What are some difficulties in achieving sustainable development?


Definition: Sustainable development is a pattern of economic growth in which resource use 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.

Why is it difficult for humans to achieve sustainable development?

And why?




Although the concept of sustainable development is one that appears to have marked implications for both the short- and long-term survival of a country, the reality is that the development and implementation of policy toward the end of sustainable development has proven to be an elusive goal. While numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the United Nations and the European Union have put forth initiatives toward the goal of sustainable development, these initiatives have done little to improve environmental outcomes for many countries. As such, this investigation considers what steps should be taken to ensure sustainable development in the international community. By developing a policy and examining the barriers to successful implementation, it will be possible to demonstrate both the difficulties of achieving sustainable development as well as the actions that need to be taken to ensure a positive outcome.

Examining the potential policies that could improve the viability of sustainable development initiatives, it seems reasonable to assume that the World Trade Organization (WTO) should become actively involved in the process. Specifically, the WTO should set definitive standards of sustainable development—i.e. air pollution emissions, water pollution standards, deforestation rates, etc.—for each member country. Once these standards have been set a regulatory committee should be developed to monitor the progress of each country. If a specific country fails to meet the objectives outlined by the WTO, the organization should then have the authority to impose trade sanctions until the country complies with the regulations. While this proposal appears to provide a salient solution to a serious problem, there are a number of barriers to successful implementation.


The shortest answer I can give you is that sustainable development is a bit of an oxymoron. Development is a linear process, you are always trying to improve/build/create with some undefined goal in mind. Sustainability requires there to be todays resources in the future, that means that resources (especially non renewables) need to be maintained, requiring them to be reused and put back into the system. Thus the whole process of sustainability is cyclical.

Its thus impossible to develop (which requires a change of environment) while keeping the old one. The best you can do is imitate.

So you can either get trees and forests, or concrete and skyscrapers. You can however, get skyscrapers with a green roof. But, considering the ecosystem of a forest, and all the animals/veg/insects that used to live in it, is it really the same?

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