32 SAM JOHNSTON
alancing the three pillars. As a result, governments are not looking for b more rules but instead want the tools to implement sustainable development. It is evident from the many successful examples of sustainable development that it is possible to achieve sustainable development in a wide range of circumstances. The diversity of these experiences also points to the difficulty in predicting where this spirit and ingenuity will emerge and provide the lessons worth learning, experiences worth scaling up and the path to take to promote sustainable development. This is especially true at the international level. Modern challenges are complex and do not have “silver bullet” answers, but require many varied actions often over long periods of time. One size will not fit all. Sustainable development solutions need to be adapted to the specific circumstances of each society. Nevertheless, there are fundamental factors shaping our world and universal ideas evident in all of these success stories. Such ideas form the basis of any principle and of a reinvigorated, revalidated, re-energized concept of sustainable development. They include the following: • The political and legal elements of sustainable development are well developed but are not implemented well enough. • Economic growth will remain the dominant goal of the international community over the next 40 years. • Economic growth needs to be more equitable and less damaging to the environment if it is to be sustainable. • Challenges to development also create opportunities. • The technologies, financial resources and incentives exist to address these challenges. • National ownership and leadership are indispensable in the development process. • Good governance and the rule of law are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger. • Education, individual rights and equality for women are shown to be effective simple, affordable, practical steps that provide the basis for achieving not only the social pillars of sustainable development but also the economic and environmental pillars. • Transparent targets are a powerful tool for mobilizing action, outreach and measuring progress. The MDGs will form the basis of many of the core goals after 2015 and provide the foundation for a new way of measuring development. • The strong narrative of sustainable development needs to be communicated to inspire further action and to spread knowledge and lessons. Success will inspire more rapid and profound change than fear.
Published on Mar 6, 2013
Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...