Sustainable Development: Meaning and Examples

Due to its balanced approach between economic development and environmental sustainability, sustainable human development, also known as people-centered development, has become more and more popular over the last few years. Rapid urbanization and globalization present a number of previously unmet issues that must be overcome. Cities operate as powerful magnets, drawing large numbers of people, which is considerably complemented by immense obstacles like rising pollution, lively use of natural resources, and mass exploitation of energy sources. Cities are focal places for big changes and mighty potential.

What is the Meaning of Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is a common abbreviation for the phrase sustainability. Growth can be thought of as development, so achieving sustainable development entails addressing the issue brought on by ongoing economic expansion without posing a threat to it. Once the acclaimed study "Our Common Future" by the International Commission on Environment and Development was released in 1987, the term "sustainable development" quickly achieved wide acceptance in the international scientific community.

The ability of future generations to meet their own requirements is not compromised when development is sustainable, according to this definition. The assertion is accurate and gives many people what they want, but it makes no recommendations or guarantees on how to gauge the development of sustainable solutions.

Examples of Sustainable Development

Major examples of sustainable development are −

Need for Sustainable Development

In the last two or three decades, it has become clear that environmental sustainability has suffered in the name of economic progress. As a result, there have been negative effects on the environment, including deterioration of the air quality and climate change brought on by greenhouse gases.

All of these reasons made sustainable development necessary since, if unregulated, it can harm the environment irreparably.

Scope of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is observed as the mutually beneficial interaction between the legal interest of a business and the economy, government and politics, and civil society, and culture. However, these social interactions do not exist alone. On the physical and material side, the society is bound by the carrying capacity of several ecosystems, landscape ecology, and eventually the biosphere of the Earth or Nature.

On the spiritual and psychological side, the three fold functional differentiation of society is inspected by the caring capacity of an individual. Therefore, we can say that sustainable development is a multidimensional concept, involving not less than four dimensions.

Goals of Sustainable Development

The United Nations approved sustainable development objectives in 2015 as a global initiative to combat poverty and pollution by the year 2030, safeguard the environment, and bring prosperity to all people. They are a collection of 17 objectives with 169 targets that serve as the global blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for everybody and reflect the post-2015 development agenda.

The Three primary objectives of Sustainable Developments −

Achievements of Sustainable Development

The following guidelines can help us attain sustainable development −

  • Limiting human activity is one way to achieve it.

  • Instead of utilizing input, technological development should be input effective.

  • Consumption should not occur at a faster rate than salvation.

  • The rate of consumption of renewable resources should not outpace the rate of generation of renewable alternatives.

  • Pollution of all kinds ought to be minimized that can be accomplished by using natural resources wisely.

History of Sustainable Development

  • Brundtland Commission − The Brundtland Commission, subsequently known as the Global Commission on Environment and Development, was established by the UN in 1983. In order to meet the demands of the present without compromising the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs, sustainable development was defined.

  • Earth Summit − The Earth Summit of 1992 took place at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). It increased people's understanding of the importance of fusing environmental protection with sustainable growth.

  • UN Agenda 21 − The United Nations' Agenda 21 (also known as "Agenda for the 21st Century") is a non-binding action plan for sustainable development. It seeks to create sustainable development on a global scale.


Adhering to the Sustainable Development Goals is unquestionably essential. The greatest way to forecast the future is to create it, so it is time for each of us to embrace an "energy-efficient and green" mindset and make wise, responsible use of the natural resources we have at our disposal.

India must therefore work diligently to achieve its sustainable development goals through careful planning, coordination, and application of practices and policies that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of a developed and self-sufficient nation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is aim of sustainable development?

Ans. Sustainable development seeks to use resources without upsetting the stability and balance of the natural system. Experts have come to the conclusion that economic, social, and environmental protection is essential for sustainable development as more research is done.

Q2. What is sustainable development in India?

Ans. The concept of sustainable development has gained the attention of both the federal and state governments, as well as the public and private sectors, and in India it refers to a variety of development programs in the social, cleantech (clean energy, clean water, and sustainable agriculture), and human resources sectors.

Q3. Is India a sustainable country?

Ans. The report indicates that India is the least environmentally sustainable country among the 180 countries assessed.

Q4. What is the role of government in sustainable development?

Ans. Governments play a crucial role in accomplishing the development goals and targets by, for example, establishing and enforcing regulations and standards for water quality, controlling the release of pollutants into the environment, and managing, recycling, and reusing wastewater.

Q5. Why is sustainability important?

Ans. Environmentally friendly lifestyle choices also conserve natural resources like water and energy. Companies and individuals who care about sustainability are also less likely to interfere with wild animals' natural habitats, so promoting the preservation of our planet's biodiversity.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023

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