I'm sure most people have heard this term somewhere. Another thing is to actually understand what is meant with it, and moreover how to achieve it and why we would even want it?
The most known and sort of "official" definition says it's "development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the abiliy of future generations to meet their needs". Lot's of broad words, isn't it?
In the survey made in autumn among AEGEE members, we asked the people to define it in their own words. And here's what came out.
Almost half of the answers mentioned that sustainable development is something keeping in mind the future generations, around 1/3 mentioned that it's mainly to protect and safeguard the environment. The 2 other sustainable development pillars (the concept consists of 3 pillars: environment, economy and society) were mentioned less: around 20% put the focus on economical development, and 15% to social welfare.
"Managing the resources" was also the keywords mentioned quite often, whether they were meant as natural resources or some other resources. As activity, desides using the word "development", respondents mentioned "efficient" or "rational resource use", "improvement of life quality" and few times also "technology". What could be also brought out is that the need to sutain our planet, world was mentioned more times than the needs and benefits to human race.
Of course there are always some more creative ways to define "sustainable development" like: "living without messing up the world too much" :)
What can be concluded based on this question? That in general, young people do have some overview what this concept means, the need to preserve our world for future generations and environmental protection as key activity seem to be the most important parts of it.
For those, wanting to read more about sustainable development definitions, click here. Also, a sort of speculation of the "official" definition can be found here.
Give your thoughts: how do you see sustainable development? Is it actually something we should strive for? How far can we actually develop?