Development is imperative, but a short-sighted approach is often the cause of great harm. Sustainable development is that which keeps in mind the long-term effects and benefits of any program.
Short-sighted development is a disaster. Ravaging natural resources without a long-term vision will destroy the ecology, which is the very source of life. The purpose of development should be to support and sustain life. With the bigger picture in mind, all development plans will factor in the ecology, sociology and psychology. Then the very process of development becomes a conscious endeavor to preserve the planet and its resources. The health of our planet is of utmost importance.
Environment consciousness is inbuilt in the human system. Throughout history, Nature (prakriti) has always been adored in India; mountains, rivers, the sun, the moon, the trees have been revered. In fact, ancient cultures all over the world have exhibited a deep reverence for Nature. For them, God was not in temples or churches, but was inherent in Nature. It's only when we start moving away from Nature that we start polluting Nature. Today there is a pressing need to revive the ancient practice of honouring and conserving Nature.