This section briefly considers potentially harmful or beneficial impacts of increased ARD activities on factors other than carbon storage. To what extent might these activities have associated impacts that conflict with, or support, the sustainable development objectives agreed to at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and set out in more detail in other multilateral international agreements, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and the Convention on Biological Diversity?
The heart of the sustainable development concept is management of resources to maximize the income of an activity while maintaining or increasing the amount and quality of assets or capital affected by that activity. Because resources, assets, and capital all have natural and human dimensions, sustainable development encompasses socioeconomic factors as well as environmental sustainability. Sustainable development requires a balance between social, economic, and environmental considerations to improve current human welfare while ensuring a sound foundation for the welfare of future generations.
Opinions generally differ over the interpretation, identification, and valuation of assets and capital which can make implementation of sustainable development difficult. Section 3.6.1 provides a very brief discussion of specific factors related to ARD activities. These issues are discussed more fully in Section 2.5 and, in relation to project-based activities, in Chapter 5.
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