Sustainable development means the coherent and consistent development of the social, economic and environmental areas to guarantee people a high quality of life and a safe and clean living environment today as well as in the future. In Estonia, sustainable development has been given more consistent consideration since 1995 when the Sustainable Development Act was prepared on the basis of the Agenda 21 programme approved at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Estonia in the light of sustainable development indicators
Estonia is on a sustainable course if there is progress towards the four main goals: growth of welfare, a coherent society, viability of the cultural space and ecological balance. These are the components of sustainability as defined in the Estonian National Strategy on Sustainable Development. Life in Estonia has improved but this has not been enough to catch up with the leading countries in the European Union. The sustainable development strategy has been implemented for about ten years but there have not been any major changes in Estonia. Even now, based on various indicators, Estonia has more or less the same ranking among the European Union countries as 10 years ago.