Proceedings of 
national seminar on sustainable development: growth, equity and sustainability

Proceedings of 
national seminar on sustainable development: growth, equity and sustainability

The recently concluded Rio+20 United Nations conference held in Brazil identified economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability as the three pillars of sustainable development. The conference saw world leaders, governments, private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society groups come together to rethink and refine ways of addressing the growing complexities of ensuring the continued human and economic development on an ever more crowded planet. The conference focused on two themes: (a) promoting a “green economy” to encourage sustainable development and eradicate poverty, and (b) developing an institutional framework to promote strategies to achieve the sustainable future the world envisions.

As a signatory to the Rio+20 Declaration, it was important that Nepal engages in a discourse to strengthen its efforts to promote sustainable development and economic development and preserve the environment. For one of the world’s least-developed nations, addressing sustainable development and environmental preservation is a challenge in and of itself, and the patterns of unsustainable consumption and production and their negative impact on resource use which the larger political economy demands has only made that challenge greater. The growing threat of climate change impacts has only served to exacerbate the nation’s risks.

With a goal to initiate discourse on the three pillars of sustainable development, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) and the National Planning Commission (NPC) organised a half- day, national seminar on sustainable development with support from Niti Foundation and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Nepal (ISET-Nepal) on September 3, 2012, at the Everest Hotel. This paper summarises the discussion held at the seminar.

Stakeholders agreed that the concept of sustainable development must be considered while defining strategies, policies and actions to address existing and future vulnerabilities as well as fair, equitable and environmentally-just national development goals.