Reconciling Development and Sustainability

Environmental justice necessitates that ""public policy be founded on mutual respect and trust"" for all people (First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit 1991, p. 1). Environmental justice entails ""the fair treatment and meaningful participation of all people,"" regardless of race (Bullard & Johnson 2000, p. 558). "States are the principal participants in international affairs, as realists say, and may often overrule interests other than their own," writes Paavola (2005). " Environmental justice requires individuals "to make personal and consumer choices to consume as little of Mother Nature's resources" and to ensure the production of minimal waste. Sustainable development is hinged on four dimensions: the economic, the environmental, the social, and the institutional (Spangenberg ‎2004, p.79). If we concentrate our attention on our society, we can begin by identifying aspects of our management of the environment that are unsustainable (Redclift 2002, p.199). There is the need for governments to empower the people and equip them with the skills needed to make environmentally viable consumption decisions. However, "accomplishing this goal will require extensive cooperation, information exchange, and knowledge sharing among all sectors of the society" (Dale and Robinson 1996). The involvement of the community in all affairs that concern it would give them a sense of ownership and entitlement, which will then enhance their participation in the conservation of the environment. However, Steger (2005) acknowledges the "reality that there is no consensus on the extent to which innovations can reconcile ever-growing energy consumption, the shrinking availability of resources, and the environmental consequences of fossil-fuel energy" (p.146). Therefore, continuous education of the masses and the discussion of the most viable ways of developing while ensuring sustainability is imperative.

List of References
Bullard, R.D., and Johnson, G.S., 2000. Environmental Justice: Grassroots Activism and Its Impact on Public Policy Decision Making. Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, no. 3, 2000, pp. 555-578.
Dale, A., and Robinson, J.B., 2011. Achieving Sustainable Development, UBC Press, Vancouver.
First National People of Color Environmental Leadership, 1991. The Principles of Environmental Justice (EJ), Washington DC
Paavola, J., 2005. Seeking Justice: International Environmental Governance and Climate Change. Globalization, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 309-322.
Redclift. M, 2002. Sustainable Development: Exploring the Contradictions, Routledge, London
Spangenberg, J.H., 2004. Reconciling sustainability and growth: criteria, indicators, policies. Sustainable Development, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 74-86.
Steger, U., 2005. Sustainable development and innovation in the energy sector. Springer, Berlin.

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