Ecologically Sustainable Development:
Goal, Objectives and Guiding Principles
The goal of ESD
Development that improves the total quality of life,
both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes
on which life depends.
The core objectives of ESD
- to enhance individual and community well-being by following
a path of economic development that safeguards the welfare of future
- to provide for equity within and between generations;
- to protect biological diversity and maintain essential
ecological processes and life support systems.
The guiding principles of ESD
- Decision making processes should effectively integrate
both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity
- Where there are threats of serious or irreversible
environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be
used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.
- The global dimension of environmental impacts of actions
and policies should be recognised and considered.
- The need to develop a strong, growing and diversified
economy which can enhance the capacity for environmental protection
should be recognised.
- The need to maintain and enhance international competitiveness
in an environmentally sound manner should be recognised.
- Cost effective and flexible policy instruments should
be adopted, such as improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms.
- Decisions and actions should provide for broad community
involvement on issues which affect them.
These guiding principles and core objectives need to be
considered as a package. No objective or principle should predominate
over the others. A balanced approach is required that takes into account
all these objectives and principles to pursue the goal of ESD.