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Driving Sustainable Development: Developing Industry and Infrastructure

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]world this weekIf we look at the list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the ninth goal aims to, “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation”. Let us first try to understand the broader meaning of the goal. To “develop sustainably” means to develop something in such a way that the present and the future needs are met with very few after effects in economics, the environment, or the social community. The theories and working groups of sustainable development have now begun itself a vast academic field, and thus principles have now been defined as Sustainable Development Goals (as the name might suggest). Although there are numerous ways by which we can minimise the industrial effects on environment, the technologies and methodologies behind this may sometimes be very expensive or difficult to implement. There is increasingly debates on whether the industrial standards have been rising or industries are forced to implement much stricter norms and regulations or are forced to adhere higher standards while power nations make the most of basic technologies (such as coal) that are both heavily damaging and unacceptable as a practice. However, it is important to encourage industries to research in basic yet effective solutions while focussing on making sustainable development feasible for all. The Situation Today The discussion on principles of sustainable development is very vast, thus we shall focus our attention on only on the infrastructural and industrial development. Making “infrastructure resilient” refers to the need to build to safe and reliable roads, adequate power and water supply, and some other basic yet necessary infrastructures. It should also be understood that projects such these should be done on a regional trans-border level, majorly with international support. Such projects must be affordable and accessible to all, and more importantly must be able to withstand natural disasters and other calamities. This issue is very important for nations that are prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, or typhoons and are drastically effected by climate change. For example, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the Fukushimi meltdown in Japan and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal demonstrate the vulnerability of industry and infrastructure to natural disaster. Floods and droughts have huge impact on least and developing economies, and particularly those industries whose sustenance heavily depends upon agriculture. Speaking with respect to industry specific, one of the aims of the SDGs is to increase sustainable industrialization, especially in developing economies. It also urges that present industries and infrastructure to be made sustainable, and remains cost effective, easily affordable and used largely by other small scale industries (physically and economically). A major issue we have in hand today, is the inequitable use of technologies and lack of knowledge that make it possible. To understand this concept and distribution of knowledge to other industries is what makes the goal number 9 successful, which stresses on the importance of greater access to knowledge in information technology and communication tools. Moreover (it remains debatable), it also aims to provide easy access to internet and technology to every community in the globe by 2020. Challenges – An Uncertain Future It is an undoubted fact that meeting the sustainable development goal will require cooperation and commitments from all the member nations. These are some of the important projects that no international aid organizations or UN agency can complete alone, as it not only matters financially but also jurisdiction is quiet vast. Moreover, large scale projects like these cannot be completed by the governments alone. The very idea of sustainable development begins with the cooperation from private entities, and figuring out the necessary points to increase cooperation at research levels along with other necessary improvements. Although when we talk about sustainable development, overall growth of our nations, support and cooperation from power nations, one should not get concerned on issues such as cost and funding’s, broadly the entire expense of the project. One should also not concern on the authority in lead to address the project or the resource team involved in completing the project timely along with the number of stakeholders involved in the completion of the project (some agencies consider hiring cheap entrepreneurs and experts as to minimise their investment in expenses on distribution of knowledge and try to invest in other sectors where the need for investment is quite low) issues like these are not be concerned and should not be addressed at all. The Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development brought global leaders, government representatives, NGOs, and other non-government organizations on one stage in an effort to establish a common vision on sustainable development and uplift the social evil of poverty out from the society. It further emphasised on supporting the developing economies and finding sustainable path for the development. The conference also aimed to establish ‘guiding principle for long-term global development’ based on the ‘three pillars’ of economic growth, socio economic development and environmental protection. Although the member nations called out for 10 political commitments and recalled a long list of conferences on sustainable development that took place in the past, previous actions, and strategies that most of the nations signed to, enforcing many commitments and keeping the list of policies ahead of commitments in numerous policy frameworks, steps such as this remains a debatable issue even today. Development is a time taking process, environmental issues are always at risk, and sustainability requires continues research and progressive discussions. These are not glamorous, yet they are most important and essential for our survival. They rarely make headlines, barely make it to national policies and are only discussed when there is a calamity. In order to make progress, we need to change the way we think and bring real changes in our policies which will hopefully bear fruits of development, manifest change in livelihoods and bring real time progress to an overall growth of a nation, instead of few lines in a speech. This is indeed a very difficult task, but this is our hope that policy makers will keep this in mind and create a new practical yet cooperative policy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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