Sustainability – Is It A Goal or An Instrument?

When all solutions of socio-economic developments everywhere, and at all times, are reduced to one word “SUSTAINABILITY” translated to one set of SUB-GOALS to be achieved by all and everyone one, many legitimate questions arise. They need to be addressed and answered.

The evolution, dynamics and complexity of global economy, environments and social structures forced a new era with needs for holistic formulas for putting together economy, environment and social structures in Operational Instruments. The Rio+20 Conference brought about an agreement to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda. 

When “Instruments” and Replaced by “Goals” the whole situation becomes less sustainable as the “Instruments” get adjusted for manageable short-term and local goals which in the long run leads to isolation and fragmantation.

At this stage we already see how the term “Sustainability” is increasingly used among NGOs, governments, public sector and civil society, but unfortunately with growing huge gaps beteen what is being said and what is being done. There are no general recipes about how “Sustainability” can be achieved as the three main components: economic; environmen; and social, are very much different on global and regional scales, and within and between sectors and stakeholders. As it seems now, the goals are rather short-term ones as compared to the most basic meaning of “Sustainability”, i.e. meeting the needs of the present without comprising the needs of future generations. The long-term success of people, companies and countries what regards the conservation of natural resources and environmental protection requires more social changes based on active forward-thinking and full-scale engagement. There is huge needs for the empowerment and active participation of all stakeholder based on not only “Top-Bottom” but also “Botton-Top” full-scale activities. In such operations both public and private sectors should establish stronger and trust-based and regulated total relations in the medium and long term. (

In the emerging era of Sustainability that will shape the twenty first century there will be continuous needs for learning from past mistakes and preparing ourselves for reshaping our reality through education and puplic awareness as well as coupling science and technology (as well as other key sectors) to society, market and the population needs (

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