If the existing environmental challenges and problems are not addressed in time, the well-being of human civilization may be severely endangered The writer is Assistant Professor, Management Sciences City University of Science & Information Technology, Peshawar
Society frequently faces mega environmental and socio-economic challenges. The world today has a number of challenges including rapid depletion of natural resources, global warming, human rights violation pertinent to equity issues to name a few. The excessive consumption of goods and resources, accumulation of toxic waste and chemical creates a shocking increase in the imbalance between demands for material resources of a finite planet. Undeniably, it is reported that the ongoing generation has consumed half of the available natural resources. Such resources consumption raises concerns about the fate of future generations. If the existing challenges and problems are not addressed in time, the well-being of human civilization may be severely endangered. As a matter of fact, the notion of sustainable development is applied to contest these challenges. Likewise, sustainable development is defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) Brundtland Report as "Humanity's ability to make development sustainable, to ensure that it meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Correspondingly, sustainable development is not only the issue of nations, but also veined in every aspect of life having relevancy to disciplines and domains. Among them, the most viable is the role of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Indeed, HEIs have a critical role regarding the implementation of sustainable development. On the other hand, they remained controversial respecting their fixation on what issues and areas should be focused to be considered as sustainable HEIs. Likewise, a study of 70 HEIs around the world regarding sustainability steps in universities has been conducted and the consequence of such study indicated that the efforts and measures towards sustainability were not fully integrated into the HEI's strategies. Primarily, Pakistan is being labelled as a developing nation. For 70 years of development, we are behind in the acquisition of the broader goals of sustainable development. We are still unaware of the exact meanings of it. At this juncture, we need a central role of HEIs to explain, implement and evaluate the true senses of sustainable development among the broader societies. Without a doubt, only a few among Pakistani universities need full refurbishing to move towards the path of sustainable universities. For this, the following steps are proposed: Awareness programs should be launched among all their stakeholders for the adoption, implementation and evaluation of sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) via communication. Similarly, the universities should integrate the theme of sustainable development in their day to day operations and activities. On practical grounds, the universities' management is highly desired with the assistance of top management to get on these operations.
Sustainable development is not only the issue of nations, but also veined in every aspect of life having relevancy to disciplines and domains. Among them, the most viable is the role of Higher Education Institutions
Furthermore, universities should also implement the modified curricula upholding sustainable development and overall 'key performance indicators' (KPIs). As a matter of fact, the regulatory role cannot be ignored having pertinence to both from central and provincial governments in the implementation of SD. Indeed, it would apply to all public and private universities and they should collaborate to materialize these goals. Universities should embark awareness programs regarding sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), education for sustainable development and so. These awareness programs should be carried forward by the student and parental level for educating presents and coming generations. Last but not the least, the researchers are bound to play their role and disseminate the theme of sustainable maturity and enhancement in every discipline. They should conduct conferences, seminars, training, and workshops for the purpose. In a nutshell, we are not restricted to the aforementioned scholastic activities. Profoundly, it is our personal responsibility to think, implement and achieve such goals to satiate our coming generations' prosperity and tranquility immensely.