Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sustainable development

Ours is a fast track world which is moving fast towards development and everyone is a part of this race. There is cut throat competition. Everyone works hard for developing, be it the richest of the rich, or the poorest of the poor. It is human nature to want more than what one has, and this is what arouses the spirit of development. But man in his journey for development forgets about his surroundings – be it human or non-human including their interests and above all their needs. He just doesn’t care about anything else when he is determined to move forward. Well, that is human nature too. All in all, a human being tends to develop more in any case. No wonder we are today seeing a lot changes brought about under the banner of development. Be it infrastructural layout, technological adaptations, electricity generation, urbanization or any other developmental aspect; on every front we have improved, but each of such activities has also brought serious degradation of one kind or the other. As developmental dimensions are varied, their environmental impacts are also diverse in nature and magnitude. Here we must understand that the relationship between environment and development is reciprocal in nature. There are profound impacts on environment due to developmental processes and there are certain environmental factors involved in development. In fact development is but exploration and exploitation of environmental resources. And without proper, perfect and efficient use of environmental resources, economic development is not possible. However, the accelerating pace of development has resulted in increased pressure on environmental resources. This pressure on environmental resources, including air, water and land resources has resulted in pollution of water, air and land. The resulting environmental degradation is not in itself a serious problem facing mankind but also hamper the process of development as the latter heavily rely on quality environment. The point is that we sure are making a lot of development, but are we really achieving in the long run or are we just losers? Development does mean to utilize our available resources only, but sadly we take it in that sense only. Development also means that we just utilize them and not over-utilize them because we aren’t the lone authorities over them. And here is where the concept of sustainable development comes into existence. Modern scientists believe that the term development should be broadened to sustainable development. This is because the world resources are rapidly depleting one after the other. Sustainable development means to make progress but keeping in mind that we utilize the resources in such a manner that we leave behind enough of it for our future generations to sustain, just as our ancestors did! Sustainable development combines the current generations to work for the growth, development and management of natural, technological, produced, social and cultural capitals not only for their own use and welfare but for the welfare of the future generations as well. Roughly, sustainable development has three aspects – social, environmental and economic. Economy in sustainable development plays an important role. Inflation control and balanced exchange rates play an important role under sustainable development in terms of economy. Inflation control is important because if there is no uniform affordability in the society, then net development will be less. Talking of exchange rates, they need to be balanced to lessen the disparities among different economies and to ensure a smooth future. Gandhiji has rightly said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. Today we have enough to satisfy every living person’s need but the rate of exploitation is so rapid that by 2035, as per surveys, many of the resources would be depleted. Do we still say that we are making progress in the long run, or are we making it hard for those to enter this world, to sustain their lives? We don’t have to merely develop, we don’t need to just move forward without knowing what we are doing, where we are going, but we need to do something greater. We need to convert our development into ‘de-growth’. That is what will bring about an era of real development!