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Ozone is a form of oxygen. In the stratosphere, around 25 km above the Earth’s surface, there is a layer of ozone that absorbs ultra-violet light from the Sun. Ultra-violet light is known to cause skin cancer in humans, and to damage plants. The ozone layer forms a protective shield around the Earth, and without …

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Land Use

Sustainability requires the balancing of the needs for land for development with the amount of land available. Large populations place significant stresses on available land, with natural habitats frequently given over to agriculture and urban development. In modern times the introduction of the motor car has allowed populations to slowly spread outwards from existing urban …

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The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development defines the rights of the people to be involved in the development of their economies, and the responsibilities of human beings to safeguard the common environment. The declaration builds upon the basic ideas concerning the attitudes of individuals and nations towards the environment and development, first identified …

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Rio Earth Summit

Five years after the Brundtland Report, the UN General Assembly asked for a report on progress made towards sustainable development and convened the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Held in June 1992 at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Rio Earth Summit as it became known, was the largest environmental conference ever …

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Climate Change

In response to scientific predictions of man-made global warming, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) was adopted and signed by 162 countries in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. With 26 Articles, consisting of objectives, principles, commitments and recommendations, the FCCC became a blueprint for precautionary action against the threat of global …

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Waste

Waste is a product of many human activities and has risen with increasing populations with the demand for more products. Waste therefore needs to be managed responsibly. The concept of sustainable development promotes waste minimisation and supports the use of renewable material and recycling where possible. The use of waste in general and the handling …

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Equity

In the context of sustainability, the term equity has to do with fairness – whether all people have similar rights and opportunities, basic needs to maintain an acceptable quality of life. Equity, in this context, refers to the idea that all people throughout a community, whether a village, town, city, country or the entire world, …

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Objectives

Securing economic development, social equity and justice, and environmental protection is the goal of sustainable development. Although these three factors can work in harmony, they are often found to conflict with one another. During the latter half of the 20th century economic development for a better standard of living has been instrumental in damaging the …

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Employment

Full employment is the goal of any government for its workforce. Realistically, full employment is unlikely ever to be achieved, but the reduction of unemployment to as low as is practicably possible without harming other aspects of the economy, our society and our environment should be a core aim for sustainable development. In the field …

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