Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Sustainable Development

  • Alastair M. SmithEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_472


Many scholars discuss the emergence of “Sustainable Development” (SD), and associated discourses, from “World War 2” onwards. Indeed, it was from the 1980s that discourse solidified at the international scale and became significantly embedded in policy, research, and practice. Driven by nongovernment organizations (NGOs), associated SD praxis was galvanized under the United Nations (UN), diffused deeper into the Third Sector, colonized government policy, and even the discourses and practices of private enterprise (Macekura 2016, p. 66).

SD is of course most famously defined by the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED 1987, p. 43), as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This work was the culmination of international efforts to reconcile increasing international concern for environmental impact with the continuing demands of the less economically development...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Sustainable Development, School of Cross-Faculty StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Development (Greens)Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (Unisul)FlorianópolisBrazil