Sustainable development is how we must live today if we want a better tomorrow, by meeting present needs without compromising the chances of future generations to meet their needs. The survival of our societies and our shared planet depends on a more sustainable world.
It’s a bit of a juggling act. Three different balls must be kept in the air at once: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. If one or two fall to the ground, the act is over. An economy might grow rapidly, for instance – but only for so long if most people remain poor and all the natural resources are used up.
Where development is sustainable, everyone has access to decent work, quality health care and education. Natural resource use avoids pollution and permanent losses to the environment. Public policy choices ensure that no one is left behind due to disadvantages or discrimination.
Want to know more? Download the Sustainable Development Fast Fact explainer.