In 2017 some of us have been celebrating an important anniversary: 30 years ago the concept of sustainable development (SD) was born, at a time when it became apparent that human activity was having severe impacts on our home planet, and that patterns of rapid, no-holds-barred global economic growth could not continue.

A United Nations-sponsored report called Our Common Future proclaimed that SD is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit it was subsequently elevated to a ...


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