The development that meets the needs of the present

The concept of sustainable development was introduced
to capture the interdependency of economic, environmental and social
sustainability. Since its emergence, this concept has become widely recognised by
governments, companies and even individuals as they are now implementing bold
economic, social and environmental agendas.

Explain that the essay will focus on the economic
and environmental pillars

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In order to gain an in-depth understanding of the
concept of sustainable development, it is required to consider and reflect on
both conventional and critical perspectives. For this reason, Castro’s (2004)
work will be introduced in this essay as he provides a comprehensive analysis
of these approaches. In fact, he discusses mainstream analyses as well as
critical approaches, such as postructuralist and Marxist.

The importance of these will be explained later on

            The first part of this essay aims to
define sustainable development as a mean to provide a greater understanding of
this concept in terms of theory and how it relates to the research question. Then…
The case study of Costa Rica is applied throughout the essay to conclude if
economic growth and ecological sustainability are in fact compatible.

 

Sustainable
development

 

There have been a wide variety of definitions of sustainable
development based on different interpretations regarding the relationship
between these three pillars. Environmentalists, conservationists and ecologists
adapt a more ecological approach; economists and developmentalists adopt a more
economical approach; human right activists adopt a more social approach. The definition
that remains the most commonly accepted is the one provided by the Brundtland
Report (1987, p.41), stating that “sustainable development is development that
meets the needs of the present without promising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs”. It claims that it must be defined in
terms of sustainability in both developed and developing countries, and that it
requires a progressive transformation of economy and society. Constanza (1989)
addresses the relationships between ecosystems and economic systems – between
economic sustainability and ecological sustainability – calling it ecological
economics. It suggests that these relationships are “the locus of many of
humanity’s most pressing problems including sustainability, acid rain, global
warming, species extinction and wealth contribution” (p.1). Further clarify this –
why does the reader need to know this?