- To my distant relatives: Development is saving Africa
- To my mother: Development is soliciting without pay
- To my friends: Development is travelling and saving the world
But to me, development is complicated. There isn’t a clear definition that explains what development is other than is the process of change. However, that definition varies between individuals, groups, towns, and nations. Everyone has their own viewpoint of what is important to them and their regions.
So with that I ask you:
How do you decide what is important in development? To invest your time, effort, money and resources? To advocate and fight for? What serves more attention over the other?
To be honest, if someone came up to me and asked me those questions I wouldn’t be able to give them a simple answer. My perspectives of the key to development has shifted far to many times to count. When I came into the International Development program, I thought restructuring political systems were key, yet by the end of first year I became passionate towards the importance of water security. By the end of my second year I believed that development must incorporate economic structures and urban planning. But now with the help of a few of my friends, I have become more engaged with issues among women and minority groups.
I find myself in a limbo of what issues stands to be more precedent. Development is complicated. Everything is connected but there are many faults that lie within the political, economic and social systems. Within political, economic and social system, I think that longevity would be key to development. Therefore, I believe that the direction of development lies within sustainability.
The concept of sustainable development entered the minds of global citizens in the early 1970s as a concept that looked achieving an equilibrium between the economy and environment. However, sustainable development is more notably defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Sustainable development does not only apply to the environmental and economic issues but it looks at the social implications as well. Worldly problems and issues are interconnected. For example, water scarcity and inequalities can impact community health with water contaminations, dehydration, access and further illnesses. As a result, this can impact the surrounding natural environment, habitats and animals and the local economy. Resources are becoming finite and populations are growing at a exponential rate. Problems link together and political regulatory bodies need to address these concerns through understanding the future implications. Through achieving sustainable development we will be able to achieve a global society that will become more inclusive, environmental conscience and economically feasible.
What is development to you? Feel free to comment and add your opinion on what the key is development.