In 1987, the United Nations published a document that challenged the economic orthodoxy of the relationship between development and environmental degradation. Called Our Common Future 1, it emphasised the concept of ‘sustainable development’.
In theory, sustainable development simply means meeting the needs of the present generation, without compromising the needs of future generations. The true challenge of sustainable development lies in putting the theory into practice.
Cleaner production provides a practical way of moving towards sustainable
Although some maize is consumed in the forest
zone, it is not a leading food staple and much of the crop
is sold. The major cash crop in the forest is cocoa. Annual
rainfall in the forest zone averages about 1,500 mm; maize
is planted both in the major rainy season (beginning in
March) and in the minor rainy season (beginning in
(3) Transition zone. Moving further north, the forest zone
gradually gives way to the transition zone.
The industry approach to environmental issues has
moved from ‘end-of-pipe’ solutions, towards a pollu-
tion prevention strategy. This strategy requires an
integrated, holistic view of activities. Tools have been
developed to assist management, including cleaner
production, life cycle assessment and industrial ecolo-
gy. Each of these looks at the life cycle of the product
or service, to identify where the major environmental
issues or problems may arise and where the most cost-
effective solutions can be developed.