What is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development can be defined as an approach to the economic development of a country without compromising with the quality of the environment for future generations. In the name of economic development, the price of environmental damage is paid in the form of land degradation, soil erosion, air and water pollution, deforestation, etc. This damage may surpass the advantages of having more quality output of goods and services.

Sustainable Development Goals

  • To promote the kind of development that minimises environmental problems.
  • To meet the needs of the existing generation without compromising with the quality of the environment for future generations.

Also check: Important Questions for Environment and Sustainable Development

Achieving Sustainable Development

Sustainable development can be achieved if we follow the following points:

  • It can be achieved by restricting human activities.
  • Technological development should be input effective and not input utilising.
  • The rate of consumption should not surpass the rate of salvation.
  • For renewable resources, the rate of consumption should not surpass the rate of production of renewable substitutes.
  • All types of pollution should be minimised.
  • It can be achieved by sensible use of natural resources.
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Examples of Sustainable Development

  • Wind energy
  • Solar energy
  • Crop rotation
  • Sustainable construction
  • Efficient water fixtures
  • Green space
  • Sustainable forestry

What is Environmental Crisis?

Environmental crisis refers to a situation when an environment fails to perform its vital function of life sustenance. The environment becomes suitable as soon as the following happens:

  1. Resource extraction remains below the rate of resource generation.
  2. Generation of waste remains within the absorption capacity of the environment.

Reasons for Environmental Crisis

(1) Population explosion

  • The high rate of growth of population adversely affects the environment.
  • It increases the demand for environmental resources, but their supply is limited.
  • This results in overuse and misuse of resources.

(2) Rise in economic activity

  • The rise in economic growth results in affluent consumption and production of goods and services.
  • It generates wastes that are beyond the absorptive capacity of the environment.

(3) Rapid industrialisation

  • Rapid industrialisation has led to deforestation, and depletion of natural resources.
  • It leads to contamination of water[3] due to the accumulation of increasing quantity of toxic substances and industrial wastes in the water bodies.

(4) Urbanisation

  • A large migration of population from rural to urban areas results in the fast growth of slum areas.
  • It leads to the excess burden on the existing infrastructural activities.

(5) Deforestation

  • Deforestation refers to cutting down of trees, clearing forest, etc.
  • It adversely affects the environment and causes other problems.

(6) Increased use of insecticides, pesticides, and chemical fertilisers

  • Farmers and workers suffer health problems due to the increased use of poisonous insecticides, pesticides, and chemical fertilisers.
  • The crop generated also contains chemical elements in it.

Short Questions

Q.1: What is the opportunity cost of a negative environment?

Ans: It is the cost incurred by a society from the impact of a negative environment on the society.

Q.2: What is global warming?

Ans: It is a situation of the gradual but consistent rise in the atmospheric temperature.

Q.3: What is ozone depletion?

Ans: Ozone depletion refers to the destruction of the ozone layer due to the presence of chlorine and bromine from man-made CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) and other gases.

Q.4: What is land degradation?

Ans: It refers to a decline in the quality of soil, water, or vegetation conditions.

Multiple Choice Questions:

Q.1 _____________development meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generation.
(a) Sustainable

(b) Original

(c) Balanced

(d) None of the above

Q.2 Which of the following is the feature of Sustainable Development?
(a) Raises per capita income

(b) Rational use of Natural Resources

(c) No increase in Pollution

(d) All of the above

Q.3 _____________development promotes the kind of development that minimizes environmental problems.
(a) Sustainable

(b) Original

(c) Balanced

(d) None of the above

Answer Key
1-a, 2-d, 3-a

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sustainable Development


What is the main goal of sustainable development?

Sustainable development is to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone. It is a collection of 17 SDG’s or Sustainable development goals.


What are the three types of sustainable development?

The three types of sustainable development are:

  1. Economic viability
  2. Environmental protection
  3. Social equity

Give 2 Examples of Sustainable Development.

The two examples of sustainable development are:

1.Solar energy: Harnessing the solar energy to reduce pollution in the environment.

2.Crop Rotation : Planting different types of crops on the same land on a rotational basis for improving soil fertility.


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