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什么是可持续发展 sustainble development?
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Introduction to Sustainable Development
  
什么是可持续发展,看老外是如何定义可持续发展的?
The term "sustainable development" emerged from the 1987 report of the UN's World Commission on Environment and Development (also known as the Brundtland Commission),   entitled Our Common Future.   The term has no legal definition.   It means simply "...to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," according to the Brundtland Commission report.
The idea of sustainable development gained momentum from the UN's 1992 Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro.   Maurice Strong was the Secretary-General of the Conference.   Strong also headed the first such conference in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden.   He was also a member of the Brundtland Commission.   Shortly after the 1992 event, Strong created an NGO (non-government-organization) called Earth Council, whose purpose was to coordinate the efforts of all nations to achieve sustainable development through the creation of national councils on sustainable development.
The Rio Conference produced three major documents: The Convention on Biological Diversity; The Framework Convention on Climate Change; and Agenda 21.   Agenda 21 is a "soft law" policy declaration, or Action Plan; the other two documents are legally binding international treaties.
Agenda 21 contains 288 pages of specific policy recommendations which, when fully implemented, will result in what its authors consider to be "sustainable development."   Chapter two calls for the creation of a "national strategy" for the implementation of Agenda 21 recommendations.   Within months of his election (July 19, 1993), President Clinton complied with the recommendation of Agenda 21 by issuing Executive Order 12852 which created the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Sustainable development is said to require the integration of three principles into all public policy: (1) economic growth; (2) environmental protection; and (3) social equity.   To achieve this integration, Agenda 21 sets forth 27 guiding principles, known as "The Rio Declaration."   The PCSD's version is called "We Believe Statements" and consists of 16 principles which parrot the Rio Declaration.
The PCSD consists of 29 individuals appointed by the president.   The individuals are cabinet-level government officials, executives of selected industries, and executives from selected environmental organizations.   The Council is organized into eight "Task Forces," each of   which has produced its own set of policy recommendations to supplement Sustainable America: A New Consensus, the report of the full Council.   The PCSD is one of more than 150 national councils on sustainable development, all coordinated by Maurice Strong's organization, Earth Council.
One of the primary objectives of Agenda 21, and the PCSD, is to transform the policy-making procedure into what is called "collaborative consensus building:"
"We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better decisions; more rapid change; and more sensible use of human, natural, and financial resources in achieving our goals." (We Believe Statement #8, PCSD).
The function of the new process is to by-pass elected officials and put  policy-making into the hands of selected individuals who agree with the objectives of Agenda 21 and the PCSD.   The consensus process is used exclusively throughout the United Nations, and is rapidly becoming the process by which public policy is made in the United States.
The bedrock principle on which America is founded is the belief that government is empowered by the consent of those who are governed.   Those who are governed express their consent through the officials they elect.   Public policies that are enacted by elected officials are, therefore, ultimately subject to the approval (or consent) of those who are governed.   Public policies that are devised by non-elected, carefully selected individuals, are not subject to the approval of those who are governed.   Perhaps the greatest danger of sustainable development is the transformation of the process through which public policy is created.
In other nations, however, those governed by dictators, communist, or socialist regimes, the consensus process provides a limited voice to at least some of the citizens who otherwise would have no voice at all.     It is difficult for Americans to comprehend a system of governance in which the government is omnipotent and ordinary citizens are subject to whatever whims may be imposed by whomever happens to be in power.   Nevertheless, sustainable development requires such a system of governance to manage the affairs of individual citizens to insure that social equity and environmental protection are integrated into all economic activity.
Bringing it all together
Social equity means that "...all citizens share equally in the benefits of natural resources."   America is said to be home for only five percent of the world's population which uses 20 percent of the earth's resources.   Therefore, America's consumption of natural resources must be reduced while providing access to the world's resources to the people in the rest of the world.   The Framework Convention on Climate Change, with its Kyoto Protocol, will force a 40% reduction in energy use in America and in 33 other developed countries.   The resulting increased cost of everything that uses energy will force a reduction of consumption in America.   But since no energy use restrictions are imposed on the remaining 137 developing nations, industry will move to China, Mexico, Brazil, and Asia to produce their goods for the people in developing nations.   The process will force the redistribution of wealth to achieve "social equity" in the name of protecting the environment.
Moreover, the Convention on Biological Diversity requires a system of land use control to ensure that individual citizens, land owners, may not use their land in ways that are considered to be unsustainable.   Even though the Convention on Biological Diversity has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate, the Administration is implementing what it calls its "Ecosystem Management Policy," designed to exercise the same kind of control over land use that is required by the Convention.
In conjunction with the implementation of the two Conventions adopted at Rio de Janeiro, the PCSD has launched a massive initiative to transform America's cities into what is called "Sustainable Communities."   The UN Conference on Human Settlements, (HABITAT II) focused its 1996 agenda on sustainable communities.   The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs reported America's plans for sustainable communities in a document entitled "Agenda for Sustainable Communities."   Across America, cities and towns are experiencing the creation of "visioning councils," which are organized by NGOs, consisting of selected, non-elected, individuals, funded by government grants, all using the consensus process to develop public policy to conform to the requirements of Agenda 21.  
  
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