2. The development of the concept of "sustainability"

Besides the fact that this concept had its roots in the German forestry about 300 years ago , it came to political significance only in the debates and conferences about the Brundtland Report and the Rio Process. It was born as "sustainable development" on March 5, 1980, when the "World Conservation Strategy" was presented with the subtitle "Living Resource Conservation for sustainable development" in 35 major cities around the world simultaneously. It says in the introduction that the relationship between humanity and the environment would deteriorate still further, and only stop if sustainable forms of development came to the rule would. Such a term was created starting from nature protection which marks a change of strategy in environmental protection: away from ad hoc firefighting operations to long-term planning action. Even the General Assembly of the "International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' (IUCN) had contributed in 1969 to both the broad concepts as well as the strategic orientation. It had seen the term "quality of life" as central in this discussion context and had meant ecological, social and aesthetic values that "enrich the human experience and give it meaning and satisfaction". And at the same time "conservation" has been clarified as a key concept of the organization. It moved from a merely preservative nature protection as no longer appropriate because of the exclusion of any use of species and habitats was no longer up to date. " Additionally necessary is the ‚management‘, which includes monitoring, research, management - and use of air, water, soil, minerals and living species; nature conservation and the highest sustainable quality of life belonged together." And the preservation and use of living resources presupposes diversity, as reflected in the concept of sustainability and its apparent indeterminacy.

The "Brandt Report" from 1981, entitled "North-South", took not only the term "sustainability" several times, so as "biological environment" and "sustainable prosperity". In particular, the term "development" has been redefined to "get away from the constant confusion of growth and development". Development strategies should not be more than just focused on the growth of GNP and standard of living. To achieve the goal of a just distribution of income is paramount; priority were also the development of the productive possibilities and human potential. This too is part of the sustainability in a broader sense.

The Brundtland Report of April 27, 1987 formulated the key phrase for sustainability, of which has been made use repeatedly: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The needs addressed here are basic needs. And then development means satisfying the basic material needs of each person through economic growth (Quality of Life). Sustainable development then means, to make a new balance between man and nature, between the cultures of the world and interpersonal relationships. In short, we present a new civilization design here.

Thus, the term "sustainable development" aims at ensuring that the living and production bases are secured, but in the sense of permanent and global environmental conservation. Likewise, the economic and social behavior are to be developed and stabilized. Since the formulation of this key set to sustainability, the meanings of open terms sustainable development and sustainable growth have shifted. In the Brundtland report the very anthropocentric aspect is still very stressed with the emphasis on economic growth. Meanwhile sustainable growth is based only on the quantitative variables such as domestic product or national income in terms of economic growth. Sustainable development on the other hand focuses primarily on the qualitative aspects in a broader sense. This can fix the fact that in the originally pursued sustainable development now also viable and sustainable development are included, for example. The German "Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen (SRU)" therefore speaks in the year 1994 of an "Sustainable Ecological Development".

Thus, we can conclude that at least since the adoption of the Programme of Action of Agenda 21 at the UN - Conference in Rio de Janeiro on Environment and Development in 1992, ecological, economic and social sustainability are understood as integral parts of a comprehensive sustainability. With this action program, the theoretical values for the practical reality of the economic and social life should be implemented.