Socio-cultural sustainability

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Socio-cultural sustainability


  •  Population Growth and Sustainable Development
  • Urbanization and Sustainable Development
  • Industrial Growth and Sustainable Development
  • Global Warming: Threat to Sustainable Development
  • military conflict and nuclear war
  • Environment and Development Projects
  • Biotechnology: A Way To Sustainable Development


The unsustainable lifestyles of more than a billion people and the unacceptable levels of poverty experienced by another billion people are the root causes of today’s major environmental problems. If these two issues are addressed urgently and seriously, the road to Rio will lead us to a better shared future. Development that is not equitable will not be sustainable and there can be no better future for mankind unless there is a slightly better common present (Swaminathan, 1992).

Evolution should not be at the expense of future generations or threaten the existence of other species. In fact, we have taken the earth on lease from our descendants and hence we must administer and take care of it very carefully. Our environment is something that we have inherited and every generation is indebted to the generations to come. Einstein once said that two things are infinite – the universe and the stupidity of man. We can only hope that the latter does not prompt him to pollute his environment indiscriminately until he succumbs to his own folly. Gro Mortem Brundtland says, “If everyone does what they want in the short term, we’re all losers in the long term.”

Therefore, we must adopt a way of living that recognizes that the Earth has a limited supply of resources, that humans are a part of nature, and that they are not superior to her. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Earth is the need of every man.

provides enough to satisfy a man’s wants, but not a person’s greed.” Therefore to fulfill his responsibility to his children to ensure that


They have the same chance to enjoy themselves as we have, people need to present the challenge of sustainable development as an opportunity to be taken on and not a threat to be avoided.

“We adults must ask ourselves what is the use of everything we do

It doesn’t help the kids? Let us commit ourselves. We are grateful for every child”

Mother Teresa



During this century, there has been a profound change in the relationship between the human world and the planet that sustains it. Settled agriculture, diversion of waterways, extraction of minerals, release of heat and harmful gases into the atmosphere, commercial forestry and tribal manipulation are some examples of human interference with natural systems during development. Population explosion, industrialization, urbanization and green revolution have brought many changes in the quality of our environment (Dhaliwal et al., 1992). These changes in the environment have threatened the existence of human beings. In terms of income and output, the world will be far more prosperous in the next century but the environment could be far worse. Future generations will be worse off as a result of environmental degradation resulting from economic decisions made today. The scale of economic activity may not be sustainable in the face of increasing pressure on natural resources.

Sustainable development is development that lasts. The specific concern in this concept is that those who enjoy the fruits of economic growth today may make future generations worse off by over-depleting the Earth’s resources and polluting the environment.

Earth’s atmosphere. The term sustainable development was brought into common use by the World Commission on Environment and Development (Bruntland Commission) in its report Our Common Future (WCEP, 1987). The idea of sustaining the earth has proven to be a powerful metaphor in raising public awareness and focus on the need for better environmental stewardship. According to the Brundtland Commission, sustainable development is development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.


To achieve sustainable development, we need nothing less than a global movement and a significant increase in political will and public pressure to persuade industry, governments and institutions to take responsibility for their actions. Sustainable development has two major concepts within it. Concepts of needs, especially the essential needs of the world’s poor, which should be given paramount priority and consideration of the limits imposed by technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet current and future needs (WCED, 1987) .

Sustainable development requires that the adverse impacts on the quality of air, water and other natural elements are minimized so that the overall integrity of the eco-system is maintained.



Sustainable development is a process of change in which resource exploitation, direction of investment, direction of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both present and future capacity to meet human needs and aspirations. It is a dynamic process aimed at meeting the needs of economic development for now and in the future, without compromising on the environment.

The concept of sustainable development received tremendous interest in June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as the Earth Summit. The conference brought together more than 100 heads of state and scientific experts from around the world. The world focused on the impact of unregulated economic growth on the deteriorating global environment. In a landmark agreement, UNCED adopted Agenda 21, a multi-pronged, comprehensive plan designed to deliver a sustainable future. UNCED also established the Commission on Sustainable Development (CED), which is responsible for monitoring progress in implementing Agenda 21 (Trivedi et al., 1994).


Man has been playing with nature since the beginning of civilization. However, its impact on the environment was not felt as the human population was very small. With the advent of agriculture and progress in the industrial sector, the human population began to increase tremendously. Sustainable capacity development is closely linked to the dynamics of population growth. From the beginning of the human species to the end of World War I, it took more than 10,000 generations to reach a world population of a little over two billion. But only in the last 45 years, it has grown from a little over 2 billion to 5.7 billion and in the coming 45 years it will be 9-10 billion.

Developed countries have a disproportionate impact on the global environment compared to developing countries. A child born in a country with high levels of material and energy use places a greater burden on the Earth’s resources than a child born in a poor country. For example, a child born in the United States will have 30 times more impact on the Earth’s environment during their lifetime than a child born in India (Gore, 1994). Thus, the rich people of the world

They have a responsibility to deal with their disproportionate influence.



The following facts speak volumes about the disastrous consequences of uncontrolled population growth.

At 5.7 billion, the global baby boom is dangerous. It will reach 6 billion by 1998. With an annual growth of 94 million, the world population is set to touch 8.5 billion by 2025 and 12.5 billion by 2050.

By 2025, the population ratio between the developed North and the developing South is projected to be 1:5.

About 54 percent of the global population growth is confined to South Asia and Africa.

Thirty percent of the developing world’s population lives on about one dollar a day. 62% of the world’s poor are in South Asia.

The richest fifth of the population controls 83 percent of the world’s wealth while the poorest fifth account for barely 1.4 percent of the global income cake. No wonder, an average person in the developed world consumes 12 times more

More than one energy in the poor South. About 52 percent of India’s population lives below the poverty line of less than Rs 110 per month.

The failure of the family planning program has been a major reason for India’s continuing backwardness. (The gains of economic growth are offset by population explosion. Therefore, in India we must adopt a rational, women-centred, welfare-o.)


Human oriented approach towards family planning if we really want to achieve substantial reduction in population growth rate. The draft National Population Policy was presented by a 10-member group, headed by Dr. M.S. The recommendations made by Swaminathan on May 21, 1994 are the latest, their main thrust being the decentralization of the family planning programme, to separate population planning from the political process and the establishment of an autonomous Population Commission on the lines of the Planning Commission or the Election Commission Can go The main merit of the recommendations is that the money should go directly to the Panchayats. Not only this, this program will provide employment to educated rural youth and present a glimpse of modernity in our villages.

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan has rightly said that the time has come to move away from “Think”.





From “Act locally” to “Think locally, act and plan and support nationally”. With the pride of place given to Panchayats, it is natural that the grassroots organizations prepare their own socio-demographic charters keeping in mind the concepts of gender equality, education for all, integrated health, housing, sanitation, nutritional security and employment. Should do

Family planning is more widely accepted in societies that provide their people with basic needs and services such as housing, health care, and education. This is true even in low-income countries such as Costa Rioa, Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Botswana. These countries have reduced their fertility rates through high levels of “social investment” in education, especially for women. What they spend on health and education is more than four times what they spend on the military.

For a happy and healthy tomorrow women have to be given strong support so that they can get their rightful place in the society. Increasing emphasis on girls’ education, increase in the age of marriage, new job opportunities for women and new legislation providing freedom and parallel rights to women should help bring about a qualitative change in the social order. But more than in urban India, we need to take a closer look at the condition of women in rural areas. Some of these basic ideas have been incorporated in the draft National Population Policy. Once we start getting nourished by common sense and common man’s wisdom, tackling the world’s toughest number game becomes easy.







Urbanization and Sustainable Development


Today 25 percent of India’s population i.e. 217 million people live in urban areas. On average, a quarter of this number live in slums. This figure is even higher in big cities. More than half of Bombay’s 100 lakh population live in slums. Calcutta has 5 lakh pavement dwellers who live, sleep, cook and defecate on the streets. Even a well-planned city like Chandigarh, which was built for 5 lakh people, which it should have reached by 2000, already has 7.7 lakh people living in it. About a quarter of them live in slums. By 2000, one-third of India’s population will live in urban areas. The number of cities with a population of more than one million (Class I cities) has increased from •216 in 1981 to 300 in 1991 (Anonymous, 1994).

The Industrial Revolution led to the growth of cities where people began to concentrate

Large scale and urbanization thus brought about profound social, economic and environmental changes. The overcrowding of population in big cities has given rise to an acute shortage of clean air. The atmosphere is badly polluted by the exhaust gases emitted by many factories, heating installations of plants and vehicles. The low quality fuel used in most vehicles produces large amounts of pollutants such as lead and sulfur dioxide. Oil refineries must therefore be persuaded to reduce the amount of lead in gasoline and vehicles must be designed to accommodate unleaded fuel. propel vehicles

Emission control devices like rock converters should be provided. Urbanization contributes to air, water and noise pollution to a great extent. Therefore, the development of smaller urban centers needs to make the wheel of progress more sustainable.




  Industrial Growth and Sustainable Development

Industry has always been and will continue to be a major cause of economic development around the world. Economic development and sound environmental management are complementary aspects of the same agenda. Without adequate environmental protection, development would be stunted; Without development, environmental protection will collapse, while the primary objectives of the New Economic Policy are to accelerate industrial development, improve operational efficiency and competitiveness, increase exports, and induce more foreign investment. Inevitably, this will have both direct and transformative as well as positive and negative environmental consequences. The types of industries that grow rapidly determine the severity of pressure on natural resources and • the resulting environmental impacts. Irrespective of the nature of development, more indu

Sterilization means greater extraction of resources and, therefore, greater disposal of wastes.

In general, industries and industrial operations should be encouraged that are more efficient in terms of resource use, that generate less pollution and waste, that are based on the use of renewable rather than non-renewable resources, and that have no irreversible impact on human beings. Minimize advance effects. Health and Environment. There are 17 industries which have been declared most polluting – Sugar, Fertilizer, Cement, Fermentation and Distillery, Aluminium, Petro-chemical, Thermal Power, Caustic Soda, Oil Refinery, Tanneries, Copper Smelter, Zinc Smelter, Iron and Steel, Pulp and Paper, Dye and Dye Intermediates, Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals. The latest data released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on March 30, 1993 shows that there are a total of 1629 units in the country which come under these.


categories. Of these, 805 have complied with the pollution control standards prescribed by the Ministry. 76 units have been shut down following action initiated by the State Pollution Control Board. Of the remaining 555 units that were set up before 1981, they are yet to comply with the standards.

Industries produce hazardous wastes. In 1984, approximately 325–375 million tons of hazardous waste were generated worldwide. If these harmful industrial wastes are left untreated, many environmental problems can arise. Rational Environment Metallurgical Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur has developed some low cost pollution abatement systems for small scale industries, effluent treatment and hazardous waste management Biotechnology has been used since. Polluters should be encouraged to set up common effluent treatment plants. Industry should be encouraged to use non-conventional energy resources Adequate amount of research and development efforts should be made to tet non-conventional energy resources.



Global Warming: Threat to Sustainable Development


Global warming is a major obstacle in the way of sustainable development. Environmental resources such as the atmosphere and water can be considered global public goods. Their conservation benefits not only the local population but also other countries: politicians and even ordinary people have expressed concern over global warming and its consequences. In the last 18,000 years, the world’s temperature has increased by only 4 °C. But since 1850 it has increased by 0.5 – l°C in the industrial era. If trends continue, global temperatures are expected to increase by 2–5 °C by the middle of the next century (Dhaliwal and Kler, 1995). ‘Greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. Developed countries are the major contributors of greenhouse gases. According to one view, climate change, due to greenhouse gases, affects agriculture and forestry the most, but does no harm to industry. Since the income of developed countries comes mostly from industry, they do not suffer as much loss from global warming, while developing countries, which depend on agriculture, are at a disadvantage. But in reality global warming is an externality in which the polluters also suffer.

Both developed and developing countries contribute to greenhouse gases. But developed countries are in a strong position to effectively reduce emissions because they have high levels of per capita fossil fuel consumption. climate change implementation


Therefore, the convention adopted at the Rio conference is based on the initiatives to be taken by the developed countries in the coming years. In turn, this depends on the political consensus that developed countries have been able to achieve on the issue. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have a very high global warming potential, but fortunately they will be phased out fairly rapidly in two decades with the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

It is clear that if satisfactory progress is to be made in phasing out greenhouse gases, lifestyles must change urgently. This is not necessarily a decline in living standards or a sacrifice of amenities and services that most prosperous nations enjoy. But some changes will be necessary. For example, greater use of public transport or renewable energy technologies and energy efficient measures.

implementation, many of which are possible but are delayed as a result of institutional, cost-related and height-related constraints. Without leadership from the world’s biggest polluters, it is unlikely that any progress will be made in limiting emissions worldwide.

On the other hand, if developing countries are not prepared for this possibility, they are at a great disadvantage. Therefore, governments must quickly change their perception and establish partnerships with centers of excellence and expertise outside governments. Institutions of higher education in developed countries have a culture and tradition of policy research and have a prominent voice in decision making. have taken a similar stance


To be followed in developing countries. India should take the lead in this regard, as it not only has the infrastructure for meaningful research, but also has a very important role to play in global discourse as a major developing country.



military conflict and nuclear war

Among the threats facing the environment, the potential for nuclear war or military conflict involving weapons of mass destruction is undoubtedly the greatest. Certain aspects of peace and security issues directly impact on the concept of sustainable development. Arms competition and armed conflict pose major obstacles to sustainable development. They lay heavy claims on scarce material resources. They undo the human resources and money that could be used under the collapse of environmental support systems, the poverty and under-development that in combination contribute to so much of contemporary political insecurity.


Nuclear war is a threat to civilization. It has been officially discovered by scientists that smoke and dust released into the atmosphere by nuclear war can absorb enough solar radiation to stay aloft for some time, preventing sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface This could lead to widespread and prolonged cooling of land areas. , This would have serious implications for plant life in general and agriculture in particular, disrupting the production of food to sustain the survivors of the war. Nuclear war can neither be won nor fought. After this, there will be no difference between the so-called winner and the loser. Biological warfare could release new agents of disease that would prove difficult to control.

The absence of war is not peace, nor does it necessarily provide the conditions for sustainable development. Competitive arms race ~ creates insecurity between nations through a spiral of mutual fear. Nations need to mobilize resources to combat environmental degradation and widespread poverty. By misdirecting scarce resources, the arms race further contributes to insecurity. Therefore, nations must seek security through cooperation, compromise, and mutual restraint. Since it is often uncertainty and insecurity that prompt international conflict. It is extremely important that governments become aware of impending environmental stress, before the damage actually threatens core national interests.





Environment and Development Projects

Every development project, especially large infrastructural projects like dams, railways, highways etc., has an environmental and wider social, economic and cultural impact. The pros and cons of development projects must be weighed against the environment. While undertaking such a project, it should be seen that the national objectives of both environment as well as development should be met in the best possible manner.

Development projects like dams, roads and railway lines cause development as well as environmental destruction. Dams pose a risk of flooding and waterlogging and also disrupt existing drainage systems. Inland fisheries projects aimed at maximizing immediate profits may disturb the ecological balance. Large forest areas have to be submerged to build a dam. Thousands of families have to be displaced and thousands of old trees have to be cut for such projects. In some cases, the social, economic and environmental costs are unacceptably high. Some railway and highway projects cause a huge increase in noise and air pollution.


Development at the cost of greenery and ecology cannot be called sustainable development. Therefore, in order to achieve sustainable development, the construction of such projects must keep pace with the environmental requirements. It must be ensured that development projects are properly sited so as to minimize their adverse environmental consequences. In fact, this is the only basis for sustainable development.




Biotechnology: A Way to Sustainable Development


Uncontrolled mechanization, excessive exploitation of natural resources, deforestation and extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture have brought about many changes in various components of the environment. Pesticide consumption in India increased from 12,048 tonnes in 1965–66 to 80,000 tonnes in 1991, and is expected to reach 100,000 tonnes by the year 2000. Excessive use of pesticides has resulted in multiplication of insects. More than 200 major pests attack crops and some of them have developed resistance to insecticides. Harmless and helpful insects and birds are often killed indiscriminately. Herbs are used to suppress the activity of microorganisms.

cries. The total consumption of nutrients in the form of fertilizers has increased from about 65 thousand tonnes in 1951-52 to 11.4 million tonnes in 1990-91 and the consumption is estimated to be about 180 million tonnes by the end of the century. Intensive use of nitrogenous fertilizers has increased the level

of nitrates in groundwater. Recent studies have linked human cancer with nitrate uptake. Some phosphorus also enters surface water by runoff from areas of high concentration.

The alarming increase in population has made it necessary to increase the production of agricultural products. Since the area under cultivation is more or less inelastic, this growth has to be achieved by harvesting the maximum from the available land resources. Biotechnology offers new technologies to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of our agricultural systems in comparison to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Microorganisms are the workhorses of biotechnology and today they provide solutions to many man-made problems. Biotechnological answers are rapidly emerging not only to detoxify the environment through bioremediation but also to enhance the use of our natural resources by bioconversion and application of probiotics. Four major categories of biotechnology applications in solving environmental problems include environmental monitoring, bioremediation, environmental protection through safer bio-alternatives, and waste minimization (Jayaraman, 1993).




Use of eco-friendly biopesticides in controlling agricultural pests should be adopted as a step towards sustainable development. -Biopesticides are biological control agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and insects that work in plants for pest control. These are much safer than their toxic chemical counterparts. They are persistent and give permanent control and they do not accumulate in the food chain. Resistance to organic pesticides does not develop very easily.

Given the concern for environmental pollution and sustainable agriculture, the interest in the integrated use of organic manures and organic fertilizers should be renewed. Legume green manures offer great potential as a source of organic matter and nitrogen for crops. The development of biofertilizers as an alternative to chemical fertilizers is an important area of environmental protection and a way of sustainable development. Biofertilizers are small organisms (nitrogen-fixing bacteria, algae, and fungi) that fix atmospheric nitrogen in plants or soil to supply the nitrogenous nutrients needed for plant growth. They improve soil fertility after harvesting and do not leave residual toxicity. Therefore, by adopting eco-friendly practices, we can contribute towards sustainable development.





Nature Management and Sustainable Development

The future and well-being of a nation depends on sustainable development. It is a process of social and economic development, betterment that meets the needs and values of all interest groups without closing out future options. For this, we must ensure that the environment from which we derive our sustenance does not exceed its carrying capacity for the present and future generations of that deity.

The pressure on the environment and natural resources has been increasing progressively over the years, the alarming consequences of which are becoming evident in increasing proportion. These result in denial of the benefits of development and worsen the quality of life of the poor who are directly dependent on natural resources. It is in this context that we need a renewed thrust towards conservation and sustainable development. We can meet the challenges of sustainable development by redirecting the thrust of our developmental process to meet the basic needs of our people through judicious and sustainable use of our natural resources. Conservation, which covers a wide range of concerns and activities, is a key element of policy for sustainable development. Development requires the use and modification of natural resources,


More than 17 percent of the land in India is covered by forests and more than 54,000 km2 of wetlands are under protection. Its living resources include 45,000 species of plants, about 370 mammals, 1200 birds, 60,000 insects, 180 amphibians, 1700 fish and 400 reptiles. India has more than 75 percent of the 425 families of flowering plants in the world. It has 421 wildlife sanctuaries and 66 national parks which constitute 4 per cent of its total area (Punita, 1993). However, over-exploitation of resources has exposed our biodiversity to various ecological threats.

We must reinforce our traditional ethos and build a conservation society living in harmony with nature and making frugal and efficient use of resources guided by the best available scientific knowledge to ensure sustainable development. We must control future degradation of land, water and air that form our life support system and take steps for restoration of ecologically degraded areas and environmental improvement in our rural and urban settlements. Adoption of research, development and v


Iron compatible technology should be encouraged and use of modern tools of science and technology for conservation, bridging the wide gap in supply and demand.

Along with this, control and monitoring of natural resources should be promoted. Sustainable use of forests and other ecosystems should be pioneered that will allow the species to survive despite commercial activities.

Furthermore, in order to achieve sustainable development, people need to change their lifestyle and unsustainable habits of waste. If we want to pass on to future generations the opportunities in life to enjoy ourselves as we please, this may no longer be an option. There must be a rapid change in the consumption patterns of both the rich and the poor in order to achieve sustainable development. The pressure on the resources that will be needed in the future is exacerbated by inequality through wastage and overuse and the destruction of non-renewable resources by the affluent and overuse and destruction of renewable resources by the poor.

Industrialized countries, with less than a quarter of the world’s population, consume four-fifths of their natural resources and generate about three-quarters of the total waste produced each year. On the other hand, poor women get up before dawn, walk miles to reach home


More and more dwindling forests to cut and bundle wood, and then to carry their heavy loads ten kilometers to the nearest town, to get half a meal a day. So in their desperate attempt to survive today, people are forced to forgo their tomorrow and overuse their environment.

Furthermore, the energy consumption of the poor is not environmentally friendly, for example, a woman who cooks in a clay pot over an open fire uses perhaps eight times as much energy as an affluent neighbor with a gas stove and aluminum utensils. uses. The poor who light their homes with kerosene lamps get 1/50th the light of a 100-watt electric bulb, but use the same amount of energy. A global strategy is therefore needed to tackle both extreme affluence and widespread poverty because there can be no real sustainable development without greater equality and respect for human rights.



  people’s participation

People’s participation in programs for environmental improvement and for integrating environmental concerns in the planning and implementation of development programs should be ensured. ‘Environmental consciousness’ should be created through education and mass awareness programmes. To implement international, national and local policies to fully develop the energies and talents of children and youth and to achieve sustainable human development The family and its immediate community are the most logical way to meet the needs of children and youth The function is the ~ point. Village level institutions should be designed to ensure community participation in the management of environmental resources (Desh Bandhu and 1990).

Sustainable development is not the task of the government alone, but it is up to each member of the society to contribute in the form of sophisticated and sustainable habits, for example, using public transport, recycling waste, turning off lights or Do AC, etc. A guilty conscience cannot be appeased by the excuse that no individual action can make a meaningful contribution to solving such huge problems. To achieve sustainable development, we have to bring a change in our lifestyle. The long-term goal should be for people to pass all their actions through a green quality filter, just as they make decisions today on financial, health, social and legal considerations, or as the United States-based World Watch Institute puts it, “When most people look at a large automobile and think first about the air pollution it causes, rather than the social status it conveys, environmental ethics may have been acquired.”



Accepting filth and filth as a part of daily life has become a trend on the part of the common man responsible for our cities being dirty. Nor is there any public awareness or participation, which is essential for sustainable development of cities. What partnerships can achieve can be seen in the success of Xnora International in Madras. Through a simple waste collection program called Civic Xnora, the voluntary organization covers 20 percent of the city (Anonymous, 1994a).

Women have an important role to play in solving environmental problems. However, despite international targets of 30 percent of women in leadership positions by 1995 and equal representation by men and women by 2000, very few women have been involved in decision-making regarding policies, programs or funding for the environment (Ress , 1992).

Therefore, to achieve sustainable development, major changes have to be brought in the thinking of the people. Sustainable societies must understand and act on the following principles:

I must recognize that ea

have a limited supply of non-renewable resources

I must restrict my choices within the limits set by the supply of natural resources by using conservation, recycling and renewable resources

It should cooperate with nature instead of trying to overcome it

It should be realized that all actions have hidden effects which have to be determined while doing the cost-benefit analysis.

or should go

It should reduce waste and reduce pollution

It should emphasize individual responsibility and actions to achieve a sustainable future




Sustainable Development: Future Perspectives

The future of sustainable development is closely linked to environmental science. Rarely has an academic subject become such a major issue in the public consciousness as the environment. Within a few years, environmental science has grown from a relatively obscure branch of science to a subject of international importance. education,



Business, politics, law, agriculture, engineering, medicine, public health and even international affairs are all affected by the sudden surge of ecological and environmental concern. It is absolutely essential for humanity to put environmental considerations first in the management of business, industry and agriculture. It is imperative for the people of the world to control population growth more effectively before human overcrowding becomes unmanageable. Anything less than a major reconfiguration of lifestyles would be enough to alert to total environmental destruction. It was the global concern for the protection of the environment that led to the largest government conference on the planet. The Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 3–14, 1992, attended by delegates from 178 countries, including 103 heads of state from both developing and developed countries. The conference adopted three landmark agreements that would go a long way in ensuring sustainable development with minimum disturbance to the ecosystem in the future (Anonymous, 1992a).

(i) Agenda 21. It is a non-binding action plan on the global environment and development, and includes more than 100 program areas ranging from poverty alleviation and strengthening the role of different sectors of civil society to protect the environment, soil, water and environment To do. Mountains of the planet. Agenda 21 represents the first global action plan aimed at promoting sustainable development. It reflects the development priorities of 178 developing and donor countries in a way that no other document has ever done. In fact, it is the first attempt to define a framework for action where the interrelated issues of economy, environment, poverty and development are recognised.

(ii) Framework Convention on Climate Change. The ultimate objective of this convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such levels must be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to naturally adapt to climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened and support economic development. To be able to move forward in a sustainable manner. Most of the governments present in Rio signed the climate convention, with the notable exception being Malaysia, which called the convention “meaningless” due to the lack of binding targets for greenhouse reductions.

(iii) Convention on Biological Diversity. The purpose of this convention is to protect




Biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The convention is more responsive to the aspirations of developing countries, in particular the right to compensation for damage to biological diversity and the right to share in the benefits of biotechnology developed from genetic material. These points deterred the United States from signing the treaty, but 153 other countries signed, including all other developed nations. This treaty has come into effect from 30 December 1993.

The negotiators of the Earth Summit agreed on the need for a United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. The commission is expected to be a high-level entity with a range of independent powers, along the lines of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The Commission will act as a world watchdog to ensure that countries are meeting the promises made at the Earth Summit, in particular those laid out in Agenda 21, meeting the needs of global economic development with the protection of the environment. Conference outline to do. The 47th United Nations General Assembly formally established the commission.

Agenda 21 and the Conventions on Biodiversity and Climate Change are considered passports to a better common future for mankind. However, the following five areas require priority attention if we are to achieve the goals that indicate

Editing the organization of the summit (Swaminathan, 1992):

(i) Population. Population control and achieving a balance between human population and natural resources is absolutely essential for sustainable progress in the quality of life. Education and economic opportunities for women, reduction of infant mortality and care of the girl child must be given top priority for family planning programs to be successful.

(ii) Poverty. About 82.7 percent of global income goes to about 20 percent of the world’s population and only 1.4 percent of global income goes to the poorest Arabs. A large part of the income of the poor is spent on the purchase of food. Concurrent focus on food production, distribution and income generation to achieve nutritional security

No need to give. To convert the goal of food for all into reality, the policy of employment for all is very necessary. In India, around 100 million new jobs have to be created by 2000 AD, if we want to ensure access to food to every citizen. financial need



Rights have to be linked to ecological responsibilities at every level.

(iii) Pollution. Controlling and eliminating all forms of air, water and soil pollution requires immediate attention if sustainable food security is to be achieved. Environmental cleanliness requires a lot of priority from the citizen as well as the government.

(iv) Safety of life-support systems. Protection of land, water, fauna, flora and environment should be the joint responsibility of the people and the government. The participation of local people in the management of natural resources is essential to promote sustainable progress in food production.

(v) Public policy and action. Public policy going green is essential for both food security and poverty alleviation. It must be ensured that technology, training and business adapt to the environment.






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