Sustainable development : a challenge to Muslim countries.
Gallant, Moegamad Riedwaan.
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The aim of sustainable development can be summarized as meeting the needs of the present generation, without destroying the needs of the future generations (Brundtland in WCED :1987:5). The different indicators of sustainable development, as formulated by the United Nations documents, are discussed. These include poverty alleviation, health care, education, security, good governance and trade. The study lists protection of the environment as a sustainable development indicator. This refers to the protection of the atmosphere, the correct usage of land which involves agriculture, the sustainability of water as well as the protection of fauna and flora. It identifies these indicators in the primary sources of Islam. The study shows that sustainable development was a feature of early development in the Muslim World. It then uncovers the major factors that contributed to environmental degradation in Muslim countries in the late twentieth century as well as some of its consequences. Finally, the study looks at some of the major challenges that sustainable development poses to Muslim countries. It delineates the obstacles that Muslim countries themselves have recognised, and identifies proposals by Muslim scholars to promote sustainable development. It suggests measures which could facilitate sustainable development by endorsing what are considered globally as essential principles of sustainable development as well as adopting local processes. The declarations endorsed by Muslim rulers on sustainable development are analyzed. The study suggests that the approaches of the scholars in combination with the declarations could form the basis of a new paradigm of development in the Muslim world based on Islamic principles and values.