Traditionalizing sustainable development: the law, policy and practice in Papua New Guinea
tn 19g7, the World Commission on Environment and Development published its long
awaited report "Our Common Future". The report contained a detailed discussion of
global envLor1-ent and development problems and a set of recommendations which the
bommission suggested could alleviJte many of those problems' At the core of the
Commission's recommendation was the 'sustainable development' concept which the
Commission shongly suggested countries should adopt as the principal vehicle for
overcoming many of the global environmetrtal and social ills'
But, what is sustainable development? What are its core values? How can sustainable
development be utilized to arreJt and resolve global societal problems? Does sustainable
development have a universal application? Under what conditions can sustainable
development be successfully implemented? These are some of the key issues that are
addressed in this research paper.
In this paper I look at the origin and definition of the sustainable development concept
and identi$ the relevant principles of the concspt. I also identi$ the tools that are
necessary for the implementation of the concept. The underpinning of my argument is
that sustainable development can be successfully implemented by countries particularly
developing countries bicause the concept has strong roots in traditional cultures which
are dominant in developing countries. I explore this position and the various issues that
have been identifred above by adopting Papua New Guinea (PNG) a developing country
as a case study.
To the two gr4at n:rln who humhty,gave up'their tlfe contorls that I and my-
i6rng,r mUfi nna tdRpiiness i,n nru -hev. P"q"lftatu Kue and Gal (fttd) rted
friiii iG' qia mri irno vwncn'who awffi& me as they gon ifs'
Xw and Ms, H:Eafrffi RamgiMfturtgffiwa