Sustainable development

Sustainable development — Is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend.


  • Has been described in terms of three spheres, dimensions, domains or pillars, i.e. the environment, the economy and society.
  • While the modern concept of sustainable development is derived mostly from the 1987 Brundtland Report, it is also rooted in earlier ideas about sustainable forest management and twentieth century environmental concerns.
  • As the concept developed, it has shifted to focus more on economic development, social development and environmental protection for future generations.
  • Ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social, political, and economic challenges faced by humanity.
  • Has its roots in ideas about sustainable forest management which were developed in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Sustainable development domains

Sustainable development domains Sustainable development domains
  1. Environmental sustainability.
  2. Ecological economics.
  3. Politics.
  4. Culture.

Sustainable development — Structure map

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Sustainable development — Related pages: