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2008 | 3 | 20-27

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Evolution of the idea of sustainable development (SD) is discussed. It goes back to 1960s, when the humanity felt the coming of the global ecological crisis. It was transformed into a strategy at early 70s, by the initiative of the Club of Rome. In 1983, The International Commission on the Environment and Development was created for elaboration of the 'global strategy of change', referred to by the Commission as the conception of SD. The term of SD became commonly used in 1987 with publication of the Commission's report 'Our Common Future', and was legitimized internationally after the Rio de Janeiro Conference (1992). In spite of its controversial interpretations and definitions a consensus appeared in favor of its ecological interpretation, conceptualized later by D.Medows. This conception put emphasis on the economy as an integral factor of antropogenous pressure on biosphere and the biggest source of environmental pollution that could be reduced only through reducing consumption, which calls for change in human values. The conception of SD, being vitally important for Russia, was welcomed at public and administrative level and a book devoted to theoretical grounds of Russia's transition to SD was published in 2002. However, neither executive nor legislative power in Russia has been willing to undertake implementation of SD objectives. Indifference of the state has been accompanied by de-ecologization of domestic policies, e.g. cutting off ecological programs, budgetary appropriations on nature protection, staff in nature protection agencies, ecological education programs in secondary school etc.


  • V. Nazarov, Institute for Natural Science and Technology History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, building B, 30a Obruchev str, 117861 Moscow, Russian Federation


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