ustainable development (SD) is a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come (sometimes taught as ELF-Environment, Local people, Future). The term 'sustainable development' was used by the Brundtland Commissionwhich coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development asdevelopment that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Alternatively, sustainability educator Michael Thomas Needham referred to 'Sustainable Development' "as the ability to meet the needs of the present while contributing to the future generations’ needs." There is an additional focus on the present generations responsibility to improve the future generations life by restoring the previous ecosystem damage and resisting to contribute to further ecosystem damage.
Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with thesocial challenges faced by humanity. As early as the 1970s, "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems." Ecologists have pointed to The Limits to Growth, and presented the alternative of a "steady state economy" in order to address environmental concerns.