With the onset of the global warming, the world’s attention is set on the environmental rehabilitation programs hoping immediate and long-term remediation of the industrial impacts in the environment. Along with these protection plans, the physical environment is also providing the materials needed for development; hence, sustainable development is called for. There are international, national, provincial, and local (municipal) approaches to sustainability.
Through agreements, summits, finance and discussions of environmental concerns and issues among countries, international approaches involve “feedback mechanism – including monitoring, learning and adaptation; co-ordination of strategy objectives and initiatives with the national budgeting process; co-ordination with sub-national and local sustainable development action; and implementing a mix of policy initiatives, and in particular, environmental fiscal reform initiatives” (Swanson et al, 2004).
These approaches were supported in national level sustainable development, through “four main types of strategy approaches: comprehensive and multi-dimensional (e. g. , Philippine National Agenda 21, German national sustainable development strategy); cross-sectoral (e. g. , Cameroon Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper); sectoral (e. g. , Canada Departmental SD Strategies); and integration of SD into existing planning processes (e. g. , Mexico National Development Plan)” (Swanson et al, 2004). Provincial approaches are in line with governments programs and initiatives.
In Canada for instance, the federal and provincial governments are working with departments to develop environment strategies for the sectors. The federal government is looking at approaches that encourage sustainable development and respond to reduced fiscal capability and changing perceptions (Hill and Vaisey, n. d. ). Municipal approaches focus on the development of their own sustainable development action plans to target local needs, while keeping an eye on the planet’s general health.
This is called the local approach, which is “to create, as far as possible, a viable local economy, that helps create jobs, creates economic cycles that would help support people much better” (Shore, 2003). One of these approaches is Local Action 21 of which is based on “the premise that sustainable development is dependent upon viable local economies, just and peaceful communities and resilient and eco-efficient cities that are able to respond to global concerns for climate protection, air and water quality, and protection of soil and biodiversity” (Shore, 2003).
In all levels these sustainable development approaches all work with the following: strategy approach; commitment and focus; inter-generational principle of sustainable development; understanding the linkages among economic, social and environmental system; establishing a clear legal mandate for the strategy process; thinking strategically about institutional arrangements; assessing specific policy initiatives in an integrated manner; establishing responsibility for implementation of strategy objectives; and using a mix of financing arrangements (Swanson et al, 2004).
Another aspect that made them integral is the common point of making sustainable development issues a public policy that is comprehensive, integrated, open and accountable. This means that everyone is given responsibility for his act relative to his stand on the Earth’s welfare. Looking at the immediate concerns and coverage, each approach differs. International approach is based on the consensus of the countries involved in terms of policies and issues to be implemented and agreed upon and on issues common among nations (Delamonica and Mehrotra, 2006).
Each country is then expected to enact the agreement among nations through national programs and initiatives. The provinces will promulgate regulations, which further specify concerns in relation to the government’s programs. Budget is also delegated for local implementation. Specific implementation will be defined and acted upon in local level, that is within cities and municipalities. Definite concerns will be given action supporting the national programs and initiatives.
This includes addressing key urban issues, leveraging federal investments through conditions worked out with the provinces, and empowering people to make sustainable choices as citizens and as consumers, product regulations, standards, and labeling, and education and engagement (Abraham, 2005). These differences in approaches are due to the systems and organizations comprising each level. Each level has its own members and implementing which differ in scope and responsibility.
This umbrella of organizations actually defines the differences in of their scope and level of concerns toward sustainable development. With all the similarities and differences in approaches, all level is working together and supporting each other towards common goal.
Abraham, J. (2005). A competitiveness and environmental sustainability framework – transforming the way we do business. GLBTS Stakeholder Forum. Ontario, Canada. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/