The term 'sustainable development' covers various global issues such as inequality, hunger, poverty and degradation of the environment. It is not difficult to follow a development strategy that is sustainable and causes less damage to the environment. However, one can not deny the fact that several challenges and issues are involved in successful implementation of it.
In simpleest terms, sustainable development is a development pattern which ensures that present needs are met without causing any destruction to the society and environment and there are sufficient resources also available for the future generation to meet their needs. But is it possible to meet present needs without affecting the availability of resources for the future? This question itself can be considered one of the biggest challenges in attaining sustainable development. The first summit that examined the progress towards achieving sustainable development was held at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Since then, this topic has been discussed in all global conferences in some form or the other.
There are several countries that have failed to share the economic growth benefits. Pressure on the global and local environment has increased due to high levels of economic activities. Economic activities have gone to a higher scale as the incentives being provided to producers and consumers have been inappropriate. As a result of pressure on local and global environment, marine resources have been over exploited, clean drinking water has become scarce and interference with the climate has led to loss of biodiversity. As far as integration of sustainability goals in sectoral policies are concerned, the government needs to reduce the degradation of the environment. Improved policies are required to limit support to particular sectors that produce goods and services for human needs but also cause destruction to communities and climate through their business activities.
Reforms are also needed at the international level as most of the pressing issues we face today are spread on a global level. The effects of these issues are either independent or its consequences can be seen across the world. The present need is to identify key priorities for action and work towards ensuring best results.