F&ES 863/EVST 353

Sustainability in Latin America: Issues and Topics

2014-2015
Credits: 3
 

 

The concept of sustainability has acquired iconic status in the 26 years since 1987 and the publication of the Brundtland Commission’s report, Our Common Future. Despite the simple summary of it, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” figuring out what can and should be done in specific circumstances has proven to be most challenging. Nowhere are these challenges any more evident than they are in Latin America. Concerns about maintaining biodiversity; achieving higher standards of living while simultaneously narrowing wide gaps between the rich and poor; improving the health, education, and welfare of entire populations; devising economically efficient ways to account for valuable environmental services; creating competent means to govern and manage; building the capacity of organizations to operate more effectively; and a long list of other compelling issues all clamor for attention. The engagement of able, thoughtful, and willing individuals to engage and grapple with multiple dimensions of sustainability is essential.