Volume 5, Issue 2, December 2013
The Ethical Foundations of Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development
One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the need to harmonize efforts at environmental conservation with endeavours to foster human development. This challenge has been on the world agenda for several decades, and was given great visibility through a report by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987. The report, popularly known as the Brundtland Report, calls for sustainable development to deal with the twin challenges of environmental conservation and human development. This paper reflects on the concept of sustainable development, and unveils some of the ambiguities and
politics that have militated against the attainment of this noble objective. The thesis of the paper is that the imperative to attain sustainable development is a moral one, requiring all moral agents to rise to their individual and collective responsibility to secure the well-being of humans as well as that of the natural environment.