Sustainable Development Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

Sustainable Development

The term sustainable development was introduced in the 1987 report "Our Common Future". The World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Different communities are organizing themselves to promote this ideology. They are combating the pressure of corporations’ economic practices, which damage the environment and living conditions.

Corporations are taking over community farms. This is degrading the land due to the harsh agricultural processes used for mass production. The use of chemicals, found in pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides causes strain on the land. The meat industry is one of those corporations responsible for soil erosion and land destruction. McDonalds and Burger King use lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of Central American rainforest, to create grazing pastures for cattle, to be sent back to the states as burgers and pet food, and to provide fast food packaging materials. It takes 800 square miles of forest just to keep them supplied with paper for one year. In an interview in the meat production plant in Costa Rica, it was found that Montecillos Cooperative produces 20 to 24 tons of meat for hamburgers per month to export to fast-food restaurants in United States. ( S.D. "Sergio Quintana: Meat plant manager")

Among other environmental and social problems is land use management. In Mozambique, for a family to own a small piece of land is a great privilege. Over 80 percent of Mozambique’s 17 million people are peasants whose survival depends on the food they grow. In the 1990’s a peace treaty was signed between Mozambique and Portugal. Once this happened local and foreign investors began buying up huge tracts of land to grow cash crops and to extract natural resources for export, putting peasants at risk of being pushed off their land unless they could prove they owned it. They are not used to dealing with written proofs of land ownership. There are extensive forms to fill out in order to claim property and the people can’t afford the legal fees, big corporations have no problems doing this paper work and paying money to gain tittles to the land. (U.S. and African Farmers Creating Co-Opportunities)

On the other side of the world, in the Andes of South America,. Andean agriculture ran the risk of being permanently damaged. The Green Revolution had a great effect on the people because of the incorporation of hybrid seeds. These arrived at the time of the year allowed to produce very large potatoes. The technicians convinced the local people to plant these. At times of heavy frosts the hybrid did not withstand the cold, but the native species began to be lost. If the local people had continued doing agriculture in their traditional way this would not have happened. (The Founding of Chuyma Aru) These three examples...

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