Sustainable development is the only way forward

The idea of sustainable development emerged in the 1970s and 80s as awareness grew of the natural limits within which human development takes place. Despite near-universal recognition that it is a powerful unifying concept, bringing together social, economic and environmental factors, it has spent the 20 years since the first Rio Earth summit languishing in environment ministries.

But it now appears possible, even probable, that sustainable development will emerge as the main framework for development practice in the coming decades. As world leaders prepare for G20 the pressure to finally put sustainability at the heart of operations continues to grow.

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