Articles | Volume 54, issue 2
30 Jun 1999
 | 30 Jun 1999

Sustainable development : characteristics and interpretations

E. Zaccaï

Abstract. This paper characterizes the main elements of «sustainable development» (SD) based on the current literature. On the premise of population growth and human environmental impact as central problems of development policy the multisectoral and multidimensional approach to sustainable development is discussed. According to this,

–Environmental protection has to be an integral part of the development process
–Technology will play a major role in the implementa¬ tion of SD
–SD may be compatible with the free market economy
–SD seeks «inter-» and «intra-» generational equit
–SD requires changes in awareness and ethic
–Achieving SD means the involvement of private and public sectors at all levels.

It is shown that these characteristics currently are subject to interpretations that go beyond the scope of SD.