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Environment versus Development

Environmental protection and economic developments might be the biggest issues in the 21st
century. They are both important because they are vital to human's future and welfare. However,
since the budget and the recourse are limited, governments must choose between these two
issues.Development and environment need to be seen as complementary, not antagonistic terms.
After all, if there is no Earth left, where will development take place?Today, when the world is
facing the harmful consequences of global warming and depletion of resources, environment
conservation has become a topic of global significance, not just an issue
with local importance. The matter is of paramount relevance in a developing economy like ours,
as environment degradation drastically offsets improvements achieved by economic prosperity,
apart from having serious implications for distributive justice. Although the issue has gained
importance in todays grave scenario, environment conservation is still a neglected sector, with
excessive emphasis on growth in terms of numbers, without focusing on developmentin terms
of quality. Improper implementation of policies, coupled with indifferent attitudes of authorities
has accentuated the ineffectiveness of environment strategy. This has led to a host of problems
like mounting pressures on depleting resources and poor waste management resulting in
deplorable conditions and health hazards. Thus it is imperative to frame environment policy with
holistic considerations of health, sanitation and overall development of the populace.

The 'Development Versus Environment' controversy has caught the popular imagination because
nobody can remain completely untouched by either the economic development or its
environmental implications. It is undeniable that the development of economy has brought great
changes in everyones life and significantly elevated our living standards. Therefore, some
people argue that the development of economy must come before all else, including the
environmental concerns. Under no circumstances should we seek temporary economic
development at the expense of the environment and resources because if we do so, we could
never achieve sustainable development of economy and such a practice is not in accord with
human welfare. If the governments neglect the importance of environmental protection when
promoting the economic development, it could make a profit in the short term but suffer a larger
loss in the long run. It is because of the obvious fact that we need to utilize resources from the
environment for developing economy and they can be depleted or polluted if we overlook the
environmental protection. Government could not improve peoples lives through developing the
economy at the expense of environment and resources, instead, people will have to endure
unfavorable living environment and lose happiness.

One of the biggest challenges facing governments as the new century is how to balance
environmental protection with the demands for development. If deterioration of the global
environment over the past several decades is any guide, the coming century does not hold out
much promise for reversing these trends, many environmentalists are warning as the millennium
comes to a close. Rising Earth temperatures, record losses in biodiversity and species extinction,
increasing demands and dwindling supplies of fresh water, only seem to be getting worse.
Admittedly, with the development of economy, the qualities of our living have been improved
notably. People are able to earn more money, live in bigger houses and afford better medical

However, we actually can realize a better development of economy under the condition of
conserving environment. For instance, government can attract tourists and investors by clean and
beautiful environment. The tourism industry and foreign investment can also facilitate the
economic development.The greed of the man of business is unbounded and blind. It has often led
to total neglect of environment or public safety. It has led to a conviction among many people
that development per-se is undesirable and disruptive of environment. Since the atmosphere and
environment are not divided according to the national boundaries but are common to the entire
global community, only international, united efforts can impact the global warming and ozone
layer depletion. Those countries who are contributing more to the environmental degradation
have to make greater efforts and exercise greater abnegation in their consumption-patterns to
reduce the rate of pollution.More awareness and sensitivity towards the environment is the key to
environmental conservation.

A possible measure for this would be to inculcate awareness among students. Providing
infrastructure for waste management, water harvesting and paper recycling in schools and
colleges can go a long way in sowing the seeds of environment consciousness in young minds.
Thus, positive encouragement for judicious use (concessional rates of solar equipment and
efficient appliances) and negative incentives for misuse of resources (higher taxes for inefficient
cars and high energy consuming buildings) should be provided.

The Concept of Sustainability

The concept of sustainable development emerged from the post-War environmental movement,
which recognized the negative impacts of human growth and development on the environment
and communities. The term sustainable development came to prominence through the United
Nations Brundtland Commission. The commissions 1987 report, Our Common Future defined
sustainable development as; Development which meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable development thus comprises three elements - economic, social and environmental -
which have to be considered in equal measure at the political level Sustainable development
promotes the idea that social, environmental, and economic progresses are all attainable within
the limits of our earths natural resources.

Sustainable development approaches everything in the world as being connected through space,
time and quality of life. Sustainable development constantly seeks to achieve social and
economic progress in ways that will not exhaust the earths finite natural resources. The needs of
the world today are real andimmediate, yet its necessary to develop ways to meet these needs
that do not disregard the future. The capacity of our ecosystem is not limitless, meaning that
future generations may not be able to meet their needs the way we are able to now.