Page 42

24  SAM JOHNSTON

This chapter provides an overview of the concept of sustainable development and sets out some of the discussions that will be examined in the chapters that follow. Within this chapter the following are discussed: • The current status of implementation of sustainable development, taking into account the international process that began in 1972 • The lessons learned and good practices at all levels • The opportunities to promote these lessons and scale up the good practices • The strategic interventions that need to be made to achieve sustainability

The current status of implementation of sustainable development Key elements The concept of sustainable development, with its economic, social and environmental pillars, is already well honed over more than 20 years through a series of international conferences and agreements. Important elaborations of sustainable development are contained in the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987), the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the Rio Conventions. Sustainable development has been described in all these documents, and in other relevant documents, in different, albeit complementary, ways. There is an increasingly sophisticated debate about its definition, limits, usefulness and detail. Even so the most widely used definition remains the one used in the 1987 Brundtland Report, which defined sustainable development as that which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987: 1). The 2002 WSSD formalized the notion that sustainable development needed to address the three pillars in a balanced way and that there was a “collective responsibility to advance and strengthen the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social development and environmental protection – at the ­local, national, regional and global levels” (WSSD, 2002). The principles for promoting sustainable development are outlined in the Rio Declaration (United Nations, 1992), and include principles on good governance, subsidiarity, respect for the rule of law and secure property rights, intra- and inter-generational equity, reducing unsustain­

Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  
Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  

Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...