Sustainable development, whose origins lie in the definition given by Mme Brundtland in 1987, is based on the three concepts of environment integrity, economic development and social fairness. The term «sustainable development» adopted by the anglo-saxon world is recommended. «Sustainable» means that human activity should not produce more pollution than the capacity of the planet to absorb it. Today it is clear that the successful marketing in the French language of the term «durable development», leads to confusion by emphasizing «development» and minimizing the social and environmental aspects. Be careful not to fall into this trap of «durability» which is a consequence of translation into French.
Another wrong idea is to believe that sustainable development can only be achieved at the cost of economic growth. This is simply not the case. The term sustainable development describes not only a system of long-term priorities, but also puts emphasis of the production excesses of the market economy which should be kept within socially and ethically acceptable limits…
Pascal Dubois, director of Valenciennes College of Sustainable Development and head of cabinet to the Mayor of Valenciennes
Alain Dubois, project head at the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development
Association des Acteurs Régionaux de l’Économie et de l’Environnement
Institute Paris, December 2009
PHOTO: Orsay Museum in Paris