What is sustainable development?
Our health and livelihoods depend on resources our planet provides and yet, bit by bit, we are destroying them. The evidence is all around us – from loss of biodiversity (and all the food, medicines and other benefits it provides), to water shortages and climate change.
Alongside this, our society remains unequal with more than 13 million people in the UK living in poverty – that’s one in every five people. This presents a major challenge to the health sector. And beyond our borders, around the world, two billion people survive on less than $2 a day.
Without a fundamental rethink, we are storing up major problems for future generations.
Sustainable development is a way of thinking about how to organise our lives and work – including our health services and system – so that all people throughout the world can satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations.
The UK Sustainable Development Strategy, Securing the Future, has five key principles: