Sustainable development, to put it simply, means to make the Earth a better place for everyone without annihilating the possibilities for future generations.

Simultaneously, as the world’s population increases, our resources gradually decrease. We extensively consume goods every single day, and to keep up with the demands of the population, companies then double the amount of goods they produce.

This is where sustainable development becomes an apparent solution to the world’s growing problems. Formally defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), sustainable development is a “development that meets the needs of the people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The notion of this development is not only about material needs, it also involves basic human values.

In 1987, the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development issued the Brundtland Report. The report emphasized that each country is able to achieve complete economic potential while enhancing its resources at the same time, and that growth, equity, and environmental maintenance are concurrently possible as well. This report also highlighted the three vital elements of sustainable development: environment, society, and economy or the three P’s: planet, people, and profit.

Sustainable development, to put it simply, means to make the Earth a better place for everyone without annihilating the possibilities for future generations.

It is important that humans be the forefront to solve global issues, as the environment doesn’t have the ability to fully heal on its own – not when people damage it continuously each day. Sustainable development indicates that nature has rights too, ensuring the protection and health of our land, air, and sea for the future.

Effectively reducing poverty and hunger is one of the many goals made by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. Having better standards of education and healthcare, sustainable economic growth for a stronger economy and gender equality, are just some of the goals included in their list.

Economic development, however, is about giving people what they need without compromising the attributes of life now that the world is in a constant process of development. The three important components of sustainable development are meant to act together harmoniously, all while ensuring growth and safety.

Sustainable development somehow comes off as a circle. It’s a give and take situation. People are expected to consume because it’s our nature—it has and will always be rooted in us—but we can’t take more than what we can give back when it comes to our resources.

The simplest example would be trees. Research says people cut down 15 billion trees every year, and 46% of the world’s trees have been cleared over the past 12,000 years. Almost everything we purchase, develop and trade starts with nature. Think about what you’re doing and ask yourself, “Will I be able to do this over and over again, forever?”

Our planet is composed of a natural ecosystem that is supposed to be balanced at all times to make sure that the creatures who belong in it live for as long as possible. Disturbing the balance of our ecosystem can be terrible for all the living things relying on it.

How can we define Sustainable Development?

Climate Change

 Climate change is one of the biggest challenges our world is facing today. Climate change refers to the broader range of changes that are happening to our planet, which includes shrinking mountain glaciers; rising sea levels; shifts in flower/plant blooming times; and accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic.

Some people claim the phenomenon to be a hoax. However, it’s been a long proven statement by researchers around the world of its actuality and effects.

Sustainable development and climate change are greatly linked together. This change has been affecting every country on each continent, too. And in turn, the change weakens the ability of the countries to progress and attain sustainable development.

The Philippines has been vulnerable to extreme weather, for example. However, in the recent years, the country has suffered more. About 20 tropical cyclones enter the Philippine waters each year on average, with about eight or nine making landfall.

Countries that are still progressing, especially those which show signs of slow progress, will be likely to be affected the most. Somalia, Burundi, and the DRC will have to deal with their growing population while facing heavy floods, frequent droughts, extreme heat, and other physical impacts from climate change. Shockwaves to their economic, natural, and social systems are expected as well.

As climate change is projected to have a number of effects in the world, developing a long-term solution for sustainability and putting in mind the generations to come, seems like the only possible way to protect and enhance the marvels of our world. Humans have the minds and the ability to do just that.

However, we must first acknowledge everyone’s equal rights regardless of their appearance, skin colour, life status, political opinion, gender identity, and whatever makes each and every one of us, unique. Equality is one the significant steps to reach the goals set to achieve sustainable development. Respecting, and giving everyone a chance to land jobs are a move forward for a better social and economic system. The whole world must act for the present, thinking about the future – that is sustainable development.

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