Ignoring the environment while carrying out development may result in some short - term benefits , but in the long run , it is counter - productive and actually anti - development . Development without concern for the environment leads to great human suffering, higher poverty and oppression. Humans have destabilized the environment with indiscriminate deforestation, mineral exploitation, industrialization and urbanization, which has created wastelands, polluted rivers and the seas, and caused problems like global warming and acid rain. It has, therefore, become necessary to ensure that measures to protect the environment are taken when development is carried out, thereby achieving sustainable development. The growth in world population and the endless exploitation of nature by human beings has made the concept extremely important in the present age. Meaning and concept The WCE report of 1987 defines sustainable development as: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” Another definition is : “ Economic progress in which the quantity and quality of stocks of natural resources ( like forests ) and the integrity of bio - geo - chemical cycles ( like climate ) are sustained and passed on , unimpaired , to future generations . " Sustainable development is about policy and approach rather than a prescription or remedial measures. The Brundtland Report of 1987 defines sustainable development thus: “Sustainability is a characteristic or state that can be maintained indefinitely,

While development is the increasing capacity to meet human needs and improve the quality of human life; sustainable development, therefore, is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the supporting ecosystems. “Economic growth and sustainability are not conflicting concepts, but complement each other. Economic progress emphasizes qualitative as well as quantitative progress in the context of clean and qualitative improvement to socio - economic systems. Quantitative improvements enable us to meet the essential needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Qualitative improvements reflect our capacity to convert the use of Phys resources into better services for satisfying human wants.

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