“The environment does not exist as a sphere separate from human actions, ambitions, and needs, and attempts to defend it in isolation from human concerns have given the very word ‘environment’ a connotation of naivety in some political circles.”
These words come from the foreword of “Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development,” a landmark United Nations report that was written when the world’s population reached five billion. The report triggered the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio De Janeiro and a number of United Nations treaties and agreements all focusing on sustainable development.
It’s now 2012, and a new Earth Summit is being prepared for June of this year. But what progress has been made in sustainable development in the past two decades, and how can you answer the problems without looking at the growing population? In my next piece for NationalGeographic.com, I take a look at how these questions were addressed at an Aspen Institute event this past Thursday. http://bit.ly/xtJndW