• Attila Kerényi
  • Richard William McIntosh
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


Three main phases of the development of the Earth are presented briefly: (1) development of the physical environment (chemical evolution), (2) development of life and its effects on the composition of the atmosphere and on the terrestrial environment (soil formation) and as a result, the formation of the biosphere, (3) advancing deliberate activities of the human society discussing the process via which humanity harms the natural environment in an increasing degree and even threatens his/her own health arriving to the idea of sustainable development. A brief outline is given on the interpretation of sustainable development from the Brundtland Committee report in 1987 to nowadays. The different interpretations of development and growth are analysed, the qualitative and quantitative description of weak sustainability and the essence of strong sustainability are discussed. Ecological, social and economic sustainability relations of sustainable development are presented. Finally, sustainable development elements most important regarding the future of the society and making the theoretical basis of the present book are emphasised.


Chemical evolution Evolution of life Socialised Earth Anthropocene Sustainable development Strong sustainability Weak sustainability Brundtland report Sustainable development goals 


  1. Alibašić H (2018) Sustainability and resilience planning for local governments. The quadruple bottom line strategy, Sustainable development goals series. Springer, New York. Scholar
  2. Arias-Maldonado M (2015) Environment and society: socionatural relations in the Anthropocene. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  3. Asgary A (ed) (2019) Resettlement challenges for displaced populations and refugees, Sustainable development goals series. Springer, Cham. Scholar
  4. Constanza R, Daly HE (1992) Natural capital and sustainable development. Conserv Biol 6(1):37–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crutzen P, Stoermer E (2000) The Anthropocene. Global Change Newsletter 41:17–18Google Scholar
  6. Davis P (1998) The fifth miracle: the search for the origin of life. Allen Lane, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. De Groot RS, Alkemade R, Braat L et al (2009) Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecol Complex 7:260–272. Scholar
  8. European Commission (2016) Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services. In: Mapping and assessing the condition of Europe’s ecosystems: progress and challenges. Accessed 1 Sept 2018
  9. Gómez-Baggethun E, de Groot R, Lomas PL et al (2010) The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: from early notions to markets and payment schemes. Ecol Econ 69:1209–1218. Scholar
  10. Haines-Young R, Potschin M (2013) Common international classification of ecosystem services (CICES): consultation on version 4. Accessed 18 Sept 2018
  11. Kerekes S (2007) A környezetgazdaságtan alapjai (Bases of environmental economy). Aula Kiadó, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  12. Kogan F (2019) Remote sensing for food security, Sustainable development goals series. Springer, Cham. Scholar
  13. Kontogianni A, Luck GW, Skourtos M (2010) Valuing ecosystem services on the basis of service-providing units: a potential approach to address the ‘endpoint problem’ and improve stated preference methods. Ecol Econ 69:1479–1487. Scholar
  14. Kumar D, Singh RB, Kaur R (2019) Spatial information technology for sustainable development goals, Sustainable development goals series. Springer, Cham. Scholar
  15. Mal S, Singh RB, Huggel C (eds) (2018) Climate change, extreme events and disaster risk reduction. Towards sustainable development goals, Sustainable development goals series. Springer, Cham. Scholar
  16. Mebratu D (1998) Sustainability and sustainable development: historical and conceptual review. Environ Impact Assess Rev 18:493–520. Scholar
  17. Parris TM, Kates RW (2003) Characterizing and measuring sustainable development. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28:559–586. Scholar
  18. Pearce D, Atkinson G (1992) Are national economies sustainable? Measuring sustainable development. Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Scholte SS, van Teeffelen AJ, Verburg PH (2015) Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: a review of concepts and methods. Ecol Econ 114:67–78. Scholar
  20. Steffen W, Grinevald J, Crutzen P et al (2011) The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 369:842–867. Scholar
  21. Talberth J (2008) A new bottom line for progress. In: Starke L (ed) State of the world 2008: innovations for a sustainable economy. W. W. Norton, New York, pp 18–31Google Scholar
  22. UN (2015) Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Accessed 20 Jan 2019
  23. Wackernagel M, Rees WE (1996) Our ecological footprint: reducing human impact on the Earth. New Society Publishers, Gabriola IslandGoogle Scholar
  24. Williams CC, Millington AC (2004) The diverse and contested meanings of sustainable development. Geogr J 170:99–104. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Attila Kerényi
    • 1
  • Richard William McIntosh
    • 2
  1. 1.Landscape Protection and Environmental GeographyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  2. 2.Mineralogy and GeologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

Personalised recommendations