Three Pillars of Sustainability and What They Mean to Sustainable Development

sustainable Development is defined by the Enviropedia as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

In essence, for sustainable development to take place, it must involve what is called the Three Pillars of Sustainability. These pillars are known as the environment, the economy, and the social aspects of those involved, or society.

The three pillars of sustainability keep the world rich in life and resources.

The environment is taken into consideration at each and every turn of sustainable development. It is believed that this causes the environment (water, land, minerals) to have a market value. Also, making the environment a part of the economy, resources are more responsibly used.

When it comes to social aspects, in order for there to be sustainable development, fair trade that supports fair exchange is necessary. Usually poorer communities are left out of the development loop and this must stop in order for sustainable development to be possible.

Indicators important in sustainable social development are life expectancy, education and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person.

In 1992 a total of 182 Heads of State came together in Rio and pledged on sustainable development projects. This was based on the Brundtland report and this pledge set in motion what is known as Agenda 21.

In order to move forward, development is needed. With the effects we have on the planet as well as the high number of poor communities, sustainable development is the only way forward that will benefit all.

Three Pillars of Sustainability

The Three Pillars of Sustainability sets out that development influences the environment, the economy and the social well being of people.

It promotes that development takes place in all three of these areas at the same time. An imbalance will throw everything off course.

Where development usually happens with the goal to maximize profit, sustainable development is vastly different.

Sustainable development’s three pillars allow for the health and mental wellbeing of the people by protecting and embracing cultures. The environment is taken into consideration by promoting more eco-friendly development and technologies while the economical development focuses on all members of the community and not just some.

Through sustainable development, we can be sure that our natural resources are being used to the fullest without causing unnecessary harm to our communities or environment. -ANNABEL SCHOEMAN

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