Since it was popularised by the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), generally known as the Brundtland Report, the term

‘sustainable development’ has become one of the most widely used by governments and international organisations. The WCED referred to sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). However, both this definition and the very concept itself have been much criticised (Carley and Christie,

2000; Sachs, 1999). At the heart of the critique are the inherent contradictions between ‘sustainable’ and ‘development’: can conservationist ideals contained within environmental notions of ‘sustainable’ be married to conceptions of development and economic growth? In some circles this has led to greater emphasis upon the notion of ‘sustainability’, divorcing it from the more problematic ‘development’ (Callicott and Mumford, 1997).