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Sustainable Development

Sustainable development 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 in the indefinite future. 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."

The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts:

  • environmental sustainability,
  • economic sustainability and
  • sociopolitical sustainability.

UK priorities

In terms of focusing our efforts, the UK has identified four priority areas for immediate action, shared across the UK, these are:



India's Initiative at glance

The Centre is thinking of eco-friendly ways to deal with the power shortage situation. It has come up with a plan to develop 60 cities as "Solar Cities". This will be achieved through energy-efficiency steps and power generation from renewable-energy installations.

The Indian National CDM Authority has accorded host country approval to 753 projects, facilitating investment of more than US$ 16 billion, in areas of energy efficiency, fuel switching, industrial processes, municipal solid waste and renewable energy and has the potential to generate 421 million CERs by 2012. India has registered the largest number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the world. The World Bank has said that the carbon trade market, which is set to grow from the present level of US$ 30 billion annually to US$ 100 billion, can prove to be another IT sector for India. CERs are set to rise by 75 per cent in 2008 and India accounts for 43 per cent of emission reductions. The carbon market size, which was US$ 62 billion in 2007, is likely to grow up to US$ 94–100 billion in 2008.

Green buildings are constructions in which resources like energy, water, and materials are used efficiently, through better design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of waste, reducing negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Green fuel or Biofuel can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biological material, mostly plants. It is now emerging as an eco-friendly option as compared to fossil fuels. India will replace 10 per cent of its transport fuels with biofuels like ethanol and jatropha in the next 10 years to cut carbon emissions.

  • Tata Motors and space agency ISRO are likely to launch the prototype of the world's cleanest vehicle that will run on hydrogen and leave behind nothing more than a trail of water vapour, in 2008.
  • Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Eicher Motors have come together to develop hydrogen-blended compressed natural gas (HCNG)-run vehicles.

Efforts for making farming more eco-friendly are on.

A team of biochemists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, has discovered a new microorganism that can produce large quantities of a popular bio-insecticide to fight pests. The Kerala government will execute a broad organic vegetables farming programme targetted at making the State self-sufficient in vegetables production. The programme will be launched in 2008 and it envisages bringing in 5,000 hectares of land, extended over 1,000 villages, under vegetable cultivation.

CSR: From Awareness to Achievement

Over 80 per cent corporates in India are involved in corporate social responsibility, according to a detailed survey about CSR in India by Partners in Change, an agency set up by the NGO ActionAid. Out of the 536 companies surveyed, various categories of CSR undertaken included: health (66 per cent) followed by education (56 per cent), natural resource management 38 per cent, infrastructure development (per cent), community support (28 per cent), livelihood non-farm based development (20 per cent) and livelihood farm-based development (12 per cent).

Notable companies include Coca-Cola, Lenova, Cisco, ArcelorMittal, Intel and HCL.


UK initiatives explains how you can as an individual make a difference to your community.

Whether you are a resident's group, sports club, neighbourhood group, faith group or an other kind of community group, there are lots of practical actions you can take which will make a big difference locally, nationally and even globally. By working together it can be much easier and lots of fun too. Here are five ways any community group can make a big difference.

  1. Be a 'carbon free community' to help beat climate change.
  2. Make your community group a Fairtrade zone
  3. Recycle now - recycle together. The possibilities are endless!
  4. Be a 'buy local' group and help make local food work
  5. Be a 'cleaner, safer, greener' group

Reality Check: Did you contribute towards sustainable development to your neighbourhood or community ?

If yes, please share your experiences by commenting on this post.


Santosh Puthran

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