On Sustainable Development

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Hans Petter SAND, University of Agder, Norway
The paper will deal with the end report of the research program Alternativ Framtid  (Alternative Future) that was conducted in Norway from 1985 to 1995. In this report, the focus was on the problems with the concept of sustainable development. In the foreword of the report  it was even stated that the concept of sustainable development itself had become an environmental problem. The intention of the end report was in fact to focus on this environmental problem: the notion of sustainable development. Sustainable delvelopment was really set on the political agenda when the "World Commission for Environment and development" published its report "Our Common Future" in 1987. The commission was led by the Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Bruntland. Since then the concept has come into public use. Most organizations have sustainable development as part of their program. In this paper I will, based on the end report of Alternative Future, discuss how the concept of sustainable development may get a more effective usage. The intention is not only to give a better understanding of  what the concept means, but also make visible the disagreements about contens and application. I also wish to make visible how sustainable development may function in various contexts and how the concept may play a more pragmatic and constructive role in the debate on environment and development.