Monday, November 22, 2010

Environment - Sustainable Development

Sustainable is a word that qualifies the non Development, is not quantifiable The concept proposed by the UN, by its specific forums, and later by the Conference of Rio de Janeiro (Rio-92), is considered one of the concepts, but not the only one. The World Commission on Environment and Development, created in 1983, emphasizes that "Sustainable development is the one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

The concept of sustainable development for environmentalists is an old aspiration to determine their needs and priorities of the new society, a new ethic of human behavior and a restoration of the primacy of social interests, collective.

The environmentalists' position is seen as a change of the production and consumption in the context of reversing caused environmental degradation and social misery. This concept of environmental degradation would be adulterated as it is interpreted by different social actors, to be perceived either as port of entry for international mechanisms of control over our natural time as a strategy of expansion and market profit.

An ecologically sustainable society is one that:

a) Conserves biodiversity and life support systems;

b) Ensures that the use of renewable resources is sustainable and that the degradation of non-renewable
resources is minimized;

c) Seeks to remain within the capacity of supporting ecosystems.

In 1972 the Club of Rome entitled "Limits to Growth" focuses on examining how the development and retain their destruction to the environment.

There is no development in itself, but a society that opts for development that you need and want. If a company is sustainable, by definition, it is said that a sustainable society where to the satisfaction of their needs, without compromising the natural capital and without prejudicing the right of future generations to see also met their needs and they can inherit a planet healthy ecosystems with their preserved.

This, suggests that the sustainable society produce enough for themselves and for the beings of the ecosystems where it is, taking only what nature can replace it, and that in practice the company must show itself capable of assuming new habits and design a type of development that the growing attention to the ecological balance and function within the limits imposed by nature.

The obsolescence must be contained, not necessarily prevent the consumption but the irresponsible consumption.

To be sustainable, development must take into account social and ecological factor, as well as economic, the bases of living resources and non-living, the benefits of alternative actions, I the long and short term. The development is an economic, social, cultural and political comprehensive task, aimed to constantly improve the welfare of the whole population and every person on the basis of their active participation, free and meaningful and fair distribution of benefits from it.

From a more practical way one can say that the social development aims to improve the quality of human life as human, this includes long and healthy life, education, political participation, social and participatory democracy and not representative, to ensure the respect for human rights and protection against violence, conditions for a proper spiritual and symbolic expression.

These transformations lead to the implementation of various barriers such as differences between the conviviality, warmth in social relationships, and compassion with the next in miserable situations or marginalized, the creation of compensatory measures and social inclusion. Principles of sustainability of the Earth:

a) Build a sustainable society;

b) Respect and care for the community of living beings;

c) Improve the quality of human life;

d) Maintain the vitality and diversity of the Earth;

e) Remain within the limits of the capacity to support the planet Earth;

f) Change personal attitudes and practices;

g) Enable the communities take care of their own the environment;

h) Create a national structure for integrating development and conservation;

i) Form a global alliance.

Sustainability refers to the need to expand the capacity of the Earth's resources, and creativity through the use of technology, to limit the consumption of fossil fuels, renewable and non renewable resources, to reduce the volume of waste and pollution through conservation energy, resources and policy, to promote the self in consumption of materials from the rich and poor countries and to intensify the search to obtain technology for low-waste and efficient use of resources for development urban, rural and industrial, in addition to defining the appropriate standards for environmental protection.

Sustainability Space is addressed from the reduction of excessive concentration in metropolitan areas, curb the destruction of fragile ecosystems, promote agriculture and farm forestry using modern techniques, regenerative, for small farmers; explore the potential of decentralized industrialization, coupled with new generation of clean technologies, and create a network of nature reserves and biosphere, to protect biodiversity.

In relation to environmental awareness, it would seek sustainable development, a vision that for conscious would learn to grow with the premise the care of the environment that you live.

Any development would only be valid when first worry about all the interventions and consequences to the environment before moving forward to be considered.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Natural Gas Generator - Your Economical and Environment Friendly Electrical Energy Source

A natural gas generator is more economical to use than petrol fueled generators. It is also environment friendly to operate because it minimizes the probability of polluting the immediate and surrounding area where it operates. Spills are not uncommon when using liquid fuels like gasoline. Some of it will splash out of the gas container while transporting the fuel or spill out of the fuel tank while the unit is being refueled. This spilled fuel can contaminate the surrounding area and can even be the cause of a fire when it touches on the hot surface of the generator.

Natural gas generators burn cleaner too, producing no fumes compared to a lot of toxic fumes produced by gasoline engines. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. It emits much lower levels of sulfur, nitrogen and greenhouse gasses. It is also more economical to use saving as much as 40% lower compared to diesel and gasoline engines. Coal is the only non renewable power source cheaper than gas to use, but coal produces a lot of pollutants and more dangerous to get as evidenced by all the coal mining accidents in the news.

Fuel supply is not a problem for most residential and business users of gas generators. Existing pipelines supply the needed fuel and you do not have to purchase and store extra fuel. Small generators can also use portable storage tanks and be able to use their portable natural gas generator in distant areas to generate electricity.

There are a lot of natural gas generators available depending on your needs and the purpose that it is going to be used. A generator that will be used to energize the entire house will be much bigger and have a much larger capacity than one that will be used to run a few appliances.

Bigger generators are usually stationary and mounted on a stable permanent base. The smaller machines are typically moveable where they are carried from one place to another. They usually have wheels for more portability. The wheels usually have locks to keep the units from moving and for more stability while being used.

A gas generator needs to be attached to a natural gas pipeline as its power source. It is better to get the services to a licensed plumber to get the right fittings on a portable gas generator and to permanently install the stationary model to ensure that everything is properly set up and avoid leaks and accidents.

It is predicted that more households are going to use a natural gas generator in the future. Natural gas still emits pollutants but in a much lower level compared to coal, diesel and gasoline. As the whole world is trying to minimize its dependence on electric power produced by coal and oil, natural gas is a better alternative in areas that it is readily available, to reduce power generation cost and to save the environment. The use of natural gas in cars, portable generators, and fixed home and office electricity generation units will continue to increase.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The World Is Flat - A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist turned out to be an international best selling work. Friedman demystifies the fast paced world of convergence that has turned the world flat. "With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists." (

There are several implications of the world that became flat in the 21st century. For the first time ever in the human history, the world of commerce has created a level playing field and hence an equal opportunity for all competitors. Furthermore, the national geographical boundaries are increasingly becoming meaningless in the global market, hence the nations, companies and the individuals must make a perceptual shift so as to remain competitive in the current global scenario. The inspiration for this book comes to the author from his visit to Bangalore when he realized the core economic concepts were changing as rapidly as the rules of the game in the brave new world.

Friedman visualizes three phases of globalization while we are witnessing the third phase. The first two phases - phase I (from 1492 to early 1800s) and phase II (from 1800 onwards) - included countries and the governments bringing about global convergence, while globalization 2.0 was driven by the multinational companies. Globalization 3.0 has literally flattened the world by doing away with the geographical boundaries in a complex web of business relations where workers from typists and call center executives to more skilled workers from India and China work for such companies as Microsoft and Dell. In context of the latest globalization, the author identifies ten flatteners of new global business.

Of the ten flatteners, the first three - fall of Berlin wall in 1989, Netscape going public in 1995 and the creation of workflow software - created a kind of platform for the global collaboration to take place.

The Creation, Sustenance, and Dissolution of the Universe

The weather is very charming. All the spectators were cherished by the charming weather, assembled at the Campus of the Chief as usual. Satyapal after taking his seat stated today's story at the appointed time.
Respected Elders, Friends, Mothers! Mahrishi Dayanand has described the work of God. The creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe in the chapter Eighth of Satyarth Prakash in continuation of the topics of existence of God, His Form and His creation of Vedas and other creative skills of God in seventh chapter.

Brothers, in the beginning the whole of this world was overspread by complete darkness, in a state of dissolution. At that time, there were no earth, space, and neither light nor any inanimate like the Sun etc nor any animates like human beings, insects etc.

The darkness pervading and the whole were enveloped in utter darkness. The formless nature pervaded all around. Mahrishi Dayanad on the basis of Manu Smriti has described the same.

In the beginning, the whole of this universe was in the period of dissolution enveloped in utter darkness. There was nothing to be known by anybody, nor there was anything to bring into reasoning, nor anything to perceive through by any famous indication. (Everything was in the state of profound sleep).

In the state of dissolution of nature three eternities existed-God, the Soul and the nature (material cause).
In this hymn the Soul and God have been described with the help of two leafs and nature by the tree. Two birds are sitting friendly over the tree of nature since infinite period. Whereas one bird the soul reaps the fruits-good or evil, of this tree while the other one The Supreme Soul or God does not (Observes as a witness).

God and the Universe.

Many people believe that this Universe is made of God, like the earthen pot is made of clay. But this is not true. Because the pot is made from the clay, therefore it holds the virtues and vices of clay.
Likewise if the universe was a product of various virtues and vices of God, but the universe have no virtues and vices of God, because:

1. God is the Supreme Truth, omnipresent and Blissful.
2. God never takes a birth and the universe takes a birth.
3. God is intangible whereas the universe is tangible.
4. God is indivisible whereas the universe is divisible.
5. God is all-pervasive whereas the Universe is contented.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Education for achieving sustainable development

Education is an essential tool for achieving sustainability. People around the world recognize that current economic development trends are not sustainable and that public awareness, education, and training are key to moving society toward sustainability. Beyond that, there is little agreement. People argue about the meaning of sustainable development and whether or not it is attainable. They have different visions of what sustainable societies will look like and how they will function. These same people wonder why educators have not moved more quickly to develop education for sustainability (EfS) programs. The lack of agreement and definition have stymied efforts to move education for sustainable development (ESD) forward.

It is curious to note that while we have difficulty envisioning a sustainable world, we have no difficulty identifying what is unsustainable in our societies. We can rapidly create a laundry list of problems - inefficient use of energy, lack of water conservation, increased pollution, abuses of human rights, overuse of personal transportation, consumerism, etc. But we should not chide ourselves because we lack a clear definition of sustainability. Indeed, many truly great concepts of the human world - among them democracy and justice - are hard to define and have multiple expressions in cultures around the world.

In the Toolkit, we use three terms synonymously and interchangeably: education for sustainable development (ESD), education for sustainability (EfS), and sustainability education (SE). We use ESD most often, because it is the terminology used frequently at the international level and within UN documents. Locally or nationally, the ESD effort may be named or described in many ways because of language and cultural differences. As with all work related to sustainable development, the name and the content must be locally relevant and culturally appropriate.

An important distinction is the difference between education about sustainable development and education for sustainable development. The first is an awareness lesson or theoretical discussion. The second is the use of education as a tool to achieve sustainability. In our opinion, more than a theoretical discussion is needed at this critical juncture in time. While some people argue that "for" indicates indoctrination, we think "for" indicates a purpose. All education serves a purpose or society would not invest in it. Driver education, for example, seeks to make our roads safer for travelers. Fire-safety education seeks to prevent fires and tragic loss of lives and property. ESD promises to make the world more livable for this and future generations. Of course, a few will abuse or distort ESD and turn it into indoctrination. This would be antithetical to the nature of ESD, which, in fact, calls for giving people knowledge and skills for lifelong learning to help them find new solutions to their environmental, economic, and social issues.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is a difficult concept to define; it is also continually evolving, which makes it doubly difficult to define. One of the original descriptions of sustainable development is credited to the Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p 43). Sustainable development is generally thought to have three components: environment, society, and economy.

The well-being of these three areas is intertwined, not separate. For example, a healthy, prosperous society relies on a healthy environment to provide food and resources, safe drinking water, and clean air for its citizens. The sustainability paradigm rejects the contention that casualties in the environmental and social realms are inevitable and acceptable consequences of economic development. Thus, the authors consider sustainability to be a paradigm for thinking about a future in which environmental, societal, and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of development and improved quality of life.

Principles of Sustainable Development

Many governments and individuals have pondered what sustainable development means beyond a simple one-sentence definition. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development fleshes out the definition by listing 18 principles of sustainability.
  • People are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
  • Development today must not undermine the development and environment needs of present and future generations.
  • Nations have the sovereign right to exploit their own resources, but without causing environmental damage beyond their borders.
  • Nations shall develop international laws to provide compensation for damage that activities under their control cause to areas beyond their borders.
  • Nations shall use the precautionary approach to protect the environment. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, scientific uncertainty shall not be used to postpone cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
  • In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process, and cannot be considered in isolation from it. Eradicating poverty and reducing disparities in living standards in different parts of the world are essential to achieve sustainable development and meet the needs of the majority of people.
  • Nations shall cooperate to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.
  • Nations should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and promote appropriate demographic policies.
  • Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens. Nations shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making environmental information widely available.
  • Nations shall enact effective environmental laws, and develop national law regarding liability for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. Where they have authority, nations shall assess the environmental impact of proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact.
  • Nations should cooperate to promote an open international economic system that will lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries. Environmental policies should not be used as an unjustifiable means of restricting international trade.
  • The polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution.
  • Nations shall warn one another of natural disasters or activities that may have harmful transboundary impacts.
  • Sustainable development requires better scientific understanding of the problems. Nations should share knowledge and innovative technologies to achieve the goal of sustainability.
  • The full participation of women is essential to achieve sustainable development. The creativity, ideals and courage of youth and the knowledge of indigenous people are needed too. Nations should recognize and support the identity, culture and interests of indigenous people.
  • Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development, and Nations shall respect international laws protecting the environment in times of armed conflict, and shall cooperate in their further establishment.
  • Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible.
The "Rio principles" give us parameters for envisioning locally relevant and culturally appropriate sustainable development for our own nations, regions, and communities. These principles help us to grasp the abstract concept of sustainable development and begin to implement it.

History of Education for Sustainable Development

From the time sustainable development was first endorsed at the UN General Assembly in 1987, the parallel concept of education to support sustainable development has also been explored.

From 1987 to 1992, the concept of sustainable development matured as committees discussed, negotiated, and wrote the 40 chapters of Agenda 21. Initial thoughts concerning ESD were captured in Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, "Promoting Education, Public Awareness, and Training."
Unlike most education movements, ESD was initiated by people outside of the education community. In fact, one major push for ESD came from international political and economic forums (e.g., United Nations, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization of American States). As the concept of sustainable development was discussed and formulated, it became apparent that education is key to sustainability. In many countries, ESD is still being shaped by those outside the education community. The concepts and content of ESD in these cases are developed by ministries, such as those of environment and health, and then given to educators to deliver. Conceptual development independent of educator input is a problem recognized by international bodies as well as educators.

Education: Promise and Paradox

Two of the major issues in the international dialog on sustainability are population and resource consumption. Increases in population and resource use are thought to jeopardize a sustainable future, and education is linked both to fertility rate and resource consumption. Educating females reduces fertility rates and therefore population growth. By reducing fertility rates and the threat of overpopulation a country also facilitates progress toward sustainability. The opposite is true for the relationship between education and resource use. Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes. In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability.

Unfortunately, the most educated nations leave the deepest ecological footprints, meaning they have the highest per-capita rates of consumption. This consumption drives resource extraction and manufacturing around the world. The figures from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Statistical Yearbook and World Education Report, for example, show that in the United States more than 80 percent of the population has some post-secondary education, and about 25 percent of the population has a four-year degree from a university. Statistics also show that per-capita energy use and waste generation in the United States are nearly the highest in the world. In the case of the United States, more education has not led to sustainability. Clearly, simply educating citizenry to higher levels is not sufficient for creating sustainable societies. The challenge is to raise the education levels without creating an ever-growing demand for resources and consumer goods and the accompanying production of pollutants. Meeting this challenge depends on reorienting curriculums to address the need for more-sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Every nation will need to reexamine curriculum at all levels (i.e., pre-school to professional education). While it is evident that it is difficult to teach environmental literacy, economics literacy, or civics without basic literacy, it is also evident that simply increasing basic literacy, as it is currently taught in most countries, will not support a sustainable society.

Thresholds of Education and Sustainability

Consider for instance, that when education levels are low, economies are often limited to resource extraction and agriculture. In many countries, the current level of basic education is so low that it severely hinders development options and plans for a sustainable future. A higher education level is necessary to create jobs and industries that are "greener" (i.e., those having lower environmental impacts) and more sustainable.

The relationship between education and sustainable development is complex. Generally, research shows that basic education is key to a nation's ability to develop and achieve sustainability targets. Research has shown that education can improve agricultural productivity, enhance the status of women, reduce population growth rates, enhance environmental protection, and generally raise the standard of living. But the relationship is not linear. For example, four to six years of education is the minimum threshold for increasing agricultural productivity. Literacy and numeracy allow farmers to adapt to new agricultural methods, cope with risk, and respond to market signals. Literacy also helps farmers mix and apply chemicals (e.g., fertilizers and pesticides) according to manufacturers' directions, thereby reducing the risks to the environment and human health. A basic education also helps farmers gain title to their land and apply for credit at banks and other lending institutions. Effects of education on agriculture are greatest when the proportion of females educated to threshold level equals that of males.

Education benefits a woman in life-altering ways. An educated woman gains higher status and an enhanced sense of efficacy. She tends to marry later and have greater bargaining power and success in the "marriage market." She also has greater bargaining power in the household after marriage. An educated woman tends to desire a smaller family size and seek the health care necessary to do so. She has fewer and healthier children. An educated woman has high educational and career expectations of her children, both boys and girls. For females, education profoundly changes their lives, how they interact with society, and their economic status.

Educating women creates more equitable lives for women and their families and increases their ability to participate in community decision making and work toward achieving local sustainability goals.

Another educational threshold is primary education for women. At least a primary education is required before birthrate drops and infant health and children's education improve. Nine to 12 years of education are required for increased industrial productivity. This level of education also increases the probability of employment in a changing economy. Few studies have been carried out on how education affects environmental stewardship, but one study suggests that a lower-secondary education (or approximately nine years) is necessary to intensify use of existing land and to provide alternative off-farm employment and migration from rural areas. Finally, a subtle combination of higher education, research, and life-long learning is necessary for a nation to shift to an information or knowledge-based economy, which is fueled less by imported technology and more by local innovation and creativity (UNESCO-ACEID, 1997).

Education directly affects sustainability plans in the following three areas:

Implementation. An educated citizenry is vital to implementing informed and sustainable development. In fact, a national sustainability plan can be enhanced or limited by the level of education attained by the nation's citizens. Nations with high illiteracy rates and unskilled workforces have fewer development options. For the most part, these nations are forced to buy energy and manufactured goods on the international market with hard currency. To acquire hard currency, these countries need international trade; usually this leads to exploitation of natural resources or conversion of lands from self-sufficient family-based farming to cash-crop agriculture. An educated workforce is key to moving beyond an extractive and agricultural economy.

Decision making. Good community-based decisions - which will affect social, economic, and environmental well-being - also depend on educated citizens. Development options, especially "greener" development options, expand as education increases. For example, a community with an abundance of skilled labor and technically trained people can persuade a corporation to locate a new information-technology and software-development facility nearby. Citizens can also act to protect their communities by analyzing reports and data that address community issues and helping shape a community response. For example, citizens who were concerned about water pollution reported in a nearby watershed started monitoring the water quality of local streams. Based on their data and information found on the World Wide Web, they fought against the development of a new golf-course, which would have used large amounts of fertilizer and herbicide in maintenance of the grounds.

Quality of life. Education is also central to improving quality of life. Education raises the economic status of families; it improves life conditions, lowers infant mortality, and improves the educational attainment of the next generation, thereby raising the next generation's chances for economic and social well-being. Improved education holds both individual and national implications.

What Sustainable Development is all about

Sustainable development (SD) is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems." Ecologists have pointed to The Limits to Growth, and presented the alternative of a "steady state economy"in order to address environmental concerns.

The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability.

Scope and definitions

The concept has included notions of weak sustainability, strong sustainability and deep ecology. Sustainable development does not focus solely on environmental issues.

In 1987, the United Nations released the Brundtland Report, which defines sustainable development as 'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the "interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars" of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection

Indigenous peoples have argued, through various international forums such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Convention on Biological Diversity, that there are four pillars of sustainable development, the fourth being cultural. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) further elaborates the concept by stating that "...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”; it becomes “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence". In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development.
Economic Sustainability: Agenda 21 clearly identified information, integration, and participation as key building blocks to help countries achieve development that recognises these interdependent pillars. It emphasises that in sustainable development everyone is a user and provider of information. It stresses the need to change from old sector-centred ways of doing business to new approaches that involve cross-sectoral co-ordination and the integration of environmental and social concerns into all development processes. Furthermore, Agenda 21 emphasises that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.

According to Hasna Vancock, sustainability is a process which tells of a development of all aspects of human life affecting sustenance. It means resolving the conflict between the various competing goals, and involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity famously known as three dimensions (triple bottom line) with the resultant vector being technology, hence it is a continually evolving process; the 'journey' (the process of achieving sustainability) is of course vitally important, but only as a means of getting to the destination (the desired future state). However, the 'destination' of sustainability is not a fixed place in the normal sense that we understand destination. Instead, it is a set of wishful characteristics of a future system.

Green development is generally differentiated from sustainable development in that Green development prioritizes what its proponents consider to be environmental sustainability over economic and cultural considerations. Proponents of Sustainable Development argue that it provides a context in which to improve overall sustainability where cutting edge Green development is unattainable. For example, a cutting edge treatment plant with extremely high maintenance costs may not be sustainable in regions of the world with fewer financial resources. An environmentally ideal plant that is shut down due to bankruptcy is obviously less sustainable than one that is maintainable by the community, even if it is somewhat less effective from an environmental standpoint.

Some research activities start from this definition to argue that the environment is a combination of nature and culture. The Network of Excellence "Sustainable Development in a Diverse World sponsored by the European Union, integrates multidisciplinary capacities and interprets cultural diversity as a key element of a new strategy for sustainable development.

Still other researchers view environmental and social challenges as opportunities for development action. This is particularly true in the concept of sustainable enterprise that frames these global needs as opportunities for private enterprise to provide innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. This view is now being taught at many business schools including the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.

The United Nations Division for Sustainable Development lists the following areas as coming within the scope of sustainable development.

Sustainable development is an eclectic concept, as a wide array of views fall under its umbrella. The concept has included notions of weak sustainability, strong sustainability and deep ecology. Different conceptions also reveal a strong tension between ecocentrism and anthropocentrism. Many definitions and images (Visualizing Sustainability) of sustainable development coexist. Broadly defined, the sustainable development mantra enjoins current generations to take a systems approach to growth and development and to manage natural, produced, and social capital for the welfare of their own and future generations.

During the last ten years, different organizations have tried to measure and monitor the proximity to what they consider sustainability by implementing what has been called sustainability metrics and indices.

Sustainable development is said to set limits on the developing world. While current first world countries polluted significantly during their development, the same countries encourage third world countries to reduce pollution, which sometimes impedes growth. Some consider that the implementation of sustainable development would mean a reversion to pre-modern lifestyles.

Others have criticized the overuse of the term:
"[The] word sustainable has been used in too many situations today, and ecological sustainability is one of those terms that confuse a lot of people. You hear about sustainable development, sustainable growth, sustainable economies, sustainable societies, sustainable agriculture. Everything is sustainable (Temple, 1992).

Environmental sustainability

The notion of capital in sustainable development

The business case for sustainable development

Sustainable development in economics

Further reading: