What is sustainable development? Discuss its importance with special reference to renewable and nonrenewable resources.

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sustainable development, in simple terms, means development in a sustainable manner. That is, the development is carried out in such a manner that the current needs are satisfied and the needs of the future generations are not compromised. We can also say that sustainable development keeps the interests of both the current and future generations in mind. If our current development puts the interests of future generations at risk, it cannot be termed sustainable. For example, if we are consuming non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels (for example, coal, gasoline, diesel, etc.) for satisfying our requirements, without worrying about the availability of these resources for future generations, we are not developing sustainably. This is because non-renewable resources have a fixed amount and cannot be replenished (in a short time). If the current generation uses them up, future generations will not have access to them. Renewable resources, such as renewable energy (from sources such as solar power, wind energy, tidal power, etc.) is something that we can use as well as our future generations. 

Thus, renewable resources are very important for sustainable development and we have to be mindful of our consumption rate of non-renewable resources, if we are to leave any of them for our future generations. After all, we have received a large amount of resources from our ancestors and it is our ethical and moral responsibility to leave the same or a similar amount for future generations as well.

Hope this helps. 

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