Environmental Conservation

Main Papers

Political Aspsects of Ecologically Sustainable Development

Lynton K. Caldwella1

a1 Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs; Director, Advanced Studies in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.

In less than two decades, the concepts of limits to growth and of the necessity of an ecologically sustainable economic order have gained international recognition. These concepts are not yet understood by most people or most governments, but belief in the necessity for planning for a sustainable future is growing.

Several lines of strategy are necessary to obtain a truly global commitment to sustainable programmes of development that will simultaneously protect The Biosphere. Among those now undertaken are the World Conservation Strategy, the international environmental education movement formalized at Tbilisi in 1977, and the World Campaign for The Biosphere.

Educational efforts are necessary but insufficient to move the world into an ecologically sustainable mode of behaviour. Political action that reflects moral conviction roused by scientific information will also be necessary. Safeguarding the environmental future and The Biosphere requires a social commitment of a moral, quasi-religious character.