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1Questioning Sustainable Development Raja Timilsina In verge of writing this paper I was thinking of development as progress then I started thinking on own personal line, (i.e. now and then) and I listed my current needs (what I want to have or achieve) and how I would like to see future, then what I saw is the conflict, that arises among choices with one another? For example, I dream for clean air to breathe but also I need a car for transportation here needs might conflict. I would like to have air conditioner and refrigerator and I am worried about ozone layer. I would like to have my own house and nice furniture’s and I want issue of global warming to be solved. Therefore, which would you choose, and how would you make your decision? If within ourselves, we have conflicting needs, how much is that multiplied when we look at a whole community, city, country, and world? For example, what happens when a company’s need for cheap labor conflicts with workers’ needs for livable wages? When individual families’ needs for firewood conflict with the need to prevent erosion and conserve topsoil? When one country’s need for electricity results in acid rain that damages another country's lakes and rivers? How do we decide whose needs are met i.e. Poor or rich people? Citizens or immigrants? People living in cities or in the countryside? People in one country or another? You or your neighbor? The environment or the corporation? This generation or the next generation? When there has to be a trade off, whose needs should go first? Then I thought of sustainable development that we talk about and question that always dwells in my mind is whose sustainability are we thinking of, are we talking of? Defining Sustainable Development: We see the expression “sustainable development” everywhere these days, but what does it actually mean? As defined by Oxford University Press (1987) it is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Two points are essential to sustainable development. First, the realization that economic growth alone is not enough to solve the world’s problems: the economic, social and environmental aspects of any action are interconnected (Strange & Baylet, 2008). Next, the interconnected nature of sustainable development calls for going beyond borders, whether they are geographical or institutional, to co-ordinate strategies and make good decisions (Strange & Baylet, 2008). Problems are rarely contained within predefined
2jurisdictions such as one government agency or a single neighborhood, and intelligent solutions require co-operation as part of the decision-making process (Gibbs, 2002). At the core of sustainable development is the need to consider “three pillars” together: society, the economy and the environment (ibid). No matter the context, the basic idea remains the same – people, habitats and economic systems are inter-related. Trends in global production and consumption patterns are unlikely to change significantly. Goods are