As some of you might know by now I work as an archaeologist, several of my employments have been and currently is as an antiquary at County Administrative boards. This means that I work primarily with the application of the cultural heritage law, participate in decisions and consultations, ordering investigations and such. In other words as an antiquary at a County Administrative board I’m rarely working in the field with excavation and stuff, but on occasion with surveys and supervision*. While doing this work one often comes before terms that are not purely connected with archaeology or cultural heritage such as; Sustainable development.
Ever given any thought on the meaning of that term? It is a term that often is used quite volatile and rarely defined, instead it is understood that you shall know the meaning. Depending on the issues at hand this might very well be the case but on many occasions, however, it may feel, to say the least, as a very vague concept. Therefore I was glad to find a definition that is relatively easy to apply.
The Brundtland Commission (1987) is a UN commission, formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED); they give the following definition of sustainable development:
“Sustainable development is development that meets our needs today without compromising those of future generations to take their“.
It might not cover all occasions it being used but it makes it more workable as a term when you get a basic definition as a starting point.
*) Now I do participate in excavation and do osteological analysis as well as working as an antiquary as I’ve been lucky enough to get employments as by museums and other Archaeological companies from time to time.