Mobilizing “technology for environment” should be an integral part of this new ethic of sustainable development.
For all governments it is essential to incorporate environmental goals at the outset in legislation, economic planning, and priority setting; and to provide appropriate incentives for public and private institutions, communities, and individuals to operate in environmentally benign ways. Tradeoffs between environmental and economic goals can be reduced through wise policies. For dealing with global environmental problems, all countries of the world need to work collectively through treaties and conventions, as has occurred with such issues as global climate change and biodiversity, and to develop innovative financing mechanisms that facilitate environmental protection.
WHAT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CAN CONTRIBUTE TOWARD ENHANCING THE HUMAN PROSPECT
s scientists cognizant of the history of scientific progress and aware of the potential of science for contributing to human welfare, it is our collective judgment that continuing population growth poses a great risk to humanity. Furthermore, it is not prudent to rely on science and technology alone to solve problems created by rapid population growth, wasteful resource consumption, and poverty.
The natural and social sciences are nevertheless crucial for developing new understanding so that governments and other institutions can act more effectively, and for developing new options for limiting population growth, protecting the natural environment, and improving the quality of human life.
Scientists, engineers, and health professionals should study and provide advice on:
Cultural, social, economic, religious, educational, and political factors that affect reproductive behavior, family size, and successful family planning.
Conditions for human development, including the impediments that result from economic inefficiencies; social inequalities; and ethnic class, or gender biases.
Global and local environmental change (affecting climate, biodiversity, soils, water, air), its causes (including the roles of poverty, population growth, economic growth, technology, national and international potitics), and policies to mitigate its effects.
Strategies and tools for improving all aspects of education and human resource development, with special attention to women.
Improved family, planning programs, contraceptive options for both sexes, and other reproductive health services, with special attention to needs of women; and improved general primary health care, especially maternal and child health care.
Transitions to economies that provide increased human welfare with less consumption of energy and materials.
Improved mechanisms for building indigenous capacity in the natural sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences, and management in developing countries, including an increased capability of conducting integrated interdisciplinary assessments of societal issues.
Technologies and strategies for sustainable development (agriculture, energy, resource use, pollution control, materials recycling, environmental management and protection).
Networks, treaties, and conventions that protect the global commons.
Strengthened world-wide exchanges of scientists in education, training, and research.