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The fragility of local and global environments to human collective action 5. One cannot talk about 'development' without also linking it to the environmental preconditions for development 6. Following on from (4), development decisions now may also have environmental consequences for future generations, with effects extending beyond the immediate confines of the locale of the original development. However, interpretations of how the goals stated by the WCED might be attained through practical implementation of specific policies have varied considerably, exposing the inherent limitations and inconsistencies in the definition of sustainable development.
But such indicators also include measures of human resources - the impacts of different investments in education and health, and measures of the value of social DEVELOPING INDICATORS OF 'SUSTAIN ABILITY' 19 cohesion, quality of govenunent, political stability and level of democratic involvement, and social integration. Much of the work on these components of sustainability is being addressed within the context of ecological economics or 'green' accounting (for example, CommonandPerrings 1992; Norgaard 1988; World Bank 1989).
The challenge of sustainable development may be expressed in terms of the need to delink development from resource consumption. Consequently many efforts to develop indicators are focussed on conceptualising national and global 'futures' and assessing their potential impact on the environment. This is the basis of much of the modelling effort in North America, Europe and elsewhere. Most of this work involves modelling at a national level, but there are also efforts to develop global models. These models range from models of global greenhouse gas emissions, to efforts to incorporate shifts in human values and beliefs and assess the environmental response, in terms of such factors as water use, food needs, or energy consumption.