The Brundtland report and sustainable development in New Zealand
In April 1987, after nearly three years of intensive research, public hearings and debate, the World Commission on Environment and Development issued the report Our Common Future. Commonly referred to as the Brundtland Report (after Chairperson Gro Harlem Brundtland), it focused attention on the need for urgent action to reverse the downward trend of global environmental degradation and increasing poverty. The primary recommendation of the report was for nations to adopt policies of "sustainable development", and to develop a greater sense of multilateralism i.e. strengthen international relationships and develop a 'world view'. Along with all other countries of the world New Zealand was asked to respond to the challenges issued in the Report, and to integrate sustainable development into its national goals. The objective of this publication is to review critically the recommendations of the Brundtland Report, and to examine the issues raised for New Zealand by the recommendations and conclusions of the Report. The main focus is on understanding the implications of "sustainable development" in general terms, rather than considering each aspect of the Report in detail. The structure of this publication is as follows. A brief review of the Brundtland Commission's work and process is outlined in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 provides a critical assessment, drawing together a number of critiques and commentaries, and bringing out the strengths and weaknesses of the Report. In Chapter 3 the response to the Report in a number of countries is outlined and compared with the response in New Zealand. Some of the broad-ranging implications of sustainable development are then discussed in Chapter 4. Finally, in Chapter 5, I have tried to draw together the main features of the sustainable development debate and some specific implications for New Zealand.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordseconomic development; environmental policy; human ecology; environmental aspects; Brundtland Report; sustainable development
Copyright © Centre for Resource Management.