Achieving Sustainable Development: The Centrality and Multiple Facets of Integrated Decisionmaking
John C. Dernbach
Widener University - School of Law; Widener University - Commonwealth Law School
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 10, p. 247, 2003
Integrated decisionmaking is the foundational principle of sustainable development. Other principles, including the precautionary approach or principle, intergenerational equity, and public participation, all depend on integrated decisionmaking. Unsustainable development results from the fragmentation of decisionmaking into economic, security, environmental, and social categories. Thus, sustainable development requires that fragmentation in decisionmaking be eliminated - that environmental and social concerns be integrated into economic and security decisionmaking. This integration can and should be done in many ways. Decisionmaking processes can be integrated according to their objective, the resources they affect, the activities on which they are based, the place in which activities take place, and the time over which their effects will be felt. A variety of legal and policy tools can be integrated into the decisionmaking process. In addition, the actions of multiple decisionmakers can be integrated with each other. The foundational aspect of integrated decisionmaking has substantial practical consequences for the achievement of sustainable development, for it suggests that the achievement of sustainable development will depend to a great degree on the extent to which integrating legal and analytical tools can be devised and employed. The many forms of integrated decisionmaking suggest a set of important law and policy tools for achieving sustainable development - tools whose potential we have only begun to exploit.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: sustainable devleopment, decisionmaking, integrated decisionmaking, precautionary approach, intergenerational equity
JEL Classification: L20, Q20, Q28, Q30, Q38, Q48, O20, O22
Date posted: May 1, 2007
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