Well it really is what the 2 words mean, progression that can be maintained. The entire concept is engrossed in just those two words – Progress and Maintenance. Evidently sustainable development is therefore an ongoing process of change and developments – change for the better, against a mechanism to maintain that change – say for others to come after you. Sustainable development is not static – it’s dynamic, it’s not only futuristic but also present, it’s not foregoing but finding alternative routes. A very common definition across the internet is the ability to meet the present goals without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet theirs. That is what sustainable development essentially is.
Because sustainable development is more about preserving for the future generations, a common misunderstanding is if this means that the current generation has to forego development for the sake of the upcoming generations. This is not necessarily true, even though it does hold in certain circumstances. Because change is inevitable, sustainable development is dynamic. It is the bettering of our lives today – without disregard of our consequences. This concept is not extremely foreign to the wellbeing of any healthy society. The principles of action and reaction are actually documented throughout scholarly works, from science to sociology. Sustainable development simply attempts to concertize you on the consequences of throwing a piece of plastic away, or releasing toxic gases when doing developmental work, or disposal of toxics into aqua bodies. As a result the concept transcends time. It’s in the past since today’s present was somebody’s future. The environment is as is because of another’s actions. Its in the present because humanity's endeavors to better its social existence has got ripple effects on that of tomorrows Lisas and Kanyes. It is the future because successful implementation of its principles will invariably better tomorrow's generation. Therefore maintaining a standing level of development is not time bound and sets itself across the entire spectrum of humanity's existence.
Nature was created in a systematic cyclic manner. From the orbits in the terrestrial bodies, to the cycle of birth, life and death – the way nature was set up is entirely cyclic. Redundancies that sustain life. Connections that matter. Dependencies that are not apparent at face value. Evolution brings development, and change and the human species has been an ever evolving class, more so in recent times than past times. Sustainable development is a check, a measure of when not to forego the warnings that nature throws when the cyclic nature of life is broken down. Sustainable development restores the balance of life to the ever so changing needs of humanity. It doesn’t counter development, it complements development. It sustains development. It maintains development. It anticipates problems and feed forward controls them , so that future developments are not premised on correcting past problems, but are focused on bettering some more the social stand of humanity.
You and Me. Cooperates and colleges. Churches and voluntary organisations. Schools and individuals. Everyone. That’s why it important to make sure everyone knows about its need. From academics to cooperate citizens, engineers to nurses, teachers to bus drivers. It’s imperative that the concept is grasped by any and all the citizens of your country, all the students in your class and everyone else around you.
Feel free to comment and input your contribution on what you take sustainable development to be. How you think it impacts you in your country, questions you have, and anything else you need to say. Feel free to use the comments section. The upcoming installment looks further into the concept in the context of developing countries like Zimbabwe, and how practical it really is.