Speech on meeting sides of ESPO convention
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Sustainable Development
 

Many respected thinkers seem to believe that humanity is in a period of inevitable economic and technological progress. This view of the future, fuelled by heady advances in technology, is particularly prevalent in the information industry. It reflects a new conception of the human species, one in which human societies are seen as free of dependence on the natural world.   Putting a computer in every home while wiping out half of the world's plant and animal species, however, could hardly be considered an economic success.
 
Long-term sustainability
 

It is clear that satisfying the projected needs of a constantly growing world population with the economy we now have is simply not possible.   The economic model in place in the West - a fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centred, disposable-goods economy - that so dramatically raised living standards for part of humanity during the past century is revealing its weaknesses. Indeed, the global economy cannot expand indefinitely if the ecosystems on which it depends continue to deteriorate.   If the Western model were to become the global model, and if the world's population were to reach 10 billion during the next century as the United Nations projects, the effects would be startling.   If, for example, the world had one car for every two people in 2050 - as in the United States today - there would be 5 billion cars. Considering the traffic congestion, pollution, fuel use, and land requirements of the current global fleet of 500 million cars, a fleet of 5 billion is difficult to imagine.   If petroleum use per person were to reach the current U.S. level, the world would consume 360 million barrels per day, compared with current production of 67 million barrels.   Following the American diet, ten billion people would require 9 billion tonnes of grain per year, the harvest of more than four planets at the Earth's current output levels.   An economy can be maintained in the long term only if it satisfies the principles of sustainability:
o The fish catch must not exceed the sustainable yield of fisheries.
o The amount of water pumped from underground aquifers must not exceed aquifer recharge.
o Soil erosion must not exceed the natural rate of new soil formation.
o Tree cutting must not exceed tree planting. 
o Carbon emissions must not exceed the capacity of nature to process atmospheric carbon dioxide. 
o Plant and animal species must not be eliminated faster than new ones evolve. 
 
The foundation of the new economic model is a new design principle - one that shifts from one-time depletion of natural resources to one that is based on renewable energy and that continually reuses and recycles materials. It is a solar-powered, bicycle and rail centred, reuse/recycle economy model that uses energy, water, land, and materials much more efficiently and wisely than we do today.
 
Agenda 21
 

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, was a remarkable event. The heads of 179 states and representatives of numerous countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations were in attendance. This conference demonstrated that humanity could no longer treat the environment separately from economic development. The conference led to the acceptance of a world action plan called Agenda 21, an action programme spanning the next 100 years.   Agenda 21 seeks to achieve two goals on a global scale: a high quality environment and a stable economy for all nations of the world. This historical document is an exhaustive look at sustainable development. The Rio Declaration contains the basic principles that must underline future state decisions and policies.
 
 
Main Principles of Sustainable Development
 

(Rio de Janeiro Declaration on the Environment and Development, 1992) 
o Everyone has the right to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
o Present and future generations are equally entitled to this right. 
o Environmental protection must be seen as an integral part of any development process. 
o Each country has the right to utilize its own resources, without affecting the environment beyond its borders. 
o The polluter must compensate the damage caused to the environment - "Polluter Pays" principle. 
o Economic activities are combined with the principle of acquiring preventive measures for environment protection. 
o States must cooperate for environment protection. 
o The alleviation of poverty and living standards inequity in the different parts of the world are an integral part of sustainable development. 
o States must limit and extinguish the unsustainable models of production and consumption, and enhance the appropriate demographic policy. 
o The most efficient way of solving environmental problems is the involvement of all interested parties. States must develop and encourage the informed participation of the population in decision-making process. 
o States must develop and implement effective legislation for environmental protection. 
o Environmental protection must involve all social groups. 
o Peace, development, and environmental protection are inter-dependent and indivisible.
 
Johannesburg Summit 2002
 

The World Summit on Sustainable Development brought together tens of thousands of participants, including heads of state and government, national delegates and leaders from NGOs, businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention and direct action on meeting environmental challenges.   Included in the goals were improving people's lives and conserving natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security. 
 
To learn more... "www.johannesburgsummit.org" 
 
The basic challenges and their consequences are: 
 
Population
 

In the beginning of the 21st century the population of the Earth reached 6 billion and is expected to level out between 10 and 11 billion over the next 50 years. The basic challenges will be shortages of drinking water and arable land for food production. 
 
Poverty and inequality
 

Almost 25 percent of the population lives on less than USD 1 per day. Because inequality continues to be a serious obstacle to sustainable development, the Conference pledged to reduce this number by one half, along with the number of people suffering from undernourishment.
 
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY P.U.
 
Fikrad Jafarov
 
  Azerbaijan, AZ1004, Baku,
 
  Neftchiler ave., 61, 24/25
 
    Tel.:    (994 12) 492-78 56
 
  Fax:     (994 12) 492-78 26
 
  Mob.:  (994 55) 790-67 88
 
   E-mail: fjafarov@sdpu.az