major events in the recent past have fairly lucidly articulated the sustainable development challenges and priorities for the global community over the next decade. * These include the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) –Johannesburg 2002. * Poverty eradication has been clearly identified as the foremost global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development particularly for the developing countries. United Nations Millennium Declaration

* At the dawn of the new millennium, the United Nations General Assembly reviewed sustainable development initiatives and processes around the world. Recognising the gravity and urgency of challenges, the global community committed itself to eight goals and eighteen targets to be achieved by 2015. * Indicators of achievement were identified for each of the targets and responsibility entrusted to multilateral agencies to coordinate global efforts. * The declaration, often referred to as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) committed to:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability, and
8. Develop a global partnership for development
World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
* The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held at Johannesburg in September 2002 was enriched considerably by the preparatory processes of stakeholders including governments, inter-governmental agencies and civil society groups. WSSD Plan of Implementation focuses on the following:

1. Reinforcing the Millennium Development Goals, including: a. Poverty eradication
b. Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production
c. Protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic...
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