All of MCS projects are focused on sustainable development. Sustainable development is a framework for a long‐term vision of sustainability in which economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand and are mutually supporting. The term “sustainable development” is defined as “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” The many elements of sustainable development are often organized into three dimensions or pillars: environmental, economic and social.
All programmes must reflect environmental considerations, not only those programmes that are specifically aimed at environmental improvements. Examples may include infrastructure projects, building activities or economic activities in different sectors. The key issue is to assess systematically the environmental impact of programmes, to quantify them and to integrate measures to limit any negative environmental impacts.
All programmes must also address economic and social sustainable development considerations. Programmes should be assessed systematically at planning phase against the positive sustainable social and economic impact they will have and integrate measures to limit any negative impacts resulting from the programme in implementation.