Sustainable Development after COVID-19

The study will serve as an exclusive piece of information in a conceptual understanding of sustainable development, defining the seventeen sustainable development goals adopted by the UN, tracing its progression from its inception accompanied by modern technological changes in the present and in near future. The study will bridge the gap between the worldwide pandemic and the shrinking global economies. It was concluded that future-proofing sustain recovery and sustain development is only possible when sound environmental responses, plans, and policies are given the importance they deserve. Addressing the pandemic and protecting ourselves against the future global threats require sound management of hazardous medical and chemical waste, strong and global control of nature and biodiversity, and transparent commitment to building back better resulting in the creation of jobs following and facilitating the transition to carbon-neutral economies as it has been rightly stated that humanity depends on action now for a resilient and sustainable future.


Tracing the roots of sustain develop the term was first coined in the Brundtland Report, published in 1987 by the UN on Environment and Development.  “Sustain develop is defined as a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” To be more specific sustainable development is a way of organizing a society in such a way that it could exist and ripe fruitful results in the near future, resulting in both imperatives are taken into account that is the present and the future.

Following its grassroots, the 1972 UN conference in Stockholm highlighted the concerns for preserving and enhancing the environment and its biodiversity in order to sustain life. However the same was reviewed in the 1962 Nairobi summit in order to intensify efforts for sustainable development and the rising need for international cooperation. As sustain development was transforming into a global movement in 1983  the United Commission on Environment was created in 1987.  The transitional change took a leap, 1970 to 1990 where over 200 regional and international agreements and conventions for environmental protection and conservation were adopted. The biggest turn around took place in the year 1992, the Earth Summit brought the world’s governments to deliberate and negotiate an agenda for the environment and development in the 21st century. The summit adopted agenda 21, which was a comprehensive blueprint of actions towards sustainable development. The biggest breakthrough in this revolution came into light in the year 2015 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG) which were approved in September 2015 by the 193 member states which are also known as Agenda 2030. The SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs).  The 17 Goals of  sustainability are:

  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and well being
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduced equalities
  11. Sustainable cities and communities
  12. Responsible consumption and production
  13. Climate action
  14. Life below water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnership for goals

The global economy has come to a standstill since this pandemic COVID-19 struck the world. Since March 23 rd 2020, India has done a massive lockdown in order to save the life of its people which is the most prominent pillar of sustainable development goals 2030 (SDG 2030). The country is continuously making efforts to fight and overcome this human as well as an economic crisis. This situation has definitely hindered the path of the countries in achieving their SDG 2030. India too has become slow but still, it has not lost hope. The global pandemic which has evidently caused unimaginable devastation and hardship has bought the economy to the standstill. The outbreak will definitely have profound and lasting economic and social consequences in every corner of the globe which is projected by the UN  Environment program. (UNEP) . The pandemic has eventually exposed some of the illicit faces of societal harmony including hunger, poverty, good, health. As India heals from the pandemic, it becomes very important to imbibe upon sustainable development and provide for healthier cities. According to the World health organization, a “Healthy” city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding community resources that will induce people to mutually support each other and performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential. However sustainable development techniques through scientific measures posses audacity to compress the after-effects of such havoc.

Customary Techniques to Combat COVID-19

COVID- 19 is the first and foremost humanitarian crisis creating distrust in the global economy.  However, in order to advance a stable climate, sustainable resources development and fair economy, there are some of the techniques which will go a long way in global transitional change.

  • Resilience is Essential: Millions of lives have been risked due to a global shortage of critical medical and safety equipment including masks no less than a dollar. The preparation for the outbreak has starkly demonstrated the importance of resilience, doubting the ability of human systems to anticipate, cope and adapt. The communities and institutions must succeed in planning for and adapting to climate change or risk heartbreak and tragedy.
  • The Stimulus must be Sustainable:  Economies around the world are racing to implement economic stimulus and support individuals, businesses and economies afloat. One such being is the one which is announced by the government, 20 LAKH CRORES. These periods of high unemployment and low-interest rates are supposedly the time right for new- carbon investments and infrastructure, including the kind of required to support the transition to clean energy.
  • Inequality is Magnified:  The pandemic has bought the economy to a standstill resulting in an unprecedented global shock,  magnifying the impact of inequality, having dread full implications on the poor. Making this an alarming issue that needs to be addressed in such a way that there should be a collective effort to achieve sustainable development.
  • Sustain Infrastructure: Investment should be one of the key variables in the process of rein formation as boosting the green economy can go along way in overcoming the current situation. The model has already been tested by South Korea after the financial meltdown of 2008. Renewable resources such as solar energy, public transportation, and rainwater harvesting will contribute to this alarming cause.
  • Fiscal Mechanisms: India being one of the largest economies rolled out a massive relief package of 20 LAKH CRORE, 750 MILLION for  MSME to order to develop resilience. progressive tax can be imposed on luxury items and can issue COVID-19 special bonds.
  • Sequential Pattern: Not buying foreign products, boycott china been on the run, savings mode on, promoting reuse, recycle, repair, reduce waste management programs being implemented by various business giants in their business models, supporting consistent work from home policies can circumvent the circular economy resulting in the formulation of a healthy business environment system. Organizations working in research and implementation can adopt policies that support going digital such as work from home and conducting conference calls instead of face to face meetings.
  • Regulate Enabling Technologies:  Sustainable development will eventually drive greater employment in the gig economy and e-commerce sector, as new technologies that can help support future responses and resilience mechanisms, supporting such sectors, it is important to put the right regulation in place to ensure data privacy and consumer protection. Such decisions if taken today will provide immediate relief resulting in economic recovery, increase community resilience to ensure a long term pathway to sustainable development.
  • Ensure Progressive Realization of Universal Goals:  The sustainable development goals are meant to provide benefits to all and reach the furthest behind firsts. SDG 3( good health and wellbeing) SDG4 ( quality and education) SDG 7 ( affordable energy). The pandemic had resulted in the public health systems collapse in the high- income countries like the US and in low-income countries like India. System – strengthening approaches within the health sector that are increased capacity for the staff to facilitate prevention, early warning systems to manage health risks, improved coordination of variables of all the sectors across different levels of health systems, ensuring COVID-19 recovery and universalism.
  • Resilience for Vulnerable:  It has been observed that 90% of India’s workforce is informally employed. A universal basic income – broader than current schemes that are conditional upon occupation and land ownership leading to vital resources for subsistence, or for investing in education and health. Moreover, it becomes critically important to expand access to clean water, clean water and primary health care. This will improve life expectancy and increase economic and physical resilience.


The pandemic has reinforced the link between health, environment, and the economy. It has been evidently found that air pollution has contributed to higher COVID-19 moralities, deforestation has increased the exposure to pathogens carried by wildlife, melting ice due to climate will release undiscovered viruses frozen in the permafrost. But the pandemic has also demonstrated that governments and individuals have the capacity to undertake a strong and rapid action in the face of an overarching challenge. In these uncertain and unpredictable times, it becomes crucial to keep in mind the 2030 global sustainability agenda for our common future. The recovery sounds an opportunity to redesign a sustainable, inclusive economy, revitalize the industry, preserve vital biodiversity systems and tackle climate change. The many actions through the crisis have shown that businesses are an important part of the solution and that all our capabilities across nations must be rolled out to reach the SDGs.


Q1. What is the difference between development and sustainable development?

Development is a process that creates growth that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social and demographic components. Sustainable development is the principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural resources and ecosystem services on which the economy and society depend.

Q2. Who started sustainable development?

The term sustainable development was coined by “Barbara Wardy” founder of the international institute for environment and development.

Q3. Is sustainable development possible in the 21st century?

Yes, it is, prepares a substantive contribution, construct a coherent vision on sustainable development in the 21st century, synthesizes analytical and applied policy work.

Q4. Who coined the term sustainable development?

The Brundtland Report, published in the year 1987 by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and development coined the term “ Sustainable Development”.

Q5. Is sustainable development possible after COVID-19?

Four sustainable development Goals that help future proof global recovery they are, Climate Action Goal (13),  Life on Land Goal (15), Life below water Goal(14), Responsible Consumption and Production Goal (12).


  1. Gareth Willmer and Flona  Broom “ reduce global hunger, poverty and climate change”. ( 1st June ,2020).
  2. Paavani Arora “ The impact of COVID-19 and the sustainable Development Goals”. (7th may, 2020).
  3. Amina khan “ Ways to prevent sustainable development”. (14th July 2020)
  4. Richard florizone “ Coronovirus shaping sustaible development”. (30th 2020).
  5.   Ankit srivastva , Raghvendra  Sharma,  Arjun Suresh “Impact of COVID-19 on sustainable development”. ( May, 2020)
  6. Edward  B Barbier and Joanne C Burgess “ Sustainability and development  After COVID-19 ( 20th July 2020) .
  7. Siddharth Jain “ A strategic Opportunity for Sustainable  Development”. (22nd April 2020).
  8. Aman srivastava “ After COVID-19” (28th July 2020).

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