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Document begins: A NEW ERA IN International SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2007 Institute for · Environment and Development An IIED Briefing Steve Bass, Senior Fellow, IIED "Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract ­ sustainable development ­ and turn it into a daily reality for all the world's people." Kofi Annan SUMMARY It is 20 years since the World Commission on Environment and Development -- the Brundtland Commission -- released its influential report on sustainable development. This is now the declared intention of most governments, many international organisations, and an increasing number of businesses and civil society groups. High profile `intentions' have given rise to a bewildering array of sustainable development plans, tools and business models. But these have not yet triggered the pace, scale, scope and depth of change that is needed to make development sustainable. They leave the underlying causes of unsustainable development largely undisturbed. They include few means for anticipating non-linear changes ­ from climate change to economic cycles ­ and for building resilience to them. Consequently, most environmental and welfare measures continue to decline in almost all countries. Much energy has been spent crafting the sustainable development `toolkit'. But that ...

Publication information

  • IIED code: G00183
  • Published: Jan 2007
  • Theme: Communication
  • Language: English

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