Let the active and conscious citizens of the world ask for an equal share in the per capita entitlements of the global commons (like the resources of atmosphere and ocean) and not allow more than that to anybody howsoever powerful. Both the past history and the future potentials can be factored in such as calculation of sustainable development.
That is how the most widely accepted definition of ‘sustainable development’ (as prophesied by the Rio Summit but) offered by the Brundtland Commission Report can become workable:
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the generations to meet their own needs”.
Despite this widely accepted definition, ‘sustainable development’ has become a distant cry, largely because of a ‘hypocritical’ approach to the problem adopted by the powerful countries. Next war, many say, is not going to be fought for border security; it is going to be for ‘water’ that is becoming scarce.
Already, the Greenpeace (a famous international NGO of Europe devoted to fighting in a spirit of non-violence the causes and consequences of environmental degradation) has launched movements to expose the military build-ups rising around the sites of environmental degradation.
Two major steps have already been taken by the global community to preserve and promote environmental sustainability, that is to say, not to destroy environment to an extent that may cause problems for safe living of the generations to be born. Firstly, the UN system has realised the importance of a clean environment.
The UN Commission on Human Rights has for the first time in 2001 has clearly declared that every individual has a right to live in a clean environment. Secondly, ‘environmental sustainability’ has been accepted by the global community as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals to be specifically attended to by all the governments of the world on top priority.