Definition Of Sustainable Development Environmental Sciences Essay

Many states and metropoliss, including Hong Kong, have been developing at a rapid gait, ensuing in the gradual depletion of natural resources and enormous force per unit area on the universe ‘s ecological system. It is hence of import to equilibrate economic, environmental and societal considerations in the class of development, which is what sustainable development is all about.

In this essay, I am traveling to discourse about the sustainable development in Honk Kong, First, the definition of sustainable development ( SD ) would be stated and followed by how SD understood in Hong Kong. Besides, the grounds of why Hong Kong needs to develop SD and benefits of SD would be mentioned.

Besides, the function of instruction in SD will be discussed, non to advert the SD attempt that the authorities put. Finally, the essay will be ended by speaking about SD in Hong Kong in the hereafter.

Definition of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is defined as, development that meets the demands of the present without compromising the ability of future coevalss to run into their ain needs- ( WCED 1987, 43 ) . The construct of sustainable development is concerned with bettering human public assistance in ways without harming the environment.

Harmonizing to the World Commission on Environment and Development ) , sustainable development contains two cardinal constructs:

Needs: precedence to demands of hapless ; for this, ingestion forms in richer states got to be readjusted?

Limits: natural resources are limited. Technology and societal organisation can countervail these bounds. Therefore, we must chair demands on natural resources.

Therefore, environmental considerations are to be embedded in all sectors and policy countries. ( WCED 1987, 43 )

How Is Sustainable Development Understood in Hong Kong?

The Hong Kong Government commissioned a study on Sustainable Development for the twenty-first Century ( Planning Department 2001 ) , which proposed the undermentioned definition:

Sustainable Development in Hong Kong balances societal, economic, environmental and resource demands, both for nowadays and future coevalss, at the same time accomplishing a vivacious economic system, societal advancement and a high quality environment, locally, nationally and internationally, through the attempts of the community and the Government. ( accent added )

Alternatively, the authorities web site on sustainability quotes the Chief Secretary ‘s 1999 policy reference and proposes that for Hong Kong sustainable development agencies:

1 ) Finding ways to increase prosperity and better the quality of life while cut downing overall pollution and waste ;

2 ) Meeting our ain demands and aspirations without making harm to the chances of future coevalss ; and

3 ) Reducing the environmental load we put on our neighbors and assisting to continue common resources. ( Sustainable Development Division 2008a )

Challenges by the HKSARS

As Hong Kong is confronting many challenges, it seems that sustainable development is a suited problem-solving manner. In sustainable development, economic activity should be managed so as to progress environmental protection and societal public assistance ends. Besides, sustainable development can supply long-run economic efficiency.

Poor air quality, H2O pollution and overfishing are likely most discussed environmental challenge in Hong Kong. While biodiversity in Hong Kong is diminishing, its state Parkss and agricultural lands are often damaged by illegal development, rubbish mopess, and pollution. Besides, it is a fact that Hong Kong produces the largest sum of family rubbish per capita in the universe, and ranks low for its degree of waste recycling among different county. ( Cheung 2010, 1 ) .

Hong Kong besides involved in planetary environmental jobs. When hundred ingestion is lending to planetary heating, Hong Kong is one of the universe ‘s highest per capita defilers ( Hertwich and Peters 2009 ) .

At the same clip, Hong Kong faces many societal challenges. Over the last half century Hong Kong ‘s economic growing has been amazing. However, the wealth has non been widely shared. Hong Kong has one of the universe ‘s highest degrees of income inequality UNDP 2009, 195 ) .

What the authorities needs to make is guarantee that future development begins to turn to the many environmental and societal challenges that Hong Kong faces without sabotaging bing resources and strengths, i.e. Sustainable development.

Reasons for back uping sustainable development in Hong Kong

Environmentally sustainable development can supply us a higher living criterion.

In our day-to-day life, jobs of air, sound, and light pollution is rather serious which decrease our quality of life. For illustration, many Hong Kong people are invariably tired as the visible radiation and noise of the metropolis pollutes their living topographic point and makes it hard to acquire sufficient slumber. However, sustainable metropolis planning would assist to work out these jobs by restricting the beginnings of pollution, leting better air flow between edifices and so on.

Apart from assisting the environment and besides bettering our lives, sustainability besides makes a benefit in the personal facet. If a typical Hong Kong citizen adopts a more sustainable diet, they would necessitate to cut down their ingestion of meat and animate being merchandises. It is because production of these nutrients is more resource intensive than production of plant-based nutrient. Dieticians tell us that replacing meat with veggies, fruits, and grains would besides do us thinner and healthier, non to advert, forestall us from acquiring many serious diseases including malignant neoplastic disease and bosom disease. ( Pollan 2008 ) .

Similar wellness benefits are conveying from other sustainable personal choices-such as utilizing public conveyance and walking. Widespread usage of public conveyance in Hong Kong is non merely environmentally positive, but besides uses the energy more efficient and healthy than in car-dependent metropoliss.

Sustainable development will assist the preservation of resources. Otherwise, some resort will be lost shortly. For illustration, if you hope to bask the pleasance of eating wild ocean fish in twenty old ages ‘ clip, you have good grounds to recommend sustainable usage of ocean fish stocks ( Pauly et al. 2002 ) .

One more ground for back uping sustainable development is refering for more vulnerable people. There is infinite argument over the significance of the term ‘justice ‘ . However, it by and large refers to the thought that people should have intervention that is proper for them ( Sachs and Santarius 2007, 129 ) . Three rules can be identified as cardinal to justness. Everyone is to be taken into history in conformity with their rights, their demands, or their public presentation ( Sachs and Santarius 2007, 129 ) . The struggle among these rules. . . is in big portion the substance of battles over justice- ( Sachs and Santarius 2007, 129 ) .

The widespread adversity faced by hapless people in modern-day Hong Kong suggests that there are serious inquiries refering the grade of justness in our present system of authorities. Despite the recent economic success of Hong Kong, income inequality is among the highest in the universe ( UNDP 2009, 195 ) . If the wellbeing of deprived people in Hong Kong, or people populating in poorness in China or farther afield are considered, and the diverseness of our planet ‘s workss and animate beings should be preserved, we should seek ways of life that create chances for marginalized people and avoid harming our shared Earth. If we have concern for following coevalss we besides should guarantee that we leave them a healthy planet. This means avoiding ecological calamity and protecting the wellness of state Parkss, waterways, and oceans.

Sustainable Development Attempts

The Sustainable Development Divisionwas set up in April 2001 to advance sustainable development in both the Government and the community. One of its major undertakings is to supervise the execution of a sustainability appraisal system within the Government to ease the integrating of sustainability considerations into the decision-making procedure. All agency and sections are required to carry on sustainability appraisals of their major enterprises and programmes and to explicate the sustainability deductions in their entries to the Policy Committee and Executive Council.

The Council for Sustainable Development was established in March 2003 to advance sustainable development in Hong Kong. The footings of mention of the Council are:

to rede the Government on the precedence countries it should turn to in advancing sustainable development ;

to rede on the readying of a sustainable development scheme for Hong Kong that will incorporate economic, societal and environmental positions ;

to ease community engagement in the publicity of sustainable development in Hong Kong through assorted agencies, including the award of grants from the Sustainable Development Fund ; and

to advance public consciousness and apprehension of the rules of sustainable development.

Members of the Council are appointed by the Chief Executive and include people with experience and expertness in the environmental, societal and concern sectors, every bit good as senior authorities functionaries.

In add-on, a Sustainable Development Fund has been established with a amount of $ 100 million to supply a cardinal beginning of fiscal support for enterprises that will assist to develop a strong public consciousness of the rules of sustainable development and to promote sustainable patterns in Hong Kong and research that integrates at least two of the three facets of sustainable development – economic, societal, and environmental ( Sustainable Development Division 2008b ) .

Education for Sustainable Development

Education plays a really of import function in sustainability, because instruction improves welfare in its ain right. Besides, instruction for sustainable development at a social degree is indispensable for broader advancement toward protecting environmental assets. The Brundtland Report repeatedly emphasized the value of instruction in easing sustainable development in hapless states. It mentioned that some developing states and parts aˆ•such as China, Sri Lanka and the Indian province of Kerala, have achieved singular successes in take downing infant mortality and bettering wellness through additions in instruction, particularly of adult females. ( WCED 1987, 104 ) .

There is no denying that educational demands differ in different topographic points. In a developed economic system such as Hong Kong, the accent of sustainability instruction is likely to concentrate more on raising public consciousness about the environmental impacts of our life styles. A small alteration in lifestyle and public policy lead to great success of sustainability.

Take a expression at Agenda 21, it explained the importance of instruction for sustainability in the undermentioned footings:

Both formal and non-formal instruction are indispensable to altering people ‘s attitudes so that they have the capacity to measure and turn to their sustainable development concerns. It is besides critical for accomplishing environmental and ethical consciousness, values and attitudes, accomplishments and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effectual public engagement in decision-making. To be effectual, environment and development instruction should cover with the kineticss of both the physical/biological and socio-economic environment and homo ( which may include religious ) development, should be integrated in all subjects, and should use formal and non-formal methods and effectual agencies of communicating. ( UN 1993, Chapter 36, para 3 )

In acknowledgment of the importance of instruction, the United Nations General Assembly declared the period 2005-2014 to be the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. In Hong Kong, the Sustainable Development Fund has supported undertakings related to primary and secondary instruction. Environmental instruction is covered in primary and secondary school course of study through schoolroom instruction and out-of-door activities.

Environmental groups ( such as WWF and Friends of the Earth ) serve as of import agents to learn the kid environmental cognition and values through school negotiations and by forming pupil field trips to ecological sites. Besides, In the new secondary school course of study subjects related to sustainable development are taught in different capable countries, including earth resources, energy, engineering and the environment, clime alteration, and sustainable metropoliss ( Education Bureau 2009 ) .

Although much work has been done presenting sustainability constructs to school instruction, third sector did non hold such learning about sustainable development. Fortunately, with general instruction topics being offered to all first twelvemonth pupils, the acceptance of a four-year third system in 2012 will present chances for analyzing sustainable development across different facets.

It is surprising that there is the deficiency of focal point on sustainability instruction in Hong Kong ‘s universities. In fact, Universities and colleges the universe over typically aspire to fit their pupils with more than merely vocational preparation. Most of them seek to transfuse developing in citizenship and moralss, so that pupils will work for the improvement of society. Given the turning prominence of environmental issues, and our consciousness that the Earth is nearing assorted ecological bounds, it is arguable that sustainability should organize a cardinal portion of every university instruction ( Calder and Dautremont-Smith 2009 ) . No affair pupils are analyzing medical specialty, technology, instruction, touristry direction, or an MBA, it is of import that they should understand how they can lend to the social end and sustainable development in their callings.

Hong Kong ‘s universities have non made sustainable development a cardinal component of the course of study. However, in May 2010, the presidents of each publically funded university in Hong Kong ( plus the president of the Institute of Education ) signed the Hong Kong Declaration, which signaled an apprehension of the demand for greater sustainability in third instruction. In add-on to promises refering the efficiency of campus substructure, the university presidents pledged aˆ•to to the full use the chance available to our establishments, through the passage to a four-year third system in 2012 and other agencies, to heighten pupils ‘ apprehension of the interconnected environmental, societal and economic challenges of clime alteration and sustainable development across all modules and major Fieldss of study.- ( Kuo, 2010 ) .

Sustainability and Democratization

Should we be optimistic about Hong Kong ‘s possible to accomplish sustainable development? The former Chief Executive, Tung Chee Hwa gives us a reply. He committed Hong Kong to the end of sustainable development in his 1999 policy reference ( Tung, 1999 ) . It was adopted as a cardinal policy aim in Hong Kong 2030: Planing Vision and Strategy ( Planning Department, 2001b ) .

However, these formal committednesss have non been matched by action. Some advancement has been made in some countries over the last two decennaries. For illustrations, cleaning some of Hong Kong ‘s beaches through improved sewerage and waste processing, cut downing trust on coal fired power coevals, heightening the environmental impact appraisal mechanism.

Besides, Hong Kong Government does non efficaciously implement a comprehensive sustainable development docket. For illustration, even the Hong Kong Government appears to be proactive in the country of clime policy, it still refuses to unwrap or restrict nursery gas emanations ensuing from air power and ingestion. It means that the most polluting facets of our life styles are related to any authorities emanations decrease attempts ( Harris, Chow, and Symons 2010 ) .

The political system needed to be changed to do Hong Kong ‘s hereafter more sustainable. Democratization is one of import measure. Democratic authorities would break reflect the involvements of Hong Kong ‘s population. At present, the battle over democracy constitutes Hong Kong ‘s primary political issue. Democratic parties and militants have an eternal argument to political freedoms and continue civil, of class, and increase the influence of democratically elected legislators. If the difference eventually is resolved, it would let greater room for deliberation on other issues, possibly sustainability development.

Possibly we should non excessively pessimistic about the Hong Kong. There are some promising marks. Hong Kong has a long history of political activism. From the mass work stoppages in the yesteryear to hold of debut of anti sedition Torahs ( Article 23 of the Basic Law ) , our community has repeatedly stepped frontward to strike for better intervention from the authorities.

Take a expression at the run led by the post-80s’generation in 2009-2010 against the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. It shows that this tradition continues. This run clearly let the citizens know the societal and environmental impacts of the undertaking. Besides, it pointed out the demand for democratisation of Hong Kong policy devising.

This run demonstrates a turning demand for sustainability among the general society. Uniting with militants supervising illegal activities in rural countries and sentiment canvass, it is non hard for us to cognize there is turning environmental concern and consciousness in Hong Kong. It can be predicted that civil society will eventually intensify force per unit area for environmental duty. It is hoped the corporate sector appears to be taking the authorities on some issues ( such as H2O pollution and air pollution ) , for the interest of taking a societal duty. The Business, educational sector, NGOS and citizens work manus in manus to work stoppage for better environment in Hong Kong.