Sustainable development is development which enables the needs of the current generation to be met fairly without compromising the satisfaction of the needs of future generations.
Five principles show the way towards sustainable development:
universal worldwide responsibility, especially of the rich countries;
double equity, among today’s generation and between the present and future generations;
integration of the economic, social and environmental components of development;
anticipation of major risks and the need for preventive measures;
The concept has become well-known thanks mainly to two UN Conferences:
the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992 in Rio de Janeiro);
the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002 in Johannesburg).
The essential goals of sustainable development are:
changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns;
protecting and managing natural resources.
Sustainable development and the FPB
The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) draws up a federal report on sustainable development every two years, in accordance with the Law of 5 May 1997 regarding the co-ordination of federal sustainable development policy. The law also introduced the Federal plan for sustainable development (see Comprendre et gouverner le développement/Ontwikkeling begrijpen en sturen, third federal report on sustainable development, 2005, section 4, Stratégie fédérale de développement durable/De federale strategie inzake duurzame ontwikkeling).
In order to carry out its statutory task, the FPB works on the following topics: