Sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. It is a continuous process, not an event. Sustainability refers to the use of resources in a way that satisfies human needs while conserving the environment, so that these needs can continue to be satisfied not only for the present, but also for future generations.

Features of Sustainable Development

The main features of sustainable development are

A sustained rise in real per capita income and economic welfare is expected in the future.

The concept of sustainable development doesn’t imply that natural resources cannot be used at all. Instead, it implies that they can be used rationally so that they aren’t exploited excessively.

As a result of sustainable development, future generations will not be deprived of the ability to meet their own needs: Sustainable development means using natural resources and the environment to raise the existing standard of living in a way that doesn’t reduce the ability of future generations to fulfill their own responsibilities. The concept of sustainable development cannot be maintained by recklessly utilizing non-renewable energy sources (such as oil) to increase present production at the expense of future production.

As part of sustainable development, activities that threaten natural resources and the environment are rejected (or not approved) in order to maintain a high standard of living. One should avoid activities that may lead to pollution and a decrease in quality of life for future generations, according to this concept.

How to Achieve Sustainable Development

It is important that technology is culturally and ecologically appropriate and can be adapted locally.

The 3-R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) approach advocates minimizing the use of resources and utilizing them over and over again rather than passing them on to the waste stream. This reduces the pressure on our resources and the generation of waste and pollution.

When environmental education becomes part of all learning process it will greatly influence the thinking pattern and attitude of people towards the earth and the environment.

People who are already affluent should not be the only recipients of development. As a result, the rich and the poor should share benefits equally. A strong community involvement in policy and practice should be there and population growth should be stabilized. The tribal and ethnic people and their cultural heritage should also be conserved.

Major Environmental Problems

Global warming

Global warming is the gradual increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature. The main component of global warming is the increased emission of greenhouse gases, which trap energy from the sun and warm the Earth.


Overpopulation refers to the state of a population being too large in relation to the amount of available resources. The issues associated with overpopulation can include increased levels of poverty, unemployment, crime, and environmental degradation. These problems are often exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

Waste disposal

The disposal of waste has become a pressing global issue in recent years, as mounting levels of waste threaten both the environment and human health. Nuclear waste is particularly dangerous because it can cause severe health problems and even death. It can contaminate water supplies and food, and it takes a long time to decay. Plastics are dangerous because they can release harmful toxins into the environment, and they never biodegrade. Electronic waste is harmful because it often contains toxic materials that can leach into the soil and water.


Deforestation is the clear-cutting of trees in an area where forest once thrived. Deforestation can refer to the natural loss of trees, as well as the potential destruction of forests due to the practices of people. The effects of deforestation include erosion, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and displacement of indigenous peoples.

Ozone layer depletion

The ozone layer depletion is a gradual thinning of the ozone layer, a shield of gas that surrounds Earth and blocks most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. The main culprits are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were once widely used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and spray cans but are now banned around the world.

Acid rain

Acid rain is a form of precipitation that is caused when emissions from factories, automobiles, and other sources combine with water in the atmosphere to create acids. These acids can fall to the ground as rain, snow, or sleet. Acid rain can have harmful effects on both people and the environment.