The issue of environment and sustainable
development is fairly comprehensive as well as complex. The relation between environment and development was globally recognized
in the year 1980 when the International Union for the Conservation of Nature published the World Conservation Strategy and
used the term "sustainable development”. Environmental sustainability is defined as “the ability of the environment
to continue to function properly indefinitely”. (Wikipedia, 2007). Environmental sustainability can be achieved when
human activity utilizes natural resources at a rate at which the resources can be naturally replenished.
Sustainable development can also be
explained as “development that takes the impact on the environment into account and tries to minimize environmental
damage”. (About.com, 2007). In order to promote the “green causes” all businesses; whether large or small
should get actively involved. Today, many large corporations are actively supporting the cause with their entire ad campaigns
and presenting themselves as “environmentally-friendly”. The practice is not just restricted to large companies
but small businesses as well who are getting involved in sustainable development activities by adopting environmentally sound
business principles and effectively implementing them.
The Environment and Sustainable Development
Research Centre at UNB serves an effective connection between the University and government, industry, and the non-profit
community on an array of issues related to environmental management and sustainable development. It is through education,
outreach, research and community involvement that ESDRC (The Environment and Sustainable Development Research Centre) is able
to impart valuable knowledge and enhance understanding.
According to the Environment and Sustainable
Development Programme (ESD), “total amount of human activity must be kept within the limit of capability of the Earth
both in the regional scale and in the global scale” is a crucial tenet for solving our environmental problems”.
(United Nations University, 2007). When human activity
exerts an impact on the environment that goes beyond sustainable limits; environmental complication and issues inescapably
There are essentially two kinds of
constraints on human activities that may be imposed by our mother Earth: the limitation of finite resource supplies and the
functional capacity of the ecosystem. (United Nations University, 2007).
The first constraint can be explained
thus. Let us take the example of a finite resource like petroleum. One can clearly visualize that in time; the production
of petroleum will reach a peak and then start to decline due to the fact that it cannot be replenished, hence it is termed
as a finite resource.
The second constraint can be described
as the quantity of sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface. This in turn “limits the environmental capacity
of local ecosystems and the rate of replenishment of renewable (biological) resources”. (United Nations University, 2007).
When we talk about pollution, it is
essentially the inability of the ecosystem to handle the by-product of human activity. This is primarily because the capacity
of the eco-system to handle pollution has exceeded the limit. Ecosystem destruction on the hand occurs when an inexhaustible
resource like wood is used at a faster rate than it can be regenerated.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (2007)
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Sustainable_development
Ward, Susan, About.com (2007) “Sustainable
Yasui, Itaru, United Nations University (2007) “Environment
and Sustainable Development Programme (ESD)”
Available from: http://www.unu.edu/esd/VRmessage.htm