This paper has developed a conceptual framework derived from the growth within natural limits ideology with which it analyses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The findings indicate that: for a sustainable development approach to work, it requires integration of different theoretical approaches and knowledge tracks – conceptually drawing from economics, social sciences and Earth sciences, and that it is still not a fully matured science. Applying such an integrated frame shows that the social domain is explicitly evident in the SDGs’ with a high degree of ambition and clarity. However, the economic and ecological domains require further sharpness and do not clearly subscribe to the fundamentals of biophysical limits. The paper also concludes that developing countries, like the countries of South Asia, have an advantage in that they still operate within their biocapacity limits, and should look to plot a different path to the West, and address social, economic and environment issues simultaneously
Sri Lankan think-tank promoting a better understanding of poverty-related development issues. CEPA believes that poverty is an injustice that should be overcome and that overcoming poverty involves changing policies and practices nationally and internationally, as well as working with people in poverty.
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