What is sustainable development


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What is sustainable development

  1. 1. This article was published in the April 2005 issue of Environment:Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, Volume 47,Number 3, pages 8–21. © Robert W. Kates, Thomas M. Parris,and Anthony A. Leiserowitz, 2005. For more information aboutEnvironment, see http://www.heldref.org/env.php
  2. 2. WHAT ISSUSTAINABLEDEVELOPMENT?GOALS, INDICATORS, VALUES, AND PRACTICEBy Robert W. Kates, Thomas M. Parris, and Anthony A. LeiserowitzSustainable development is . . .Considering that the concept of sustainable development is nowenshrined on the masthead of Environment magazine, featuredon 8,720,000 Web pages,1 and enmeshed in the aspirations ofcountless programs, places, and institutions, it should be easy tocomplete the sentence. 2 But the most widely accepted definitionis creatively ambiguous: “Humanity has the ability to make devel-opment sustainable—to ensure that it meets the needs of thepresent without compromising the ability of future generations PHOTO CREDITS, LEFT TO RIGHT: ROW 1: © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © DIGITAL VISION ROW 2: © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBIS ROW 3: © CORBIS, © DIGITAL VISION, © TIM HALL—GETTY IMAGES, © CORBIS ROW 4: © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © JAMES MARSHALL—CORBIS, © CORBIS ROW 5: © DIGITAL VISION, © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBIS ROW 6: © DIGITAL VISION, © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBIS
  3. 3. to meet their own needs.”3 This malleabil- were often followed by global confer- nations should do to become richer,” andity allows programs of environment or ences. Characteristic of these interna- thus again is automatically dismissed bydevelopment; places from local to global; tional commissions was the effort to many in the international arena as beingand institutions of government, civil soci- link together the aspirations of human- a concern of specialists, of those involvedety, business, and industry to each project kind—demonstrating how the pursuit in questions of “development assistance.”their interests, hopes, and aspirations onto of one great value required the others. But the “environment” is where we live;the banner of sustainable development. Sustainable development, with its dual and “development” is what we all do in A brief history of the concept, along emphasis on the most recent concerns— attempting to improve our lot within thatwith the interpretive differences and the development and environment—is typi- abode. The two are inseparable.9common ground in definitions, goals, cal of such efforts.indicators, values, and practice follows. The World Commission on Environ- As with previous efforts, the reportTaken together, these help explain what ment and Development was initiated was followed by major internationalis meant by sustainable development. by the General Assembly of the United meetings. The United Nations Confer- Nations in 1982, and its report, Our Com- ence on Environment and Development mon Future, was published in 1987.7 It (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 (theAntecedents was chaired by then–Prime Minister of so-called “Earth Summit”) issued a dec- Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, thus laration of principles, a detailed Agen- In the last half of the twentieth century, earning the name the “Brundtland Com- da 21 of desired actions, internationalfour key themes emerged from the col- mission.” The commission’s member- agreements on climate change and biodi-lective concerns and aspirations of the ship was split between developed and versity, and a statement of principles onworld’s peoples: peace, freedom, devel- developing countries. Its roots were in forests.10 Ten years later, in 2002, at theopment, and environment.4 The peace the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the World Summit on Sustainable Develop-that was thought to be secured in the Human Environment—where the con- ment in Johannesburg, South Africa, thepostwar world of 1945 was immedi- flicts between environment and devel- commitment to sustainable developmentately threatened by the nuclear arms race. opment were first acknowledged—and was reaffirmed.11 In the interim, sustain-Throughout the Cold War, peace was sus-tained globally but fought locally, oftenby proxies for the superpowers. While Although reinterpreted over time, peace,the number of wars has diminished overthe last decade,5 peace is still sought, pri- freedom, development, and the environmentmarily in Africa and the Middle East. Freedom was sought early in the post- remain prominent issues and aspirations.war world in the struggle to end imperi-alism; to halt totalitarian oppression; and in the 1980 World Conservation Strat- able development as a concept, as a goal,later to extend democratic governance, egy of the International Union for the and as a movement spread rapidly andhuman rights, and the rights of women, Conservation of Nature, which argued is now central to the mission of count-indigenous peoples, and minorities. The for conservation as a means to assist less international organizations, nationalsuccess of many former colonies in attain- development and specifically for the institutions, corporate enterprises, “sus-ing national independence was followed sustainable development and utilization tainable cities,” and locales.by a focus on economic development to of species, ecosystems, and resources.8provide basic necessities for the poor- Drawing on these, the Brundtland Com-est two-thirds of the world and higher mission began its work committed to the Definitionsstandards of living for the wealthy third. unity of environment and development.Finally, it is only in the past 40 years that As Brundtland argued: The Brundtland Commission’s briefthe environment (local to global) became definition of sustainable development asa key focus of national and international The environment does not exist as a sphere the “ability to make development sustain-law and institutions. separate from human actions, ambitions, able—to ensure that it meets the needs Although reinterpreted over time, and needs, and attempts to defend it of the present without compromising thepeace, freedom, development, and the in isolation from human concerns have ability of future generations to meet theirenvironment remain prominent issues given the very word “environment” a own needs”12 is surely the standard defi-and aspirations. In the 1970s and 1980s, connotation of naivety in some political nition when judged by its widespread useworld commissions of notables6 were circles. The word “development” has also and frequency of citation. The use of thiscreated to study such international con- been narrowed by some into a very lim- definition has led many to see sustainablecerns, producing major documents that ited focus, along the lines of “what poor development as having a major focus on10 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  4. 4. intergenerational equity. Although the The concept of sustainable development assemble under the sustainable devel-brief definition does not explicitly men- does imply limits—not absolute limits but opment tent, also created a veritabletion the environment or development, limitations imposed by the present state industry of deciphering and advocat-the subsequent paragraphs, while rarely of technology and social organization on ing what sustainable development reallyquoted, are clear. On development, the environmental resources and by the ability means. One important study—by thereport states that human needs are basic of the biosphere to absorb the effects of Board on Sustainable Development ofand essential; that economic growth— human activities.13 the U.S. National Academy of Scienc-but also equity to share resources with es—sought to bring some order to thethe poor—is required to sustain them; In the years following the Brundtland broad literature its members reviewed.14and that equity is encouraged by effec- Commission’s report, the creative ambi- In its report, Our Common Journey:tive citizen participation. On the environ- guity of the standard definition, while A Transition toward Sustainability, thement, the text is also clear: allowing a range of disparate groups to board focused on the seemingly inher- ent distinction between what advocates and analysts sought to sustain and what Figure 1. Definitions of sustainable development they sought to develop, the relationship between the two, and the time horizon of the future (see Figure 1 on this page). Thus under the heading “what is to be sustained,” the board identified three WHAT IS TO FOR HOW LONG? WHAT IS TO major categories—nature, life support BE SUSTAINED: 25 years BE DEVELOPED: systems, and community—as well as “Now and in intermediate categories for each, such the future” as Earth, environment, and cultures. Forever Drawing from the surveyed literature, the board found that most commonly, NATURE PEOPLE emphasis was placed on life support Earth Child survival systems, which defined nature or envi- Biodiversity Life expectancy ronment as a source of services for the Ecosystems Education utilitarian life support of humankind. Equity The study of ecosystem services has Equal opportunity strengthened this definition over time. In contrast, some of the sustainable LIFE SUPPORT LINKED BY ECONOMY development literature valued nature Ecosystem Only Wealth for its intrinsic value rather than its services utility for human beings. There were Mostly Productive Resources sectors also parallel demands to sustain cultural But Environment Consumption diversity, including livelihoods, groups, And and places that constitute distinctive and Or threatened communities. Similarly, there were three quite dis- tinct ideas about what should be devel- COMMUNITY SOCIETY oped: people, economy, and society. Cultures Institutions Much of the early literature focused Groups Social capital on economic development, with pro- Places States ductive sectors providing employment, Regions desired consumption, and wealth. More recently, attention has shifted to human development, including an emphasis on values and goals, such as increased life expectancy, education, equity, and SOURCE: U.S. National Research Council, Policy Division, Board on Sustainable Development, Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability opportunity. Finally, the Board on Sus- (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999). tainable Development also identified calls to develop society that emphasized the values of security and well-being ofVOLUME 47 NUMBER 3 ENVIRONMENT 11
  5. 5. LEFT TO RIGHT: © DIGITAL VISION, © CORBIS, © CORBISnational states, regions, and institutions development, equity, and social justice. (2015) goals of the Millennium Decla-as well as the social capital of relation- Thus while the three pillars were rap- ration of the United Nations; the two-ships and community ties. idly adopted, there was no universal generation goals (2050) of the Sustain- There was ready agreement in the agreement as to their details. A Web ability Transition of the Board on Sus-literature that sustainable development search of the phrase “three pillars of tainable Development; and the long-termimplies linking what is to be sustained sustainable development” finds a wide (beyond 2050) goals of the Great Transi-with what is to be developed, but here, variety of environmental, economic, tion of the Global Scenario Group.too, the emphasis has often differed from and social pillars with differences mostextremes of “sustain only” to “develop pronounced in characterizing the social UN Millennium Declarationmostly” to various forms of “and/or.” pillar. Three major variants of socialSimilarly, the time period of concern, development are found, each of which To mark the millennium, heads ofambiguously described in the standard seeks to compensate for elements miss- state gathered in New York at the Uniteddefinition as “now and in the future,” has ing in the narrow focus on econom- Nations in September 2000. There, thediffered widely. It has been defined from ic development. The first is simply a UN General Assembly adopted someas little as a generation—when almost generic noneconomic social designation 60 goals regarding peace; development;everything is sustainable—to forever— that uses terms such as “social,” “social environment; human rights; the vulner-when surely nothing is sustainable. development,” and “social progress.” able, hungry, and poor; Africa; and the The 2002 World Summit on Sustain-able Development marked a furtherexpansion of the standard definition Another way to define sustainable developmentwith the widely used three pillars of is in what it specifically seeks to achieve.sustainable development: economic,social, and environmental. The Johan-nesburg Declaration created “a col- The second emphasizes human develop- United Nations.16 Many of these con-lective responsibility to advance and ment as opposed to economic develop- tained specific targets, such as cuttingstrengthen the interdependent and mutu- ment: “human development,” “human poverty in half or insuring universalally reinforcing pillars of sustainable well-being,” or just “people.” The third primary school education by 2015. Fordevelopment—economic development, variant focuses on issues of justice and eight of the major goals, progress issocial development and environmental equity: “social justice,’’ “equity,” and monitored by international agencies.17protection—at local, national, regional “poverty alleviation.” In 2004, these agencies concluded thatand global levels.”15 In so doing, the at existing rates of progress, manyWorld Summit addressed a running con- countries will fall short of these goals,cern over the limits of the framework of Goals particularly in Africa. Yet the goals stillenvironment and development, wherein seemed attainable by collective actiondevelopment was widely viewed solely Another way to define sustainable by the world community and nationalas economic development. For many development is in what it specifically governments. To do so, the Millenni-under the common tent of sustainable seeks to achieve. To illustrate, it is help- um Project, commissioned by the UNdevelopment, such a narrow defini- ful to examine three sets of goals that use secretary-general, recently estimatedtion obscured their concerns for human different time-horizons: the short-term that the additional financial resources12 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  6. 6. that would be required to meet the Great Transition of the ment’s creative ambiguity, the most seri-Millennium Development Goals are Global Scenario Group ous efforts to define it, albeit implicit$135 billion in 2006, rising to $195 in many cases, come in the form ofbillion in 2015. This roughly represents With the assistance of the Global indicators. Combining global, national,a doubling of official aid flows over Scenario Group,20 the Board on Sustain- and local initiatives, there are literallycurrent levels and is still below the UN able Development conducted a scenario hundreds of efforts to define appropri-goal of aid flows from industrialized to analysis of a proposed “Sustainability ate indicators and to measure them.developing countries of 0.7 percent of Transition,” focusing specifically on Recently, a dozen such efforts werethe gross national product for industri- hunger and the emission of greenhouse reviewed.23 Half were global in cover-alized countries.18 gasses. This initial analysis served as the age, using country or regional data (the subsequent basis of the Policy Reform UN Commission on Sustainable Devel-Sustainability Transition of the Scenario of the Global Scenario Group21 opment, Consultative Group on Sustain-Board on Sustainable Development and concluded that a sustainability tran- able Development Indicators, Wellbe- sition is possible without positing either ing Index, Environmental Sustainability In 1995, the Board on Sustainable a social revolution or a technological Index, Global Scenario Group, and theDevelopment of the U.S. National miracle. But it is “just” possible, and the Ecological Footprint). Of the remain-Academy of Sciences sought to make technological and social requirements to ing efforts, three were country stud-sustainable development more mean- move from business as usual—without ies (in the United States, the Genuineingful to scientific analysis and contri- changing lifestyles, values, or econom- Progress Indicator and the Interagencybutions.19 To do so, the board decided to ic system—is daunting. Most daunting Working Group on Sustainable Devel-focus on a two-generation time horizon of all is the governmental commitment opment Indicators, and in Costa Rica,and to address the needs of a global required to achieve it and the political the System of Indicators for Sustainablepopulation with half as many more will to do so. Development); one was a city studypeople as there are today—needs that, Finally, the Global Scenario Group (the Boston Indicators Project); one wasif met successfully, are not likely to also prepared a more idealistic Great global in scope but focused on indica-be repeated within the next century or Transition Scenario that not only tors of unsustainability (State Failuretwo because of the demographic tran- achieved the goals of the sustainability Task Force); and one focused on cor-sition. In that time period, the board transition outlined by the Board on Sus- porate and nongovernmental entitiessuggested that a minimal sustainability tainable Development but went further (Global Reporting Initiative). Table 1transition would be one in which the to achieve for all humankind “a rich on pages 14 and 15 lists each studyworld provides the energy, materials, quality of life, strong human ties and a with its source, the number of indica-and information to feed, nurture, house, resonant connection to nature.”22 In such tors used, and the implicit or expliciteducate, and employ the many morepeople of 2050—while reducing hun-ger and poverty and preserving the Still another way to define sustainablebasic life support systems of the planet. development is in how it is measured.To identify more specific goals, ofmeeting human needs, reducing hungerand poverty, and preserving the basic a world, it would be the quality of human definitions used to describe what is to belife support systems of the planet, the knowledge, creativity, and self-realiza- sustained, what is to be developed, andboard searched the text and statements tion that represents development, not the for how long.from recent global conferences, world quantity of goods and services. A key to Two major observations emerge. Thesummits, international environmental such a future is the rejection of material first is the extraordinarily broad list oftreaties, and assessments. In so doing, consumption beyond what is needed for items to be sustained and to be devel-the board in 1995 anticipated the 2000 fulfillment or for a “good life.” Beyond oped. These reflect the inherent mal-Millennium Declaration goals, many of these goals, however, the details of this leability of “sustainable development”which were incorporated into its analy- good life are poorly described. as well as the internal politics of thesis of goals and targets. Less sanguine measurement efforts. In many of thethan the UN, the board determined it cases, the initiative is undertaken bywould take a generation to reach the Indicators a diverse set of stakeholders, and the2015 goals of the Millennium Declara- resulting lists reflect their varied aspi-tion and another generation to achieve Still another way to define sustainable rations. For example, in the UN Com-the board’s goals of meeting human development is in how it is measured. mission on Sustainable Development,needs for a 2050 population. Indeed, despite sustainable develop- the stakeholders are nations negotiatingVOLUME 47 NUMBER 3 ENVIRONMENT 13
  7. 7. Table 1. Definitions of sustainable development implicitly or explicitly adopted by selected indicator initiatives Indicator Number Implicit or What is to be What is to be For how long? initiative of explicit sustained? developed? indicators definition? Commission 58 Implicit, but Climate, clean air, land Equity, health, education, Sporadic references on Sustainable informed productivity, ocean housing, security, to 2015 Developmenta by Agenda productivity, fresh water, stabilized population 21 and biodiversity Consultative 46 Same as Same as above Same as above Not stated; uses data for Group on above 1990 and 2000 Sustainable Development IndicatorsbWellbeing 88 Explicit “A condition in which the “A condition in which all Not stated; uses mostIndexc ecosystem maintains its members of society are recent data as of 2001 diversity and quality—and thus able to determine and and includes some its capacity to support people meet their needs and have indicators of recent and the rest of life—and its a large range of choices to change (such as potential to adapt to change meet their potential” inflation and and provide a wide change of deforestation) choices and opportunities for the future” Environmental 68 Explicit “Vital environmental Resilience to environmental Not stated; uses most Sustainability systems are maintained at disturbances (“People and recent data as of 2002 Indexd healthy levels, and to the social systems are not and includes some extent to which levels are vulnerable (in the way indicators of recent improving rather than of basic needs such as change (such as deteriorating” [and] “levels health and nutrition) to deforestation) or of anthropogenic stress are environmental disturbances; predicted change (such low enough to engender no becoming less vulnerable as population in 2025) demonstrable harm to its is a sign that a society is environmental systems.” on a track to greater sustainability”); “institutions and underlying social patterns of skills, attitudes, and networks that foster effective responses to environmental challenges”; and cooperation among countries “to manage common environmental problems” Genuine 26 Explicit Clean air, land, and water Economic performance, Not stated; computed Progress families, and security annually from 1950–2000 Indicatore SOURCE: Adapted from T. M. Parris and R. W. Kates, “Characterizing and Measuring Sustainable Development,” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28 (2003): 559–86. a United Nations Division of Sustainable Development, Indicators of Sustainable Development: Guidelines and Methodologies (2001), http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/natlinfo/indicators/indisd/indisd-mg2001.pdf. b Consultative Group on Sustainable Development Indicators, http://www.iisd.org/cgsdi/. c R. Prescott-Allen, The Wellbeing of Nations: A Country-by-Country Index of Quality of Life and Environment (Washington DC: Island Press, 2001). d World Economic Forum, 2002 Environmental Sustainability Index (Davos, Switzerland: World Economic Forum, 2002), http://www .ciesin.org/indicators/ESI/downloads.html; and D. C. Esty and P. K. Cornelius, Environmental Performance Measurement: The Global Report 2001–2002 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2002). e C. Cobb, M. Glickman, and C. Cheslog, The Genuine Progress Indicator: 2000 Update (Oakland, CA: Redefining Progress, 2000).14 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  8. 8. Indicator Number Implicit or What is to be What is to be For how long? initiative of explicit sustained? developed? indicators definition?Global Scenario 65 Explicit “Preserving the essential Institutions to “meet Through 2050Groupf health, services, and human needs for food, beauties of the earth requires water, and health, and stabilizing the climate at safe provide opportunities for levels, sustaining energy, education, employment and materials, and water participation” resources, reducing toxic emissions, and maintaining the world’s ecosystems and habitats.”Ecological 6 Explicit “The area of biologically Not explicitly stated;Footprintg productive land and water computed annually from required to produce the 1961–1999 resources consumed and to assimilate the wastes produced by humanity”U.S. Interagency 40 Explicit Environment, natural Dignity, peace, equity, Current and futureWorking Group resources, and ecosystem economy, employment, generationson Sustainable services safety, health, and qualityDevelopment of lifeIndicatorshCosta Ricai 255 Implicit Ecosystem services, natural Economic and social Not stated; includes resources, and biodiversity development some time series dating back to 1950Boston Indicator 159 Implicit Open/green space, clean Civil society, culture, Not stated; uses mostProjectj air, clean water, clean economy, education, recent data as of 2000 land, valued ecosystems, housing, health, safety, and some indicators of biodiversity, and aesthetics technology, and recent change (such as transportation change in poverty rates)State Failure 75 Explicit Intrastate peace/security Two yearsTask ForcekGlobal Reporting 97 Implicit Reduced consumption of Profitability, employment, Current reporting yearInitiativel raw materials and reduced diversity of workforce, dignity emissions of environmental of workforce, health/safety of contaminants from production workforce, and health/safety/ or product use privacy of customers f P. Raskin et al., The Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead (Boston, MA: Stockholm Environmental Institute, 2002), http://www.tellus.org/seib/publications/Great_Transitions.pdf; and P. Raskin, G. Gallopin, P. Gutman, A. Hammond, and R. Swart, Bend- ing the Curve: Toward Global Sustainability, Polestar Report 8 (Boston, MA: Stockholm Environmental Institute, 1998), http://www.tellus .org/seib/publications/bendingthecurve.pdf. g M. Wackernagel et al., “Tracking the Ecological Overshoot of the Human Economy,” Proceedings of the National Academy Science 99, no. 14 (2002): 9266–71; and M. Wackernagel, C. Monfreda, and D. Deumling, Ecological Footprint of Nations: November 2002 Update (Oakland, CA: Redefining Progress, 2002). h U.S. Interagency Working Group on Sustainable Development Indicators (IWGSDI), Sustainable Development in the United States: An Experimental Set of Indicators, IWGSDI Report PR42.8:SU 8/EX 7 (Washington, DC, 1998). i Sistema de Indicadores sobre Desarrollo Sostenible (System of Indicators for Sustainable Development), Principales Indicadores de Costa Rica (Principal Indicators of Costa Rica) (San José, Costa Rica: Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económica (Ministry of National Planning and Political Economy), 1998), http://www.mideplan.go.cr/sides/. j The Boston Indicator Project, The Wisdom of Our Choices: Boston’s Indicators of Progress, Change and Sustainability 2000 (Boston, MA: Boston Foundation, 2002), http://www.tbf.org/indicators/shared/news.asp?id=1542. k D. C. Esty et al., 1998. “The State Failure Project: Early Warning Research for US Foreign Policy Planning,” in J. L. Davies and T. R. Gurr, eds., Preventive Measures: Building Risk Assessment and Crisis Early Warning Systems (Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield), 27–38; and D. C. Esty, J. A. Goldstone, T. R. Gurr, P. T. Surko, and A. N. Unger, Working Paper: State Failure Task Force Report (McLean, VA: Science Applications International Corporation, 1995); State Failure Task Force, “State Failure Task Force Report, Phase II Findings,” Environmental Change and Security Project Report 5 (1999): 49–72. l Global Reporting Initiative, http://www.globalreporting.org/.VOLUME 47 NUMBER 3 ENVIRONMENT 15
  9. 9. how to measure their relative progress indicators, and definitional differences period in which sustainable develop-or lack of progress toward sustainable are downplayed in favor of reaching ment should be considered. Despite thedevelopment. In the Boston Indicators a common set of indicators. Thus, to emphasis in the standard definition onProject, the stakeholders are community be inclusive, the range of indicators intergenerational equity, there seems inmembers with varied opinions about becomes very broad. Half the exam- most indicator efforts a focus on thedesirable goals, policies, and investment ined initiatives, however, represent less- present or the very short term. Threepriorities for the future. In the Global inclusive research or advocacy groups exceptions, however, are worth noting:Reporting Initiative, the stakeholders are who share a more narrow and homog- The UN Commission on Sustainablecorporations, investors, regulatory agen- enous view of sustainable development. Development uses some human devel-cies, and civil society groups discussing While also assembling large numbers of opment indicators defined in terms ofhow to account for corporate actions indicators, these groups tend to aggre- a single generation (15–25 years),24 theaffecting sustainable development. With gate them to reflect their distinctive Global Scenario Group quantifies itsmany stakeholders, each with different vision of sustainability. scenarios through 2050 (approximatelydefinitions, achieving consensus often A second observation is that few of two generations), and the Ecologicaltakes the form of long “laundry lists” of the efforts are explicit about the time Footprint argues that in the long run an environmental footprint larger than one Earth cannot be sustained. Overall, these diverse indicator efforts reflect the ambiguous time horizon of the standard VALUES UNDERLYING definition—“now and in the future.” THE MILLENNIUM DECLARATION The Millennium Declaration—which outlines 60 goals for peace; develop- Values ment; the environment; human rights; the vulnerable, hungry, and poor; Africa; and the United Nations—is founded on a core set of values described as follows: Still another mode of defining sustain- “We consider certain fundamental values to be essential to international able development is through the val- relations in the twenty-first century. These include: ues that represent or support sustainable • Freedom. Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise development.25 But values, like sustain- their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the able development, have many mean- will of the people best assures these rights. ings. In general, values are expressions • Equality. No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to of, or beliefs in, the worth of objects, benefit from development. The equal rights and opportunities of women and qualities, or behaviors. They are typi- men must be assured. cally expressed in terms of goodness • Solidarity. Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and or desirability or, conversely, in terms social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those of badness or avoidance. They often who benefit most. invoke feelings, define or direct us to • Tolerance. Human beings must respect one other, in all their diversity of goals, frame our attitudes, and provide belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should standards against which the behaviors of be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of human- ity. A culture of peace and dialogue among all civilizations should be actively individuals and societies can be judged. promoted. As such, they often overlap with sustain- • Respect for nature. Prudence must be shown in the management of all ability goals and indicators. Indeed, the living species and natural resources, in accordance with the precepts of sus- three pillars of sustainable development; tainable development. Only in this way can the immeasurable riches provided the benchmark goals of the Millennium to us by nature be preserved and passed on to our descendants. The current unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must be changed in the Declaration, the Sustainability Transi- interest of our future welfare and that of our descendants. tion, and the Great Transition; and the • Shared responsibility. Responsibility for managing worldwide econom- many indicator initiatives are all expres- ic and social development, as well as threats to international peace and secu- sions of values. rity, must be shared among the nations of the world and should be exercised But these values, as described in the multi-laterally. As the most universal and most representative organization in the world, the United Nations must play the central role.”1 previous sections, do not encompass the full range of values supporting sustain- 1. United Nations General Assembly, “United Nations Millennium Declaration,” Resolution 55/2, able development. One explicit state- United Nations A/RES/55/2, 18 September 2000, page x. ment of supporting values is found in the Millennium Declaration. Underlying the 60 specific goals of the Millen-16 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  10. 10. nium Declaration are an articulated set involved “the most open and participa- more than 50 international law instru-of fundamental values seen as essen- tory consultation process ever conduct- ments were surveyed and summarizedtial to international relations: freedom, ed in connection with an international in Principles of Environmental Conser-equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for document. Thousands of individuals vation and Sustainable Development:nature, and shared responsibility (see the and hundreds of organizations from all Summary and Survey.30 Four first-orderbox on page 16). regions of the world, different cultures, principles were identified and expressed The Millennium Declaration was and diverse sectors of society . . . par- in the Earth Charter as the communityadopted by the UN General Assem- ticipated.”28 Released in the year 2000, of life, ecological integrity, social andbly, but the origins of the declaration’s the Earth Charter has been endorsed economic justice, and democracy, non-set of fundamental values are unclear. by more than 14,000 individuals and violence, and peace. Sixteen second-In contrast, the origins of the Earth organizations worldwide representing order principles expand on these four,Charter Initiative—which defines the millions of members, yet it has failed and 61 third-order principles elaborate LEFT TO RIGHT: © DIGITAL VISION, © JAMES MARSHALL—CORBIS, © DIGITAL VISIONEarth Charter as a “declaration of fun- to attain its desired endorsement or on the 16. For example, the core prin-damental principles for building a just, adoption by the 2002 World Summit cipal of social and economic justice issustainable, and peaceful global society on Sustainable Development or the UN elaborated by principles of equitablein the 21st century”26—is well docu- General Assembly. economy, eradication of poverty, andmented. The initiative answers the call The values of the Earth Charter the securing of gender equality and theof the World Commission on Environ- are derived from “contemporary sci- rights of indigenous peoples. In turn,ment and Development for creation of ence, international law, the teachings each of these principles is further expli-“a universal declaration” that would of indigenous peoples, the wisdom of cated with three or four specific actions“consolidate and extend relevant legal the world’s great religions and philo- or intentions.31principles,” create “new norms . . . sophical traditions, the declarations andneeded to maintain livelihoods and life reports of the seven UN summit confer-on our shared planet,” and “ guide state ences held during the 1990s, the global Practice Finally—and in many ways, mostFew of the efforts are explicit about importantly—sustainable development is defined in practice. The practice includesthe time period in which sustainable the many efforts at defining the concept, establishing goals, creating indicators,development should be considered. and asserting values. But additionally, it includes developing social move-behavior in the transition to sustain- ethics movement, numerous nongovern- ments, organizing institutions, craftingable development.”27 An effort to draft mental declarations and people’s treaties sustainability science and technology,a charter at the 1992 Earth Summit issued over the past thirty years, and and negotiating the grand compromisewas unsuccessful. In 1994 a new Earth best practices for building sustainable among those who are principally con-Charter Initiative was launched that communities.”29 For example, in 1996, cerned with nature and environment,VOLUME 47 NUMBER 2 3 ENVIRONMENT 17
  11. 11. those who value economic development, peoples, local authorities, NGOs, the solidarity movement, and the corporateand those who are dedicated to improv- scientific and technological com- responsibility movement.40 The move-ing the human condition. munities, trade unions, and women) ment for sustainable livelihoods consists attended the World Summit on Sus- of local initiatives that seek to createA Social Movement tainable Development in Johannesburg. opportunities for work and sustenance These groups organized themselves that offer sustainable and credible alter- Sustainable development can be into approximately 40 geographical and natives to current processes of devel-viewed as a social movement—“a group issue-based caucuses. 35 opment and modernization. Consistingof people with a common ideology who But underlying this participation in primarily of initiatives in developingtry together to achieve certain general the formal international sustainable countries, the movement has counter- LEFT TO RIGHT: © CORBIS, © CORBIS, © CORBISgoals.”32 In an effort to encourage the development events are a host of social parts in the developed world, as seen, forcreation of a broadly based social move- movements struggling to identify what example, in local efforts in the Unitedment in support of sustainable develop- sustainable development means in the States to mandate payment of a “livingment, UNCED was the first interna- context of specific places and peoples. wage” rather than a minimum wage.tional, intergovernmental conference to One such movement is the effort of The global solidarity movement seeksprovide full access to a wide range of many communities, states, provinces, to support poor people in developingnongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or regions to engage in community countries in ways that go beyond theand to encourage an independent Earth exercises to define a desirable sustain- altruistic support for development fund- ing. Their campaigns are expressed as antiglobalization or “globalization fromSustainable development can be viewed as below”41 in critical appraisals of major international institutions, in the move-a social movement—“a group of people ment for the cancellation of debt,42 and in critiques of developed-world poli-with a common ideology who try together cies—such as agricultural subsidies—to achieve certain general goals.” that significantly impact developing countries and especially poor people.43 The corporate responsibility move-Summit at a nearby venue. More than able future and the actions needed to ment has three dimensions: various cam-1,400 NGOs and 8,000 journalists partic- attain it. Examples include Sustainable paigns by NGOs to change corporateipated.33 One social movement launched Seattle,36 Durban’s Local Agenda 21 environmental and social behavior;44from UNCED was the effort described Programme,37 the Lancashire County efforts by corporations to contributeabove to create an Earth Charter, to ratify Council Local Agenda 21 Strategy,38 to sustainable development goals andit, and to act upon its principles. and the Minnesota Sustainable Develop- to reduce their negative environmental In 2002, 737 new NGOs34 and more ment Initiative.39 and social impacts;45 and internationalthan 8,046 representatives of major Three related efforts are the sustain- initiatives such as the UN Global Com-groups (business, farmers, indigenous able livelihoods movement, the global pact46 or the World Business Council for18 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  12. 12. Sustainable Development47 that seek to the intergovernmental level, sustain- deepening our understanding of socio-harness the knowledge, energies, and able development is now found as a ecological systems in particular placesactivities of corporations to better serve central theme throughout the United while exploring innovative mechanismsnature and society. For instance, in Nations and its specialized agencies. for producing knowledge so that it isthe just-selected Global 100, the most Evidence of this shift can be seen in relevant, credible, and legitimate tosustainable corporations in the world, the creation of the Division of Sustain- local decisionmakers.57the top three corporations were Toyota, able Development within the United The efforts of the science and technolo-selected for its leadership in introducing Nations Department of Economic and gy community to contribute to sustainablehybrid vehicles; Alcoa, for management Social Affairs, the establishment of a development is exemplified in the actionsof materials and energy efficiency; and vice president for environmentally and of the major Academies of Science58 andBritish Petroleum, for leadership in socially sustainable development at the International Disciplinary Unions,59 ingreenhouse gas emissions reduction, World Bank, and the declaration of the collaborative networks of individual sci-energy efficiency, renewables, and United Nations Decade of Education entists and technologists,60 in emergingwaste treatment and handling.48 for Sustainable Development. Similarly, programs of interdisciplinary education,61 A related social movement focuses numerous national and local govern- and in many efforts to supply scientificon excessive material consumption and mental entities have been established to support to communities.62its impacts on the environment and create and monitor sustainable develop-society and seeks to foster voluntary ment strategies.52 According to a recent A Grand Compromisesimplicity of one form or another. These survey by the International Council foradvocates argue that beyond certain Local Environment Initiatives, “6,416 One of the successes of sustainablethresholds, ever-increasing consump- local authorities in 113 countries have development has been its ability totion does not increase subjective levels either made a formal commitment to serve as a grand compromise betweenof happiness, satisfaction, or health.49 Local Agenda 21 or are actively under- those who are principally concernedRather, it often has precisely the oppo- taking the process,” and the number with nature and environment, those whosite effect. Thus, these efforts present of such processes has been growing value economic development, and thosea vision of “the good life” in which dramatically.53 In addition to these gov- who are dedicated to improving thepeople work and consume less than is ernmental efforts, sustainable develop- human condition. At the core of thisprevalent in today’s consumer-driven ment has emerged in the organization compromise is the inseparability of envi-affluent societies. charts of businesses (such as Lafarge54), ronment and development described by As with any social movement, sus-tainable development encounters oppo-sition. The opponents of sustainable Much of what is described as sustainabledevelopment attack from two very dif-ferent perspectives: At one end of the development are negotiations in whichspectrum are those that view sustainabledevelopment as a top-down attempt by workable compromises are found that addressthe United Nations to dictate how the objectives of competing interest groups.people of the world should live theirlives—and thus as a threat to individualfreedoms and property rights.50 At the consultancies (including CH2M Hill55), the World Commission on Environmentother end are those who view sustain- and investment indices (such as the Dow and Development. Thus, much of whatable development as capitulation that Jones Sustainability Index). is described as sustainable developmentimplies development as usual, driven in practice are negotiations in whichby the interests of big business and Sustainability Science and Technology workable compromises are found thatmultilateral institutions and that pays address the environmental, economic,only lip service to social justice and the Sustainable development is also and human development objectives ofprotection of nature.51 becoming a scientific and technologi- competing interest groups. Indeed, this is cal endeavor that, according to the why so many definitions of sustainableInstitutions Initiative on Science and Technology development include statements about for Sustainable Development, “seeks to open and democratic decisionmaking. The goals of sustainable develop- enhance the contribution of knowledge At the global scale, this compromisement have been firmly embedded in a to environmentally sustainable human has engaged the wealthy and poor coun-large number of national, international, development around the world.”56 tries of the world in a common endeavor.and nongovernmental institutions. At This emerging enterprise is focused on Before this compromise was formallyVOLUME 47 NUMBER 3 ENVIRONMENT 19
  13. 13. adopted by UNCED, the poorer coun- tation enables participants at multiple a creative tension between a few coretries of the world often viewed demands levels, from local to global, within and principles and an openness to reinterpre-for greater environmental protection as across activity sectors, and in institutions tation and adaptation to different sociala threat to their ability to develop, while of governance, business, and civil society and ecological contexts.the rich countries viewed some of the to redefine and reinterpret its meaning to Sustainable development thus requiresdevelopment in poor countries as a threat fit their own situation. Thus, the concept the participation of diverse stakeholdersto valued environmental resources. The of sustainability has been adapted to and perspectives, with the ideal of rec-concept of sustainable development address very different challenges, rang- onciling different and sometimes oppos-attempts to couple development aspira- ing from the planning of sustainable cit- ing values and goals toward a new syn-tions with the need to preserve the basic ies to sustainable livelihoods, sustainable thesis and subsequent coordination oflife support systems of the planet. agriculture to sustainable fishing, and mutual action to achieve multiple values the efforts to develop common corporate simultaneously and even synergistically.So, What Is standards in the UN Global Compact and As real-world experience has shown,Sustainable Development? in the World Business Council for Sus- however, achieving agreement on sus- tainable Development. tainability values, goals, and actions Since the Brundtland Commission Despite this creative ambiguity and is often difficult and painful work, asfirst defined sustainable development, openness to interpretation, sustainable different stakeholder values are forceddozens, if not hundreds, of scholars and development has evolved a core set of to the surface, compared and contrasted,practitioners have articulated and pro- guiding principles and values, based on criticized and debated. Sometimes indi-moted their own alternative definition; the Brundtland Commission’s standard vidual stakeholders find the processyet a clear, fixed, and immutable mean- definition to meet the needs, now and too difficult or too threatening to theiring remains elusive. This has led some in the future, for human, economic, and own values and either reject the processobservers to call sustainable develop- social development within the restraints entirely to pursue their own narrowment an oxymoron: fundamentally con- of the life support systems of the planet. goals or critique it ideologically, withouttradictory and irreconcilable. Further, Further, the connotations of both of engaging in the hard work of negotiationif anyone can redefine and reapply the the phrase’s root words, “sustainable” and compromise. Critique is nonetheless a vital part of the conscious evolutionThe concrete challenges of sustainable of sustainable development—a concept that, in the end, represents diverse localdevelopment are at least as heterogeneous to global efforts to imagine and enact a positive vision of a world in which basicand complex as the diversity of human societies human needs are met without destroying or irrevocably degrading the natural sys-and natural ecosystems around the world. tems on which we all depend. Robert W. Kates is an independent scholar based interm to fit their purposes, it becomes and “development” are generally quite Trenton, Maine, and a professor emeritus at Brownmeaningless in practice, or worse, can be positive for most people, and their com- University, where he served as director of the Feinstein World Hunger Program. He is also a former vice-chairused to disguise or greenwash socially or bination imbues this concept with inher- of the Board of Sustainable Development of the U.Senvironmentally destructive activities. ent and near-universal agreement that National Academy’s National Research Council. In 1991, Kates was awarded the National Medal of Sci- Yet, despite these critiques, each defi- sustainability is a worthwhile value and ence for his work on hunger, environment, and naturalnitional attempt is an important part of goal—a powerful feature in diverse and hazards. He is an executive editor of Environment and may be contacted at rkates@acadia.net. Thomas M.an ongoing dialogue. In fact, sustain- conflicted social contexts. Parris is a research scientist at and director of the Newable development draws much of its Importantly, however, these underly- England office of ISCIENCES, LLC. He is a contrib- uting editor of Environment. Parris may be reached atresonance, power, and creativity from its ing principles are not fixed and immuta- parris@isciences.com. Anthony A. Leiserowitz is avery ambiguity. The concrete challenges ble but the evolving product of a global research scientist at Decision Research and an adjunct professor of environmental studies at the Universityof sustainable development are at least dialogue, now several decades old, about of Oregon, Eugene. He is also an investigator at theas heterogeneous and complex as the what sustainability should mean. The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. Leiserowitz may be reached atdiversity of human societies and natural original emphasis on economic devel- (541) 485-2400 or by e-mail at ecotone@uoregon.edu.ecosystems around the world. As a con- opment and environmental protection The authors retain copyright.cept, its malleability allows it to remain has been broadened and deepened toan open, dynamic, and evolving idea that include alternative notions of develop- NOTEScan be adapted to fit these very different ment (human and social) and alternativesituations and contexts across space and views of nature (anthropocentric versus 1. h t t p : / / w w w. g o o g l e . c o m / s e a r c h ? q = % 2 2time. Likewise, its openness to interpre- ecocentric). Thus, the concept maintains sustainable+development%22&start=0&start=0&ie20 ENVIRONMENT APRIL 2005
  14. 14. =utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla 23. T. M. Parris and R. W. Kates, “Characterizing http://www.globalreporting.org/.:en-US:official (accessed 31 January 2005). and Measuring Sustainable Development,” Annual 46. The Global Compact seeks to bring companies 2. For an example of an economics answer, see G. Reviews of Environment and Resources 28 (2003): together with UN agencies and labor and civil societyChichilinisky, “What is Sustainable Development?” 559–86. to support 10 principles in the areas of human rights,Land Economics 73, no. 4 (1997): 467–91. 24. For a thorough review of internationally negoti- labor, the environment, and anticorruption (http:// 3. World Commission on Environment and Devel- ated targets related to sustainable development, see T. www.unglobalcompact.org/).opment (WCED), Our Common Future (New York: M. Parris, “Toward a Sustainability Transition: The 47. The World Business Council for SustainableOxford University Press, 1987), 8. International Consensus,” Environment, January/Feb- Development (WBCSD) is a coalition of 170 interna- ruary 2003, 12. tional companies that share a commitment to sustain- 4. National Research Council, Policy Division,Board on Sustainable Development, Our Common 25. A. Leiserowitz, R. W. Kates, and T. M. Par- able development via the three pillars of economicJourney: A Transition toward Sustainability (Washing- ris, “Sustainability Values, Attitudes and Behaviors: growth, ecological balance, and social progress. Seeton, DC: National Academy Press, 1999), 22. A Review of Multi-National and Global Trends,” http://www.wbcsd.ch/. CID Working Paper No. 112 (Cambridge, MA: Sci- 48. The Global 100: Most Sustainable Corpora- 5. M. G. Marshall and T. R. Gurr, Peace and Con- ence, Environment and Development Group, Center tions in the World, http://www.global100.org/whatflict 2003, (College Park, MD: Center for International for International Development, Harvard University, .asp.Development and Conflict Management, University 2004).of Maryland, 2003), http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/paper 49. R. Inglehart, “Globalization and Postmodern.asp?id=2. 26. Earth Charter International Secretariat, The Values,” Washington Quarterly 23, no. 1 (1990): Earth Charter: Values and Principles for a Sustainable 215–28; H. Nearing and S. Nearing, The Good Life 6. Independent Commission on Disarmament and Future, http://www.earthcharter.org/files/resources/ (New York: Schocken, 1990); and D. Elgin, VoluntarySecurity Issues, Common Security: A Blueprint for Earth%20Charter%20-%20Brochure%20ENG.pdf, Simplicity (New York: William Morrow, 1993).Survival (Palme Report) (New York: Simon & Schus- page 1.ter, 1982); and Independent Commission on Interna- 50. Freedom 21 Santa Cruz, Understanding Sus-tional Development Issues, North-South: A Program 27. WCED, note 3 above, page 332. tainable Development (Agenda 21): A Guide forfor Survival (Brandt Report) (Cambridge, MA: MIT 28. Earth Charter International Secretariat, The Public Officials, http://www.freedom21santacruz.net/Press, 1980). Earth Charter Handbook, http://www.earthcharter guide.pdf. 7. WCED, note 3 above. .org/files/resources/Handbook.pdf, page 4. 51. J. G. Clark, “Economic Development vs. Sus- 8. W. M. Adams, Green Development: Environ- 29. Earth Charter International Secretariat, note 26 tainable Societies: Reflections on the Players in ament and Sustainability in the Third World (London: above. Crucial Contest,” Annual Review of Ecology andRoutledge, 1990). 30. S. C. Rockefeller, “Principles of Environmental Systematics 26 (1995): 225–48. 9. WCED, note 3 above, page xi. Conservation and Sustainable Development: Summary 52. B. Dalal-Clayton and S. Bass, Sustainable and Survey,” unpublished paper prepared for the Earth Development Strategies: A Resource Book (London, 10. The United Nations Conference on Environ- Charter Project, April 1996. UK, and Sterling, VA: Earthscan Publications Ltd.,ment and Development (UNCED), http://www.un.org/ 31. The Earth Charter, 2000, from http://www 2002), http://www.nssd.net/res_book.html.geninfo/bp/enviro.html; and E. A. Parson and P. M.Haas, “A Summary of the Major Documents Signed .earthcharter.org/ 53. The International Council for Local Environ-at the Earth Summit and the Global Forum,” Environ- 32. WordNet 2.0 (Princeton University, 2003), mental Initiatives, “Second Local Agenda 21 Survey,”ment, October 1992, 12–18. http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/~wn/. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Back- ground Paper No. 15 (2001), http://www.iclei.org/ 11. The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable 33. P. Haas, M. Levy, and T. Parson, “Appraising rioplusten/final_document.pdf.Development, 4 September 2002, http://www.housing the Earth Summit: How Should We Judge UNCED’s.gov.za/content/legislation_policies/johannesburg.htm. Success?” Environment, October 1992, 6–11, 26–33. 54. Lafarge: Sustainable Development, http://www .lafarge.com/cgi-bin/lafcom/jsp/content.do?function 12. WCED, note 3 above, page 8. 34. In addition, 2,500 organizations accredited with =responsables&lang=en. 13. WCED, note 3 above, page 8. the Economic and Social Council and on the Commis- sion on Sustainable Development list attended. 55. CH2M Hill: Sustainable Development, 14. National Research Council, note 4 above, pages http://www.ch2m.com/corporate_2004/Services/22–26. 35. Report of the World Summit Sustainable Devel- Capabilities/Sustainable_Development/sd.asp. opment, A/CONF.199/20* 15. The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable 56. Initiative on Science and Technology for Sus-Development, note 11 above, page 1. 36. Sustainable Seattle, http://www.sustainable tainable Development, http://sustsci.harvard.edu/ists/; seattle.org/. 16. United Nations General Assembly, “United also see R. W. Kates et al., “Sustainability Science,”Nations Millennium Declaration,” Resolution 55/2, 37. Ethekwini Online, http://www.durban.gov. Science, 27 April 2001, 641–42.United Nations A/RES/55/2, 18 September 2000. za/eThekwini/Services/environment/about_la21/index 57. International Council for Science, Initiative on _html. 17. Careful monitoring is under way for 8 goals Science and Technology for Sustainability, and Thirdwith 18 targets and 48 indicators to measure prog- 38. Lancashire County Council Environmen- World Academy of Sciences, Science and Technologyress by experts from the United Nations Secretariat, tal Directorate, http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/ for Sustainabile Development, ICSU Series on Sci-International Money Fund, Organisation for Economic environment/beyondla21/County21.asp. ence for Sustainable Development, no. 9 (Paris: ICSU,Co-operation and Development and the World Bank 39. Minnesota Environmental Quality Board: Sus- 2002), http://www.icsu.org/Gestion/img/ICSU_DOC(ST/ESA/STAT/MILLENNIUMINDICATORS2003/ tainable Development Initiative, http://www.eqb.state _DOWNLOAD/70_DD_FILE_Vol9.pdf.WWW (unofficial working paper)), 23 March 2004, .mn.us/SDI/. 58. See statement of the World Academy of Scienc-http://millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd/mi/mi_goals 40. F. Amalric, “The Relevance of Selected Social es, http://www4.nationalacademies.org/iap/iaphome.asp; http://www.developmentgoals.org/) Movements for the Great Transition Initiative,” Octo- .nsf/weblinks/SAIN-4XVLCT?OpenDocument; and 18. UN Millennium Project, Investing in Develop- ber 2004, University of Zurich (mimeo), and forthcom- R. W. Kates, “Sustainability Science,” in Transition toment: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium ing as a Great Transition Initiative report, http://www Sustainability in the 21st Century: The Contribution ofDevelopment Goals, Overview (New York: United .gtinitiative.org. Science and Technology (Washington, DC: NationalNations Development Program, 2005) 41. J. Brecher, T. Costello, and B. Smith, Global- Academies Press, 2003), 140–45. 19. National Research Council, note 4 above. ization from Below: The Power of Solidarity (Boston: 59. International Council for Science, Initiative on 20. The Global Scenario Group was convened South End Press, 2000). Science and Technology for Sustainability, and Thirdin 1995 by the Stockholm Environment Institute to 42. See, for example, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, World Academy of Sciences, note 57 above.engage a diverse international group in an examination http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/?cc=1. 60. See the Forum on Science and Technology forof the prospects for world development in the twenty- 43. See, for example, C. Godfrey, “Stop the Dump- Sustainability, http://sustsci.harvard.edu/index.html,first century. Numerous studies at global, regional, ing: How EU Agricultural Subsidies are Damag- for reports of many activities by scientific organiza-and national levels have relied on the group’s scenario ing Livelihoods in the Developing World,” Oxfam tions and individual scientists.framework and quantitative analysis. For more infor- International briefing paper 31, http://www.oxfam.org 61. See programs listed on http://sustsci.harvardmation see http://gsg.org/. .uk/what_we_do/issues/trade/bp31_dumping.htm. .edu/education.htm. 21. P. Raskin et al., Great Transition: The Promise 44. See, for example, the Interfaith Center for 62. See for example, A. L. Mabogunje andand Lure of the Times Ahead (Boston: Stockholm Corporate Responsibility, http://www.iccr.org; or R. W. Kates, “Sustainable Development in Ijebu-Ode,Environment Institute, 2002). CorpWatch, http://www.corpwatch.org/. Nigeria: The Role of Social Capital, Participation, and 22. Ibid., page 43. A Great Transition Initiative 45. One measure of the extent of this activity is the Science and Technology,” CID Working Paper No.has been launched to help crystallize a global citizens 625 corporations or other entities referring to or using 102 (Cambridge, MA: Sustainable Development Pro-movement to advance the vision of the scenario. For sustainability-reporting guidelines in their corporate gram, Center for International Development, Harvardmore information, see http://www.gtinitiative.org/. reports as part of the Global Reporting Initiative, University, 2004).VOLUME 47 NUMBER 3 ENVIRONMENT 21