Sustainable development aims at meeting the needs of present without compromising with the future generations to meet their own need. Sustainability can be defined as the practice of maintaining world processes of productivity indefinitely—natural or human-made—by replacing resources used with resources of equal or greater value without degrading or endangering natural biotic systems. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social, political, and economic challenges faced by humanity. Sustainability Science is the study of the concepts of sustainable development and environmental science. There is an additional focus on the present generations’ responsibility to regenerate, maintain and improve planetary resources for use by future generations.


The ecological stability of human settlements is part of the relationship between humans and their natural, social and built environments. Also termed human ecology, this broadens the focus of sustainable development to include the domain of human health. Fundamental human needs such as the availability and quality of air, water, food and shelter are also the ecological foundations for sustainable development; addressing public health risk through investments in ecosystem services can be a powerful and transformative force for sustainable development which, in this sense, extends to all species.


Because of rural poverty and overexploitation, environmental resources should be treated as important economic assets, called natural capital. Economic development has traditionally required a growth in the gross domestic product. This model of unlimited personal and GDP growth may be over. Sustainable development may involve improvements in the quality of life for many but may necessitate a decrease in resource consumption.


Sustainable Development has similarly developed a political policy framework, linked to a sustainability index for establishing measurable entities and metrics. The framework consists of six core areas:

  • International trade and investment
  • Economic policy
  • Climate change and energy
  • Measurement and assessment
  • Natural resource management
  • Communication technologies.


Agriculture depends on the conservation of our most precious natural resources: water, land, and biodiversity. That’s why every investment in innovation also needs to be an investment in sustainability.As a leader in agriculture, we have the opportunity and responsibility to address our most pressing challenges —like climate change, biodiversity loss, food security, and natural resource conservation. And believe, agriculture is part of the solution. Innovations like digital tools, biotechnology, plant breeding, and crop protection combined with sustainable agricultural practices help farmers use fewer natural resources.


The Sustainable Development Goals are:

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • Reducing Inequality
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life On Land
  • Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the Goals


  • Competing goals
  • Too many goals
  • Weak on environmental sustainability
  • Comparison with Millennium Development Goals

Global Goals Week is an annual week-long event in September for action, awareness, and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals.  It first took place in 2016. It is often held concurrently with Climate Week NYC.