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formation of an organization to raise awareness of the need for “sustainable” development as developed nations recognized their responsibilities for environmental issues stemming from their industrialization and resulting economic growth.


Originally called the World Commission on Environment and Development, the Brundtland Commission was founded in 1983 with Norway’s Prime Minister Gro Halem Brundtland as the chair. Its mission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together, especially in light of the rising tide of globalized economic growth and the acceleration of global degradation of the natural environment which begun to come into sharp relief at the same time. This commission gave us the current common definition of sustainability and sustainable development in its seminal report, Our Common Future, published in 1987.

sustainability Economic


In 1968 the United Nations Economic and Social Council was urged by Sweden to hold a conference on human interactions with the natural environment. The resolution passed. In 1972

It was the Brundtland report which first advocated the idea that the “environment,” previously considered separate from human action in relationship to “development,” is really inseparable. Before that they had been concerned solely with political goals and economic growth. The report identified these as linked: “... the ‘environment’ is where we live; and “development” is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode.” However, twenty five years later, the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states: “Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” Again, giving more weight to development.

Sweden would host the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, bringing the issues of human impacts on the environment into international politics. It was a decade later, following the formation of The International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1980, that world leaders would push for the

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. The development, growth and longevity of our societies and economies are inexorably linked with the natural environment.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our Sustainability, and more specifically Sustainable Development, to create a thriving planet and home for humanity, can be approached by looking at the balance of natural resources, economic access and social equality in order to “meet the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


1955 - Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 is passed

1866 - The word “ecology” was coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel 1886 - Audubon Society founded



1892 - Sierra Club incorporated with John Muir as President

1962 - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson published alerting us to the dangers of chemicals

1967 - Environmental Defense Fund is created to pursue legal solutions to environmental damage 1970 - Clean Air Act passed & First Earth Day celebration

S.O.S. Action Guide  

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