The term ” sustainable development” which was introduced for the first time by the Commission of Bertenland in a report titled” Our common future” in 1987 indicates of this undeniable fact that the lessons of ecology can and should be used in the economic processes. These lessons include: strategic ideas of global environment conservation and creating a reasonable setting in which the claim of development is tested and challenged in promoting all aspects of life.
Macnon believes that:” Sustainable development means valid and efficient management and exploitation of the basic, natural, and financial resources as well as human force for accessing to an accepted pattern of consumption along with using technical possibilities and suitable structures in order to meet the needs of the present and future generations in a continual and satisfactory way”(Macnon, 1996).
Another perception of this concept is an approach that causes the conservation of the function of the environment and protects from the traditional societies (Karami, 1996).
Sustainable development that causes the conservation of lands, water ,genetic , plant, and animal resources not only is not the destructor of the environment, but also is suitable technically, worthwhile economically, and acceptable socially(Husseini Iraqi, 1994).
The definition of FAO of sustainable development is composed of ” maximal and sustainable output”. It is evident that if we just consider the economic and environment conservation aspects in sustainability, sustainable development will become an anti- development tool. The aspect of sustainability in this definition according to Lahsaee Zadeh (2005) and Lellah (1995) consists of social, environmental, and physical aspects, that to somehow come back to the sustainability of things, conserving the natural environment, and social balance through processes of growth and change in supplying reasonable needs of human beings.
Multidimensionality of the objectives is another aspect of this concept that includes: unity in aspects of human development, environment conservation, decreasing poverty, eliminating hunger and power inequality through empowering people and developing democracy and participation. The central point of the concept of sustainable development is ” decreasing social inequalities” which so far has been ignored by older patterns of development.
The central and common approaches of most scholars in the field of sustainable development that are the results of international agreements of the Land Meeting (Riodojaniro, 1992), the International Meeting on Nutrition(1993), the Annual Meeting for Fighting Poverty(New York, 1994), the Annual Meeting of Studying Social Development(Copenhagen), and the Annual Meeting for Food(Rom, 1996) include engaging more masses of people, paying more attention to women and the young, expanding thought of freedom and democracy, and using new mechanisms in the process of development that led to the expansion of welfare and decreasing poverty; it should be said that this objective has not been accomplished by other patterns of development(Zahedi, 2005).
5. Sustainable development: potentials and hopes
Karami (1995) believes that there are three thought schools regarding sustainable development:
A school which has economic relations and considerations based on which any approach that does not lead to increasing profit and efficiency is regarded unsustainable.
A school with environmental approaches; the focus of this school on sustainability is in terms of environmental security, so according to this approach any policy that results in environment destruction or pollution or interrupts its mechanism balance is supposed to be unsustainable.
A school which considers conserving the resources of social environment and focuses on sustainability with respect to reserving social values. According to this approach any policy or activity that makes social environment imbalance is unsustainable (Karami, 1995) and (Lahsaee Zadeh, 2005).
The UN considers the concept of sustainable development as involving the below aspects:
Understanding the effects of the development by using non traditional economic characteristics.
Making effort for creating local development with respect to the certain limitations of natural resources.
Helping poor and impoverished people, those who have to destruct the environment (Lahsaee Zadeh, 2005).
The following cases are some outputs of several international meetings on the environment and environmental legal commissions regarding essential aspects of the environment: achieving social justice and equality, supplying vital needs of human beings, the correlation between environment conservation and development, changing the quality of the concept of growth, annihilating poverty, conserving natural resources of the world, trying to create ways of renewing resources, encouraging the increase of life standards, respecting human values, technological evolutions, and changing the development to a participatory process.
For regions such as Iran- which to somehow depend on agriculture livelihood- the concept of development is combined with the concept of ” sustainable agriculture”. Williams (1991) defines sustainable agriculture as” An agriculture that applies chemicals in a manner that neither destructs itself nor puts the ecosystem in danger”. Although the interpretations of sustainable agriculture have focused on the overall stability of natural and biologic environment, the necessity of prolonging the process of production, protecting the quality of environment and increasing reserves of natural resources, sustainable agriculture generally includes the successful management of agricultural resources in order to meet changing needs of human beings from one hand and preserve the quality of the environment or to improve it from the other hand, and finally it leads to conserving natural resources(Lahsaee Zadeh, 2005).
6. Ways of achieving sustainable development:
There is no doubt that a model of sustainable development is acceptable which considers environmental, economic, political, social, and cultural relations as a whole and arranges them in a synthetic and appropriate manner. It is a matter of fact that the process of development is a long, teachable, and participatory process which is the reflection of civic actions and synthetic policies of social planning that requires the commitment of organizations, participation of civilians, and society-oriented political systems. The central element of mentioned cases is training, or better to say, environmental trainings that are conducted by interested organizations and individuals to inform environmentalist groups. These trainings make groups and individuals aware of environment damages and outcomes. We can illustrate this process in the below triangle:
Public Participations) People)