Sunday, March 6, 2011

We’re moving too slowly

We’re moving too slowly

Joydeep Gupta | February 25, 2011

Gro Harlem Brundtland – high priestess of sustainable development – tells Joydeep Gupta why progress towards a healthier, happier planet is still too slow, wrapping up our special series on well-being economics.

“The oil and coal lobby in the US is mostly responsible for creating the kind of atmosphere that has prevented progress. These big corporations are very powerful. I know this myself from working against the tobacco industry.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland is the high priestess of sustainable development. The former head of the World Health Organisation and Norway’s first – and so far only – female prime minister commands a level of respect around the world perhaps matched only by Nelson Mandela.

Not many remember that she is also a medical doctor with a degree in public health, and that it was from the health sector that she took the concept of well-being and applied it to planet Earth when she became the chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1983.

That commission is still better known as the Brundtland Commission, and it is no exaggeration to say its 1987 report, “Our Common Future”, has determined the direction of global debate from then until today – and that it is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It was this report’s concept of sustainable development and the urgent need to implement it that led to the so-far only Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. And it was that summit that gave birth to the three Rio conventions, at least one of which – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – has commanded global attention. The other two aim to preserve biodiversity and combat desertification.

Now the UN secretary general’s special envoy on climate change, Brundtland visited India earlier this month to attend the annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, organised by NGO The Energy and Resources Institute. Speaking to the third pole project on the sidelines of the summit, Brundtland made clear her assessment of sustainable progress to date: implementation of the Rio conventions has been “too slow”.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh comments:

Sustainable Development

Concern for the slow progress of sustainable development by Gro Harlem Brundtland is understandable. Here is an authoritative report on Sustainable Development:

Sustainable Development: From Brundtland to Rio 2012

Background Paper* prepared for consideration by the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability at its first meeting, 19 September 2010 September 2010 United Nations Headquarters, New York prepared by John Drexhage and Deborah Murphy, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) GSP1-6 Page 2 of 26.

“More sustainable development pathways are needed in both developed and developing countries; which require a level of dialogue, cooperation and, most importantly, trust that simply is not reflected in today’s multilateral institutions or regimes.

A huge constituency around the world cares deeply and talks about sustainable development, but has not taken serious on-the-ground action. Deep structural changes are needed in the ways that societies manage their economic, social, and environmental affairs; and hard choices are needed to move from talk to action.”


Excellent Interview.

Excellent Interview with Gro Harlem Brundtland. Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) was published in 1987.

"development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

In addition, key contributions of Our Common Future to the concept of sustainable development include the recognition that the many crises facing the planet are interlocking crises that are elements of a single crisis of the whole and of the vital need for the active participation of all sectors of society in consultation and decisions relating to sustainable development.

The report’s major goals on SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT are still to be achieved.

No comments:

Post a Comment