Environment and development

Environment and Development

Sustainable development involves achievement of socially necessary economic growth and environmental protection, and improvement in the future. It presupposes that indefinite material growth on a planet with finite, and often fragile, natural resources is ultimately unsustainable. Sustainable development underlines the need to understand the triple interdependence of economic, social and environmental factors and integrate them into decision-making in governments and the private sector. A major challenge facing many countries is how to manage natural resources in order to contribute to national development while maintaining the ecological life support system. The Cambridge Centre for Environment works governments, universities and research institutions, private sector, and communities to:

  • Undertake short- and medium-term research on environment and development issues to support technological evolution in the efficiency of energy use, sustainable use of natural resources, and implementation of environmentally sound low carbon technologies and carbon capture and storage;
  • Conduct training, and develop the capacity of clients, to increase the number of competent environment and development agents and decision makers, and to assist them to strategically move towards sustainability goals;
  • Integrate environment and development policies within the finite planetary, and often fragile sustainability constraints; and
  • Acquire necessary tools and technologies for implementing environmentally sensitive development.

Faced with an absolutely unprecedented environment and development issues, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization. This requires society to either change its ways and build an entirely new kind of global society, or be forced to change through exposure to hostile conditions.

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