In the early 1980s, after decades of futile efforts to improve living standards through capitalist schemes, many countries were still faced with extreme poverty and deprivation. The task of a solution fell to Brundtland’s new World Commission on Environment and Development (1983). Very early into its task, the Commission came to the stark conclusion that economic development at the cost of ecological health and social equity did not lead to long-lasting prosperity. It was clear that the world needed to find a way to harmonize ecology with prosperity.
After four years, the “Brundtland Commission” released its final report, Our Common Future. It famously defines sustainable development as: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. The Commission successfully, some would argue, “unified environmentalism with social and economic concerns on the world’s development agenda.” Sustainability is a holistic approach that considers ecological, social and economic dimensions, recognizing that all must be considered together to find perpetual prosperity.
TobagoARC believes that Tobago has what it takes to become the best example of sustainability (perpetual prosperity) on the planet. Our people, our biodiversity, our geologic characteristics, our geographic location, our history and culture – all unique! We will do well to revisit and revitalize some of our traditional wisdom; that of generating minimal waste and reusing/recycling – our ancestral circular economy. We need to revive agriculture as a matter of security and sovereignty. We need to get back to the state where people and planet are in balance – where the present generation prospers and passes on an improved heritage to next-generation which then passes it on to the next… in PERPETUITY!