Redefining our way of life

In recent years, few concepts have changed international cooperation and our daily lives as much as “sustainable development”.

The term was first coined in the 1980 World Conservation Strategy document produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), headquartered just outside Geneva. In 1987, the Geneva-based UN World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) further developed and defined this concept in its report, also called the Brundtland report: “Our Common Future”.

Five years later in Rio de Janeiro, the international community embraced the notion and developed a plan of action, namely “Agenda 21”.

Since then, sustainable development has influenced not just conservationists but also governments, industry and society as they try to integrate economic development, social issues and ecological constraints into their behaviours.

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