The goal of sustainable development as a modern civilization economic policy concept and strategy is to move humanity to the state of global dynamic balance and organic growth.

In the early 21st century it became part of the economic, sociological and political agenda as a global trend, and a fully-fledged domestic policy direction in a number of developed and developing countries (over a hundred states developed their own sustainable development strategies), as well as the international policy of global institutions.

Sustainable Development Concept Key Ideas:

  • The 20th-century dominant economic growth model must be seriously adjusted by introducing environmental and social orientations, requirements and limitations.
  • The sustainable development category makes sense only in relation to the entire humanity and nature: the task of sustainable development strategy formulation and implementation is posited both at the level of modern civilization as a whole, and an individual state in particular. Sustainable development must not only include an economic and environmental perspective but also a social one, because people tend to focus primarily on resolving pressing social problems.
  • Environmental protection must constitute an integral part of human society’s life, and it cannot be treated in isolation from it. A comprehensive approach alone will ensure sustainable development as a worldwide strategy (it is futile to implement it at a lower level).
  • Human poverty and the environment are not compatible. The more poor the population, the more harm there is to the environment.
  • While environmental orientation is a priority for sustainable development, its main objective is to care for people, to achieve a high level of quality of life, and to ensure conditions for a healthy and productive life. Even more so, it is with this approach that the state of the environment is not disregarded, because a direct connection is established between the people’s level of life and the quality of the environment.
  • It is important to note that sustainable development is not only defined as one that rationalizes economic growth, but also as one that distributes fairly its outcome, reviving the environment rather than destroying it, as well as enlarging people’s potential rather than reducing it.
  • Human survival implies not only maintaining the life balance of the current human population, but also ensuring natural resource use conditions for future generations.
  • Saving and protecting nature implies keeping and improving the health of the biosphere as a natural basis of life on the planet and ensuring its sustainable reproduction and further evolution.
  • The active vector of the sustainable development strategy is aimed at creating such a biospheric system that could be capable of resolving globalization contradictions. Primarily, it has to do with the evolutionary-historical contradiction between: resource limitations and needs growth (nature and society); developed and developing countries (economic growth levels); rational economic development requirements and national interests (global and local).
  • Achieving a strategic balance between human activity and consumption, and maintaining biosphere regenerative capacity, can be considered to be the most important sustainable development criterion on a world scale.
  • Transition to sustainable development and following its course implies the environmentalizing of all production and consumption modes, as well as other drastic transformations of human activity, attitude and consciousness that have to proceed in a goal-oriented and systematic manner.
  • Managing the transition to sustainable development implies decisive actions in uncertainty and risk conditions, because neither the slowing down of social-economic dynamics, nor stopping social-economic growth would resolve global problems or remove the threat of an environmental disaster.
  • The sustainable development strategy can be implemented only if a new civilization model is introduced, which would require selection, re-orientation and transformation of several social processes. For example, it includes increasing the social status of education and science. These institutions play the leading role in sustainable development strategy implementation, because scientists are meant to form global public consciousness and define noospheric priorities.
  • The comprehensive nature of sustainable development means that goals and objectives should be set as part of major human activity spheres such as economy, environment, the social sphere, state governence and governance, science, upbringing and education, security and defense, as well as international relations.
  • Sustainable development is defined as a transitionary stage from the current crisis state of modern civilization to a future harmonized one. It is planned to resolve global problems and alleviate global risks by using such measures as: needs optimization; production structure, distribution and consumption transformation; as well as human consciousness evolution towards a rational-humanistic value system. It is expected that these measures will ensure a new worldview formation oriented at survival and improvement of the health of people and nature.

The concluding stage of sustainable development is the noosphere as the most desired and best state of humanity, when the environmentally acceptable impact of society on nature has been achieved as a result of human needs rationalization.