Portal:Sustainable development

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The sustainable development portal

Environment Equitable Sustainable Bearable (Social ecology) Viable (Environmental economics) Economic SocialSustainable development.svg
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Scheme of sustainable development:
at the confluence of three preoccupations. Clickable.

Sustainable development has been defined as balancing the fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The field of sustainable development can be conceptually divided into four general dimensions: social, economic, environmental and institutional. The first three dimensions address key principles of sustainability, while the final dimension addresses key institutional policy and capacity issues.

More about sustainable development and sustainability...


Selected article

The waste hierarchy.
Waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials, usually ones produced by human activity, in an effort to reduce their effect on human health or local aesthetics or amenity. A subfocus in recent decades has been to reduce waste materials' effect on the natural world and the environment and to recover resources from them. Waste management can involve solid, liquid or gaseous substances with different methods and fields of expertise for each.

Waste management practices differ for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential, industrial, and commercial producers. Waste management for non-hazardous residential and institutional waste in metropolitan areas is usually the responsibility of local government authorities, while management for non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste is usually the responsibility of the generator.

The waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability. It has remained the cornerstone of most waste minimisation strategies.

Selected picture

Farmers carrying out their own research into tungro disease on rice.
Credit: User:APB-CMX

Participatory technology development is an approach to learning and innovation that is used in international development as part of projects and programmes relating to sustainable agriculture.

Selected organization

A composed satellite photograph of Africa in orthographic projection.
The African Development Bank (ADB) is a development bank established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa. It is a conglomeration of the African Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). It has placed an emphasis over the years on the role of women, education and structural reforms, and lent its support to key initiatives such as debt alleviation for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC's) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It currently has 77 members: 53 countries in Africa and 24 American, European, and Asian countries.

The ADB has four principal functions. The first is to make loans and equity investments for the economic and social advancement of the RMCs. Second, it is to provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programs. Third, the ADB is to promote investment of public and private capital for development purposes. Lastly, the ADB is to assist in coordinating development policies and plans of RMCs. The ADB is also required to give special attention to national and multinational projects and programs which promote regional integration.

Selected biography

Wangari Maathai.jpg
Wangari Muta Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. Educated at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Nairobi, in Kenya in the 1970s Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation and women's rights. In 1986, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004 became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace." Maathai was an elected member of Kenya's National Assembly and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki from 2003 through 2005. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council.

Current events

Did you know...

Fremantle Markets

  • ...that the Fruit and Vegetable Hall at the Fremantle Markets (pictured) was rebuilt using recycled materials following a fire in 1992?


Selected quote

God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the West...keeping the world in chains. If our nation took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.

Main topics

Sustainable development

Development: Development studies • Economic development • Energy development • Fair trade • Human Development Index • Informal economy • Information and communication technologies for development • International development • Least developed countries • Make Poverty History • Microfinance • Multilateral development banks • Poverty • World Bank Group

Sustainability: Anaerobic digestion • Appropriate technology • Biodegradable plastic • Carbon negative fuel • Ecological economics • Ecological modernization  • Economics of biodiversity • Ecovillage • Energy conservation • Environmental design • Energy development • Environmental technology • Environmental law • Low-carbon economy • Permaculture • Population  • Recycling • Renewable energy • Social sustainability • Sustainable agriculture • Sustainable city • Sustainable design  • Sustainable tourism  • Sustainable transport  • Waste management • Water

Enercon E-66 wind energy converter in Egeln/Germany.

Human/World Population: Human overpopulation • Optimum population • Overshoot (ecology) • Population ageing • Population density • Population pyramid  • Tragedy of the commons   List of countries by population:  List of countries by population growth rate • List of countries by population density • List of sovereign states and dependent territories by birth rate



Related categories

Sustainable development
Development: Country classifications (Least Developed Countries) • Development charities • Development specialists • Development studies • Economic development (Informal economy, Microfinance, Poverty)  • Energy development • Fair trade • Foreign aid by country • Human Development Index • International development • Make Poverty History • Multilateral development banks • Rural community development • Supranational banks (World Bank) • Water supply and sanitation by country  United Nations Headquarters view from the East River.

Sustainability: Advocates • Alternative energy • Anaerobic digestion • Appropriate technology • Biodegradable plastics • Biofuels • Carbon diet • Economics of sustainability • Ecovillages • Energy conservation • Environmental design • Low-carbon economy • Permaculture • Recycling • Renewable energy • Sustainable agriculture • Sustainable technologies • Waste management • Water

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