Strengthening sustainable development economics

Advancing development economics
Putting people at the heart of economics
Developing alternative economics
Many forms of economic development make demands upon the environment: they use natural resources which are sometimes in limited supply, and generate by-products of pollution and waste. But there are also ways in which the right kind of economic activity can protect or enhance the environment. These include energy efficiency measures, improved technology and techniques of management, better product design and marketing, waste minimisation, environmentally friendly farming practices, making better use of land and buildings, and improved transport efficiency. The challenge of sustainable development is to promote ways of encouraging this kind of environmentally friendly economic activity, and of discouraging environmentally damaging activities.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends encouraging institutions of higher learning to review their curricula and strengthen studies in sustainable development economics.

1. The protection of human health and preservation of natural resources and biodiversity requires the integration of economic and social objectives, within environmental limits. In general, the more local the source and control of capital the more likely development will be sustainable.

2. Development must bring about improvement in the living conditions of people, a proposition that is often forgotten in the pursuit of material wealth and the conventional concerns of economics. Austerity now for prosperity later is no longer an acceptable trade-off. Despite enormous economic progress, development has been very uneven between and within countries.

Living Economy Network
Sustainable development
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies