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What is sustainability?

&r=1" class="c1"> The most popular definition of sustainability can be traced to the 1987 United Nation Conference, where it was defined sustainable developments as those that "meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs".

Courtesy: www.pdphoto.org &r=1" class="infc2">+ info
The first broadly accepted definition of sustainability dates back to 1987, were the United Nations (UN) World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development the “development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Many more definitions of sustainable development appeared, differing in some aspects, however the general consensus is that sustainable development has to include improvements at the social, environmental and economic level.

Under the two main concerns of severe ecological damage and the natural biophysical limits of an economy, two main lines of thought developed: weak vs. strong sustainability.

The weak sustainability concept was developed by Robert Solow and John Hartwick, two neoclassical economists. According to this view, what matters for future generations is the total aggregate stock of capital (human-made and natural). It does not matter how much of non-renewable resources current generations use or how much they pollute, has long as there are enough built infrastructures to compensate.

By contrast, the strong sustainability concept basically says that natural capital is non-substitutable; it recognizes the unaccounted ecological services and life-support functions performed by many forms of natural capital and the considerable risk associated with their irreversible loss.