Universal Declaration of Human Rights @ 60+ logo
Gathering a body of global agreements
logo of World Commission on Environment and Development

Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future

Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 - Development and International Co-operation: Environment

Table of Contents

Acronyms and Note on Terminology

Chairman's Foreword

From One Earth to One World

Part I. Common Concerns

  1. A Threatened Future
    1. Symptoms and Causes
    2. New Approaches to Environment and Development

  2. Towards Sustainable Development
    1. The Concept of Sustainable Development
    2. Equity and the Common Interest
    3. Strategic Imperatives
    4. Conclusion

  3. The Role of the International Economy
    1. The International Economy, the Environment, and Development
    2. Decline in the 1980s
    3. Enabling Sustainable Development
    4. A Sustainable World Economy

Part II. Common Challenges

  1. Population and Human Resources
    1. The Links with Environment and Development
    2. The Population Perspective
    3. A Policy Framework

  2. Food Security: Sustaining the Potential
    1. Achievements
    2. Signs of Crisis
    3. The Challenge
    4. Strategies for Sustainable Food Security
    5. Food for the Future

  3. Species and Ecosystems: Resources for Development
    1. The Problem: Character and Extent
    2. Extinction Patterns and Trends
    3. Some Causes of Extinction
    4. Economic Values at Stake
    5. New Approach: Anticipate and Prevent
    6. International Action for National Species

    7. Scope for National Action
    8. The Need for Action

  4. Energy: Choices for Environment and Development
    1. Energy, Economy, and Environment
    2. Fossil Fuels: The Continuing Dilemma
    3. Nuclear Energy: Unsolved Problems
    4. Wood Fuels: The Vanishing Resource
    5. Renewable Energy: The Untapped Potential
    6. Energy Efficiency: Maintaining the Momentum
    7. Energy Conservation Measures
    8. Conclusion

  5. Industry: Producing More With Less
    1. Industrial Growth and its Impact
    2. Sustainable Industrial Development in a Global Context
    3. Strategies for Sustainable Industrial Development

  6. The Urban Challenge
    1. The Growth of Cities
    2. The Urban Challenge in Developing Countries
    3. International Cooperation

Part III. Common Endeavours

  1. Managing The Commons
    1. Oceans: The Balance of Life
    2. Space: A Key to Planetary Management
    3. Antarctica: Towards Global Cooperation

  2. Peace, Security, Development, and the Environment
    1. Environmental Stress as a Source of Conflict
    2. Conflict as a Cause of Unsustainable Development
    3. Towards Security and Sustainable Development

  3. Towards Common Action: Proposals For Institutional and Legal Change
    1. The Challenge for Institutional and Legal Change
    2. Proposals for Institutional and Legal Change
    3. A Call for Action


Throughout this report, quotes from some of the many people who spoke at WCED public hearings appear in boxes to illustrate the range of opinions the Commission was exposed to during its three years of work. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission.