Concept of sustainable development

Welcome to the COMPETITIVE EXAM MCQs SERIES of ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE for UGC-NET/JRF, SLETGATE, and other entrance tests: Concept of sustainable development.

Sustainable development is a holistic approach to societal progress that seeks to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves balancing economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection to create a harmonious and enduring future for both people and the planet.

Syllabus Outline

  1. Definition and Evolution of Sustainable Development.
  2. Historical Background and Milestones.
  3. Principles and Goals of Sustainable Development
  4. Importance and Relevance in Contemporary Times
  5. Dimensions of Sustainability (e.g. Economic, Social, Environmental, Cultural, Ethical and Interconnectedness).
  6. Theoretical Frameworks (e.g. Brundtland Report and the Triple Bottom Line).
  7. Ecological Economics and Human Development Approach.
  8. Resilience Theory and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  9. Policy and Governance – International Agreements and Conventions (e.g., Paris Agreement, CBD), National and Local Sustainable Development Strategies, Role of Government, NGOs, Civil Society, and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  10. Assessing Sustainable Development and Emerging Issues in Sustainable Development.
  11. Green Growth and Circular Economy.

This quiz contains the concept-based most frequently asked 25 MCQs of “concept of sustainable development“. Each question has a single correct/most appropriate answer.

1. What is the primary objective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations?

a) Environmental conservation

b) Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

c) Economic growth

d) Eradicating poverty and achieving global well-being

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2. Which term describes the practice of designing products and systems to minimize environmental impact while providing maximum functionality?

a) Conspicuous consumption

b) Eco-friendly design

c) Greenwashing

d) Sustainable design

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3. Which principle states that those responsible for environmental damage should bear the costs associated with cleanup and restoration?

a) Polluter Pays Principle

b) Ecological Compensation Principle

c) Net Positive Principle

d) Precautionary Principle

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4. Which concept represents the idea that natural resources should be used efficiently and not wasted?

a) Overuse

b) Conservation

c) Extraction

d) Exploitation

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5. The concept of sustainability transition refers to:

a) A shift from sustainable to unsustainable practices.

b) The process of moving from unsustainable to sustainable practices and systems.

c) A change from linear to circular economic models.

d) A transition to a high-consumption society.

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6. The concept of cradle-to-cradle in sustainable development refers to:

a) The recycling of materials into lower-quality products.

b) A closed-loop system where products and materials are continuously recycled and reused.

c) The disposal of waste in landfills.

d) A linear model of resource use and disposal.

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7. Sustainable development aims to balance social, economic, and environmental goals. Which term represents this balance?

a) Triple Prosperity

b) Triple Profit

c) Triple Growth

d) Triple Bottom Line

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8. Sustainable development involves balancing three pillars. What are these pillars?

a) Profit, People, and Prosperity

b) Education, Environment, and Employment

c) Population, Production, and Preservation

d) Ecology, Economy, and Equity

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9. What does the acronym CSR stand for in sustainable development?

a) Customer Service Responsibility

b) Corporate Social Responsibility

c) Corporate Sustainability Report

d) Central Sustainability Resource

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10. Which global event in 1992 led to the adoption of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, both of which are foundational to sustainable development?

a) Copenhagen Summit

b) Kyoto Protocol

c) Earth Summit (UNCED)

d) Paris Agreement

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11. Which of the following is a critical factor in achieving sustainable development in urban areas?

a) Population growth

b) Increased consumption of resources

c) Rapid industrialization

d) Effective urban planning and management

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12. The concept of carrying capacity in sustainable development refers to:

a) The weight limit for sustainable construction

b) The maximum number of cars allowed in a city

c) The capacity of factories to reduce carbon emissions

d) The maximum population an ecosystem can sustainably support

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13. Sustainable development often requires making decisions that involve trade-offs. Which principle implies that decisions should maximize overall benefits while minimizing harm?

a) Maximin Principle

b) Net Positive Principle

c) Polluter Pays Principle

d) Precautionary Principle

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14. Which of the following is not a key dimension of sustainability?

a) Social

b) Ethical

c) Ecological

d) Economic

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15. Which term refers to integrating sustainability into an organization’s operations?

a) Sustainable integration

b) Greenwashing

c) Sustainability mainstreaming

d) Sustainable embedding

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16. What term describes a city’s design that promotes walking, cycling, and public transit over personal vehicles?

a) Greenfield development

b) Suburban sprawl

c) Sustainable urban planning

d) Transit-oriented development

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17. Which of the following is a renewable energy source?

a) Coal

b) Natural gas

c) Wind

d) Oil

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18. What term describes the practice of reducing non-renewable resources by using them more efficiently?

a) Resource efficiency

b) Resource depletion

c) Resource preservation

d) Resource substitution

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19. What term refers to the variety and variability of life forms on Earth?

a) Ecosystem services

b) Conservation biology

c) Biodiversity

d) Habitat preservation

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20. Which is not considered a common obstacle to achieving sustainable development?

a) Short-term economic interests

b) Political conflicts and instability

c) Insufficient technological advancements

d) Lack of public awareness and education

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21. Which term describes a situation where actions in one part of the world can have environmental and social impacts in another part of the world?

a) Outsourcing

b) Environmental spillover

c) Internationalization

d) Globalization

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22. Which term describes reducing waste by using durable, long-lasting products that can be repaired or upgraded?

a) Single-use design

b) Throwaway culture

c) Planned obsolescence

d) Product longevity

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23. Which term describes economic progress based on factors beyond traditional GDP, such as environmental and social well-being?

a) Gross National Happiness

b) Gross Domestic Product

c) Net Present Value

d) Sustainable Development Index

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24. Which global document, released in 1987, played a pivotal role in popularizing the concept of sustainable development?

a) Brundtland Report

b) Kyoto Protocol

c) Rio Declaration

d) Stockholm Declaration

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25. Which term describes natural resources usage in a way that ensures their availability for future generations?

a) Sustainable consumption

b) Resource utilization

c) Overconsumption

d) Resource exploitation

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  1. Sachs, J. D. (2015) The Age of Sustainable Development, Columbia University Press, Revised edition.
  2. Kothari, A., Schumacher, E. F., & Nair, P. K. R. (2018) Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, Asian Center for Sustainable Development, Revised edition.
  3. Shrivastava, P. (2014) Greening the Organization: Sustainable Development and Strategic Management, SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, 1st edition.
  4. Tyagi, A. K. (2018) Environmental Science and Engineering, Khanna Publishers, 3rd edition
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