Two years ago President Clinton appointed the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD)--a unique mix of 25 individuals representing business, labor, environmental, civil rights, tribal, and local leaders along with members of the President's Cabinet. Our charge was to develop a "national sustainable development action strategy that will foster economic vitality while protecting our natural and cultural resources." This fall, we will complete a report for President Clinton. It will contain what the Council believes should be the first steps the nation must take in order to move toward a more sustainable future.
Hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals have contributed their ideas and expertise to the PCSD. Of the many lessons we have learned along the way, none is more inspiring than the creative work unfolding inside the communities we visited. They taught us that the issue of sustainable development is complex, it is broad, and it affects virtually every aspect of society. They taught us that we must underpin our vision and aspirations with practical policy recommendations and concrete measures of progress. Most of all, they taught us that the work of the PCSD is only the beginning of a national dialogue on sustainable development that must stretch across all generations in every community, region, and nation.
Last summer, we asked for public comments on a draft of the PCSD vision statement and principles. More than 700 people commented, providing encouragement and specific ideas about how to improve our work. Once again we seek public comment on our work to date. The first element to review is the list of 10 national goals for sustainable development, along with suggested indicators of progress toward those goals. Next are the five broad themes around which we expect the report will be organized. Finally, with each theme there is a list of policy topics the Council will be working on over the summer.
These parts are all "works in progress", and a lot of work remains to be done. Each item is in draft form, and none has been endorsed by the Council. However, the topics discussed here do reflect the range of issues that are being considered and illustrate the overall direction of the Council's work. You can help by telling us if you feel the Council is, at this point, on the right track.
We expect to complete our report early this fall, and we need your comments by September 4, 1995.