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Environmental Mainstreaming and Sustainability

Author: Yewande Awe, Senior Environmental Engineer

PDF file Draft Concept Note (updated November 30, 2009)

This paper addresses a more ambitious aim of a yet undefined “next step” in the spectrum of WB environmental efforts – a move towards environmental sustainability - as signaled in the Concept Note for the proposed
2010 Environment Strategy. This paper intends to inform the discussion about the nature of this “next step” by drawing from a realistic assessment of results to date, similar efforts from partners, new thinking on sustainability from outside sources, and the informed opinions of the paper’s audience.

It recognizes that the term “Environmental Sustainability” has different meanings to different stakeholders, depending on various factors such as, for example, planning time horizon (e.g., the year’s business cycle, an administration’s duration, a life-span); existence of binding constraints (e.g. ability to reach political consensus on needed reforms, institutional capacity, and fixed resources to meet development priorities). Furthermore, developing country stakeholders might think of sustainability from a standpoint of affordability, particularly when explicit trade-offs are inevitable, for example, when win-win opportunities have been exhausted.

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Last updated: 2009-12-22

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