10.2.1 Meaning of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development:

The idea of sustainable development became important in 1980 with the World Conservation Strategy. Edward Barbier defined it as a way of improving the lives of poor people at the grassroots level. This improvement can be measured by increased income, better education, healthcare, sanitation, water supply, and a decrease in absolute poverty, environmental harm, cultural disruption, and social problems.

Sustainable development means making sure everyone’s basic needs are met and providing opportunities for a better life without harming the needs of the future. Strategies for sustainable development include using eco-friendly energy sources to reduce environmental damage.

In 1987, the Brundtland Commission emphasized protecting future generations in their report “Our Common Future.” Environmentalists argue that we have a moral duty to pass on a well-kept Earth to the future. This means providing a better environment for the next generations, just as we inherited.

According to the United Nations, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future to meet their own needs.”

Features of Sustainable Development:

  • Rational Use of Natural Resources:
    • Sustainable development focuses on using natural resources wisely to avoid waste. It’s about conserving these resources.
  • Preservation of the Earth’s Natural Systems:
    • Sustainable development avoids activities that cause pollution and harm the Earth’s natural systems.
  • Avoiding Costs or Risks for Future Generations:
    • Sustainable development emphasizes that the future generations should be able to meet their needs, just like the present generation. We should leave a good quality of life for them, not less than what we inherited.

10.2.2 Steps to Achieve Sustainable Development

Herman Daly, an environmental economist, suggests the following to achieve sustainable development:

  • Limiting Population:
    • We should control the number of people so that it doesn’t harm the environment. Keep it within what the environment can handle.
  • Efficient Technology:
    • Our technology should use resources wisely and not waste them.
  • Sustainable Use of Renewable Resources:
    • When we use things like sunlight or wind, we should make sure we’re not using them up faster than they can come back.
  • Balanced Use of Non-renewable Resources:
    • If we use things like coal or oil that don’t come back, we should do it at a rate that matches how quickly we can find renewable alternatives.
  • Fixing Pollution Problems:
    • If our activities create pollution, we need to find ways to fix it and make things more efficient.

10.2.3 Strategies to Achieve Sustainable Development

Environment-Friendly Practices:

  • Use of Clean Energy:
    • India mostly relies on thermal and hydro power plants, causing environmental problems. We should focus on cleaner options like wind power and solar energy, which are better for the environment.
  • Clean Cooking in Rural Areas:
    • Rural homes often use wood or dung for cooking, harming the environment. To fix this, subsidized LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and Gobar Gas Plants are provided. Gobar Gas Plants use cattle dung to produce gas for cooking and excellent organic fertilizer.
  • CNG for Urban Transport:
    • In places like Delhi, using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in public transport has reduced air pollution, making the air cleaner.
  • Harnessing Wind Power:
    • Wind mills in areas with strong winds can generate electricity without harming the environment. Although they cost more initially, the benefits outweigh the costs.
  • Solar Power with Photovoltaic Cells:
    • India has plenty of sunlight, and we can convert it into electricity using photovoltaic cells. This technology is useful in remote areas where power supply through grids is not possible or is expensive, and it’s pollution-free.
  • Mini-Hydel Plants in Mountainous Regions:
    • Using streams in mountainous regions, mini-hydel plants generate local electricity without changing the land use pattern. They are environmentally friendly and meet local energy needs.
  • Traditional Knowledge and Practices:
    • Going back to traditional practices, like using herbal products for healthcare and cosmetics, is beneficial. Traditional knowledge is eco-friendly and has minimal side effects.
  • Biocomposting:
    • Chemical fertilizers have harmed the land and water. Farmers are now using compost made from organic waste, and earthworms help speed up the composting process. This practice is more sustainable.
  • Biopest Control:
    • Chemical pesticides used during the Green Revolution had harmful effects. Safer alternatives like neem-based pesticides and encouraging natural predators like snakes, birds, and lizards help control pests without harming the environment.

In summary, sustainable development ensures lasting progress and well-being for everyone without harming the environment.

Objective Type Questions

1. What does sustainable development aim to achieve, as defined by Edward Barbier?

A) Increased environmental harm

B) Better education and healthcare

C) Absolute poverty growth

D) Cultural disruption promotion

Answer: B) Better education and healthcare

2. When was the idea of sustainable development considered important, according to the passage?

A) 1970

B) 1980

C) 1990

D) 2000

Answer: B) 1980

3. According to the United Nations, what is the definition of sustainable development?

A) Development with maximum resource usage

B) Development compromising future generations’ needs

C) Development meeting present needs without affecting the future

D) Development promoting environmental harm

Answer: C) Development meeting present needs without affecting the future

4. What is emphasized in sustainable development regarding natural resources?

A) Wasteful use

B) Rational use to avoid waste

C) Rapid consumption

D) Excessive exploitation

Answer: B) Rational use to avoid waste

5. According to Herman Daly, what is a crucial step to achieve sustainable development?

A) Uncontrolled population growth

B) Overuse of non-renewable resources

C) Efficient technology use

D) Ignoring pollution problems

Answer: C) Efficient technology use

6. What does the strategy of “Balanced Use of Non-renewable Resources” involve?

A) Rapid depletion of non-renewable resources

B) Matching the rate of non-renewable use with renewable alternatives

C) Ignoring non-renewable resource use

D) Unlimited exploitation of non-renewable resources

Answer: B) Matching the rate of non-renewable use with renewable alternatives

7. How does India primarily rely on power generation, leading to environmental issues?

A) Solar energy

B) Wind power

C) Thermal and hydro power plants

D) Nuclear power

Answer: C) Thermal and hydro power plants

8. What has the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) achieved in urban transport in places like Delhi?

A) Increased air pollution

B) Reduced water pollution

C) Cleaner air by reducing air pollution

D) Energy inefficiency

Answer: C) Cleaner air by reducing air pollution

9. What is the purpose of Gobar Gas Plants in rural areas?

A) Increasing wood usage for cooking

B) Producing harmful gases

C) Utilizing cattle dung for cooking and organic fertilizer

D) Enhancing environmental harm

Answer: C) Utilizing cattle dung for cooking and organic fertilizer

10. In areas with strong winds, what can generate electricity without harming the environment?

A) Traditional knowledge

B) Nuclear power

C) Wind mills

D) Thermal power plants

Answer: C) Wind mills

11. What is the benefit of using photovoltaic cells in areas with abundant sunlight?

A) Increased pollution

B) Higher initial costs

C) Pollution-free electricity

D) Limited energy generation

Answer: C) Pollution-free electricity

12. What do mini-hydel plants in mountainous regions use to generate local electricity?

A) Geothermal energy

B) Solar power

C) Wind energy

D) Streams

Answer: D) Streams

13. What is encouraged as a more sustainable practice in agriculture, replacing chemical fertilizers?

A) Overuse of chemical fertilizers

B) Biocomposting with organic waste

C) Increased chemical pesticide use

D) Ignoring composting practices

Answer: B) Biocomposting with organic waste

14. What is suggested as a safer alternative for pest control, avoiding harm to the environment?

A) Increased chemical pesticide use

B) Neem-based pesticides and encouraging natural predators

C) Ignoring pest problems

D) Reliance on chemical pesticides

Answer: B) Neem-based pesticides and encouraging natural predators

15. What does sustainable development ensure, according to the passage?

A) Temporary progress

B) Long-lasting progress and well-being without harming the environment

C) Rapid environmental degradation

D) Uncontrolled resource exploitation

Answer: B) Long-lasting progress and well-being without harming the environment

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