The concept of sustainable development, advocated in the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), was regarded as a major theme in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, as well the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. Although broadly discussed, no agreement was reached on a definition of sustainable development beyond or better than the one
in the WCED report – “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
An important aspect of this concept is the inclusion of a concern for future generations within the present process of development. It aims to reach a balance between environmental protection and economic development in a sustainable manner; it involves the continuing supply of resource for future generations; it 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; and it demands the conservation and enhancement of the natural resource base.
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