Sustainable Development

Vocabulary related to sustainable development

This is a list of vocabulary items related to the theme of sustainable development.


The process of growing or developing. Synonymous words include: evolution, progress, advance.
These nouns mean a progression from a simpler or lower to a more advanced, mature, or complex form or stage:
"the development of an idea into reality;" "the evolution of a plant from a seed;" "attempts made to foster social progress."


(of economic development or energy sources) capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing ecological damage

Sustainable development:

A pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. It's a development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."


The surroundings in which a person, animal, or plant lives.the natural world of land, sea, air, plants, and animals.
"Nuclear waste must be prevented from leaking into the environment"


The scientific study of the distribution and abundance of life and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment.


Any physical or virtual entity of limited availability, or anything used to help one earn a living. As resources are very useful, we attach some information value to them. Resources help to produce goods so they have economic value. Natural resources like forests, mountains etc. are very beautiful so they have aesthetic value. Gifts of nature such as water also have a legal value because it is our right to enjoy them. On the other hand, resources have an ethical value as well because it is our moral duty to protect and conserve them for the future generations.

Natural resources:

Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many of them are essential for our survival while others are used for satisfying our wants.

Resource development:

Many resources cannot be consumed in their original form. They have to be processed in order to change them into more usable commodities. This is known as resource development. With the rise in human numbers all over the world, the demand for resources has also increased. However, there is a difference in distribution of resources to different regions or countries. Developed countries use more resources than developing countries.


Desertification is the degradation of land in arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting primarily from human activities and influenced by climatic variations. It's also a failure of the ecological succession process.


Deforestation is the conversion of (forest)ed areas to non-forested land, for uses such as: pasture, urban use, logging purposes, and can result in arid land and wastelands. In many countries, deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography. Deforestation results from removal of trees without sufficient reforestation, and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity, wood for fuel and industrial use, and quality of life.

Reading material on sustainable development
Exercise on the vocabulary related to sustainable development