Sustainable developmentWhat is sustainable development?
The Government's Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), headed by Jonathan Porritt, says the following about it:
Two centuries of industrial development have made life better for many people in ways that would have been unimaginable even a generation ago.
But it has also brought increasing damage to the physical systems and social fabric on which our well-being depends.
It is clear we cannot continue in this way indefinitely. Indeed the call for a change of direction is urgent. What we need now is a different kind of development, one which meets people's needs without compromising our future.
For this to be sustainable, we must take full account of the social, economic and environmental impacts of our decisions, over the long term.
Sustainable development provides a framework for redefining progress and redirecting our economies to enable all people to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life, while ensuring that the natural systems, resources and diversity upon which they depend are maintained and enhanced both for their benefit and for that of future generations.
Sustainable development is inevitably a contested idea, dependent on finding the right balance between different and often conflicting objectives through much more integrated policy-making and planning processes.
Putting its principles into practice demands debate, experimentation and continuous learning, and therefore requires a thriving democracy to allow it to evolve and flourish.
The SDC describes six principles for sustainable development which need to be borne in mind when making decisions, developing policy and initiatives and making changes to the way things are now.
These are: putting sustainable development at the centre; valuing nature; fair shares; polluter pays; good governance; adopting a precautionary approach.
These principles are becoming more important to decision-making and project implementation processes of the county council.
They are becoming the foundation of developing more sustainable communities in Derbyshire.
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