Initially coined by the Brundtland Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, the Principle of Sustainable Development acquired particular currency during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and found repeated mention in the corresponding Declaration on Environment and Development. Despite this ample backing, the open and general wording of the principle of sustainable development have given rise to considerable difficulties in its operationalisation as a legal concept.
In fulfilment of forest-related commitments entered at UNCED, discussions on options to implement and operationalise sustainable development have recently garnered increased attention in the context of sustainable forest policies. These discussions have shown the need to develop partnership-based land-use practices involving public and private actors in forest sector development that conserve the biological diversity while contributing to poverty reduction. Experiences are particularly well recorded in connection with two forest reserves, namely the Elrawashda natural forest reserve in eastern Sudan and the Elain natural forest reserve in Kordofan (western Sudan).
Results from central Sudan suggest that partnership-based land-use practices conserve the biological diversity in the drylands while contributing to poverty reduction among local people. The study analyses the contractual arrangements used in the course of the foregoing pilot projects, and – based on the lessons learned therefrom – proposes options for policies and land-use arrangements that enable the rural population to manage their farm and forest resources in an integrated and socially, economically and ecologically sustainable way and to add value to their products, thus improving their livelihoods. It also combines the experiences gained from implementing different partnerships and formulates suggestions for future development of partnerships.
Glover E. K., Elsiddig E.A., Luukkanen O., Hollo E.J., Mehling M. 2007. Operationalizing Sustainable Development in Legal Systems and in International Law: Challenges and Lessons Learned in Dryland Africa based on Experiences from Sudan. Proceedings of “Sustainable Development in National and International Law” Conference, Nordic Environmental Law Network (NELN), Oslo, Norway. May 3-5, 2007.