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Sustainable development is the management and conservation of the natural resource base and the orientation of technological and institutional change in a manner that ensures the continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in the agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors) conserves land, water, and plant and animal genetic resources and is environmentally nondegrading, technically appropriate, economically viable, and socially acceptable.
Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance. Stewardship of human resources includes consideration of social responsibilities such as the working and living conditions of laborers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety both in the present and future. Stewardship of land and natural resources involves maintaining or enhancing this vital resource base for the long term.