chapter  6
Assessing sustainability for biomass energy production and use
Pages 29

The extensive literature on sustainability demonstrates the idea of expanding the concept to a more integrated, participatory and anticipatory decisionmaking process. Although the main ideas started in the 1970s as part of the concerns on depletion of resources and growth limits it was not until 1987 with the Brundtland Report that sustainability acquired global recognition (WECD, 1987). The basic idea was to link environment and development to identify problems but also solutions. This was followed by the international conferences from the United Nations (UN) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and 10 years later in 2002 (WSDD, 2002). Despite many differences, there are some basic characteristics that can be recognized globally. Gibson (2005) provides a review on the concept of sustainability with some of these characteristics being common for all. Of the basic concepts probably the most recognizable include that the concept refers to short-and long-term well-being, that it covers all main issues on decision making and that the concept is universal and context-dependent.