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Earthwatch is actively involved in encouraging the development of indicators of environment and sustainable development, as a way to improve the delivery of information for decision-making.  The short notes below provide access to some of the important work in this field.

Dashboard of sustainability
Current status of indicator work
Towards Indicators of Sustainability
Consultative Group on Sustainable Development Indicators
International Institute of Sustainable Development
UN Division for Sustainable Development - CSD work programme on indicators
World Resources Institute
World Bank
WWF Living Planet Index 
UNDP Human Development Index
Redefining Progress - General Progress Indicator
World Economic Forum - Environmental Sustainability Index 
SCOPE/UNEP Reports on Indicators
Land Quality Indicators
UNCHS Urban Indicators Programme
European Commission, Eurostat and Joint Research Centre
Island Environmental Vulnerability Index
Canada Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators Initiative

Dashboard of Sustainability - April 2001
A new graphic presentation of indicators of sustainable development being developed by the JRC and other partners with the cooperation of the Consultative Group on Indicators of Sustainable Development (see below). Demonstration versions are now available for user testing.

Current status of indicator work - July 1998
A short summary of major issues concerning environment and sustainable development indicators

Towards Indicators of Sustainability
 (Wuppertal, 15-17 November 1995)
Reviews the concept of sustainability, the dimensions of sustainability, including the temporal dimension, looking beyond sustainability to sustainable development, the varieties of sustainable development, and some concepts for indicating sustainability.


Consultative Group on Sustainable Development Indicators
This is a small group, supported by the Wallace Global Fund and with a secretariat at IISD, whose mission is to promote cooperation, better coordination, and strategizing among key individuals and institutions working in the area of developing and using sustainable development indicators. A recent product of the group has been the Dashboard of Sustainability.

International Institute of Sustainable Development

What are indicators?

Who is doing what?
Information about the development and application of indicators and measurements of sustainable development at global, national, sub-national, regional, local and institutional levels.

How do you do it?
TheBELLAGIO PRINCIPLES - Guidelines for practical assessment of progress towards sustainable development.
Developed by an international group of measurement practitioners and researchers from five continents, meeting in Bellagio, Italy in November 1996.
Basic principles concerning the starting point, content, process and continuing capacity for assessing progress towards sustainable development using indicators.

Assessing Sustainable Development: Principles in Practice
Edited by Peter Hardi and Terrence Zdan
IISD, Winnepeg, 1997 - 166 p.
Case studies illustrating the Bellagio Principles.
To order or down-load as PDF: http://iisd1.iisd.ca/about/prodcat/perfrep.htm

Beyond Delusion: Science and Policy Dialogue on Designing Effective Indicators of Sustainable Development, 6-9 May 1999, San Jose Costa Rica

UN Division for Sustainable Development
Commission on Sustainable Development Indicators Programme

Programme of Work of the Commission on Sustainable Development on Indicators of Sustainable Development web site at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/isd.htm
Describes the work programme of the Division of Sustainable Development on indicators and the various reports produced, including those below.

Indicators of Sustainable Development: Framework and Methodologies - 2001
Background Paper No. 3 for the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York.
Contains the new set of 56 core indicators approved at the Commission on Sustainable Development in April 2001.

Indicators of Sustainable Development Framework and Methodologies - 1996
United Nations, New York, August 1996 - 428 p. The original "blue book" used by the testing countries from 1996-2001 and reported in their country reports. Includes methodologies for some 130 indicators  in the CSD Working List organized in the Driving Force - State - Response Framework.

Report on the Aggregation of Indicators of Sustainable Development - 2001
Background Paper No. 2 for the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York

Fourth International Workshop on Indicators of Sustainable Development
Prague, Czech Republic, 19-21 January 1998
Charles University Environmental Center, Prague, 1998 - 35 p.
Report available on-line at: http://www.czp.cuni.cz/Zakl/CSD/
Includes review of progress by pilot countries testing the CSD indicators

World Resources Institute

Recent indicator publications:

REEFS AT RISK: A Map-Based Indicator of Threats to the World's Coral Reefs
by Dirk Bryant, Lauretta Burke, John McManus and Mark Spaulding. 56 p.
WRI/ICLARM/WCMC/UNEP. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C., 1998
Web version: http://www.wri.org/wri/indictrs/reefrisk.htm

Resource Flows: The Material Basis of Industrial Economies
Albert Adriaanse et al.
World Resources Institute, Wuppertal Institute, Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, National Institute for Environmental Studies (Japan).
World Resources Institute, Washington, 1997 - 66 p.

Environmental Indicators: A Systematic Approach to Measuring and Reporting on Environmental Policy Performance in the Context of Sustainable Development
Allen Hammond et al.
World Resources Institute, Washington, 1995 - 53 p.

Environmental Indicators for Latin America and the Caribbean: Toward Land-Use Sustainability
Manuel Winograd
World Resources Institute, Washington, n.d. - 83 p.
(see also the CIAT/UNEP Environmental and Sustainability Indicators project below)

World Bank
Indicators web page: http://www-esd.worldbank.org/eei/

Expanding the Measure of Wealth: Indicators of Environmentally Sustainable Development. Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs Series, Number 17. The World Bank, Washington, D.C., March 1997 - 110 p.  For the methods used to compile the wealth estimates, see Kunte, A., K. Hamilton, J. Dixon, M. Clemens, Estimating National Wealth: Methodology and Results, Environmental Economics Series, Paper Number 57. The World Bank, January 1998.

Monitoring Environmental Progress: A Report on Work In Progress
ESD - Environmentally Sustainable Development
The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1995 - 82 p.

WWF Living Planet Index
WWF Living Planet Report - 2000 includes the Living Planet Index measuring the natural wealth of the earth's forests, freshwater ecosystems, and oceans and coasts.

IUCN - The World Conservation Union
Assessing Progress Towards Sustainability programme:
The System Assessment Method illustrated by the Well-being of Nations - June 1999
Community-based Indicators of Sustainable Development

United Nations Environment Programme

An Overview of Environmental Indicators: State of the art and perspectives
J. A. Bakkes, G.J. van den Born, J.C. Helder and R.J. Swart, C.W. Hope and J.D.E. Parker
RIVM/UNEP, 1994.  UNEP/EATR.94-01    RIVM/402001001

The GHG Indicator: UNEP Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Businesses and Non-Commercial Organisations prepared by Charles Thomas, Tessa Tennant and Jon Rolls for the UNEP Financial Services Initiatives, available as a pdf document at
 http://www.unep.ch/etu/finserv/insura/CO2-Main-Page.htm , June 2000. The Guidelines provide a methodology to account and report on greenhouse gas emissions, whereby information on fuel and energy use readily obtained by companies, governments, NGOs and other entities is converted and aggregated to compute GHG emissions. The step-by-step approach is accompanied by worksheets.

UNDP Human Development Index
UNDP Human Development Reports, issued each year, include human development indicators for 175 countries, summarized in the Human Development Index

Redefining Progress - General Progress Indicator
Why Bigger Isn't Better: The Genuine Progress Indicator --1999 Update. Redefining Progress, Oakland, California, 1999.

World Economic Forum -
Global Leaders of Tomorrow Environment Task Force
Environmental Sustainability Index - January 2001 
Prepared in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and the Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).
Compares 122 countries for environmental sustainability using 22 core indicators with 67 variables.
Report (2001): http://www.ciesin.org/indicators/ESI/downloads.html#report 

SCOPE/UNEP Reports on Indicators of Sustainable Development

SUSTAINABILITY INDICATORS: Report of the project on Indicators of Sustainable Development.  Bedrich Moldan and Suzanne Billharz (editors).  SCOPE 58.
John Wiley & Sons, Chichester and New York, 1997 - 415 p.
Published on behalf of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Commission of the European Communities, DGXI and DGXII, and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany.
The SCOPE project collected, coordinated and synthesized work on sustainability indicators from around the world.  This book assembles a rich diversity of perspectives and approaches, described by more than 50 contributors from many different countries and cultures working in a wide range of fields and organizations at all levels.

Other reports from the SCOPE/UNEP project available in printed form from Earthwatch:

Report of the Workshop on Indicators of Sustainable Development for Decision-Making.
Ghent, Belgium, 9-11 January 1995
UNEP/EAP.MR/95.1 - 128 p.

SCOPE Scientific Workshop on Indicators of Sustainable Development.
Wuppertal, Germany, 15-17 November 1995
Charles University Environmental Center, Prague, 1996 - 69 p.

Land Quality Indicators Initiative

Land Quality Indicators and their Use in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
Proceedings of the Workshop organized by the Land and Water Development Division, FAO Agriculture Department, and the Research, Extension and Training Division, FAO Sustainable Development Department, 25-26 January 1996.
FAO Land and Water Bulletin 5, Rome, 1997 - 212 p.

UNCHS Urban Indicators Programme

The Global Urban Observatory of UNCHS (Habitat) includes an Urban Indicators Programme described at http://www.urbanobservatory.org/indicators/ 
or http://www.undp.org/un/habitat/guo/uip.htm#uip 



OECD work on sustainable agriculture and the environment
with examples of indicators

Environmental Indicators for Agriculture
Volume 2:  Issues and Design -- The York Workshop
OECD Code (51 1999 05 1P)  ISBN 92-64-17041-3,  213 pages,
September  1999.
FF 240   US$40   DM72   £25   ¥ 4750
Available in French:
Indicateurs environnementaux pour l'agriculture
Volume 2:  Questions clés et conception  -- Le séminaire de York
OCDE Cote (51 1999 05 2P) ISBN 92-64-27041-8,   221 pages, Septembre 1999

Agreement on a set of agri-environmental indicators for policy use is on the verge of being accepted by OECD countries.  To be used by governments and other stakeholders for policy analysis, these indicators will eventually provide a series of key benchmarks to monitor change, and are potentially applicable to non-member OECD countries.

This book, the result of the OECD York Workshop in the United Kingdom attended by some of the leading experts in the field, examines two key aspects.  One discusses the identification of suitable indicators, the methodology to be used in their measurement and issues relating to interpretation. The other looks at how governments and other users would use indicators for policy purposes. In this context readers will learn of the differing OECD country experiences in developing and using agri-environmental indicators to assess policies and environmental

Among the thirteen agri-environmental indicator areas being developed by OECD, ten are covered in the book: soil quality, water quality, water use, land conservation, biodiversity, wildlife habitats, landscape, farm management, farm financial resources, and rural socio-cultural issues.  The
remaining three areas -- nutrient use, pesticide use and greenhouse gases -- are already more advanced and were examined in the first volume of the series Environmental Indicators for Agriculture.

This book is part of a series of publications entitled Environmental Indicators for Agriculture:

* Volume 1: Concepts and Framework, was initially released in 1997.

* Volume 3: Methods and Results, published in 2000, provides, for the first time, series of key agri-environmental indicators, across OECD countries, for the areas listed.

* Volume 4: to be published in 2001, will report work on the use of
indicators in policy analysis.

The publications can be ordered from the OECD Bookshop at: http://www.oecd.org/bookshop/
Further information concerning OECD work on Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment can be found at the following OECD web-site: http://www.oecd.org/agr/policy/ag-env/index.htm

CIAT/UNEP Environmental and Sustainability Indicators web page has the most recent information on this project developing indicators for Latin America and the Caribbean at
http://www.ciat.cgiar.org/indicators/project.html . The project has produced an Atlas de IndiCaDores ambientales y de sustentabilidad para América Latina y el Caribe, Version 1 1998 on CD-ROM.

European Commission, Eurostat and Joint Research Centre
Institute for Systems, Informatics and Safety (ISIS)
Environmental & Sustainable Development indicators: http://esl.jrc.it/envind/
including the "Dashboard of Sustainability". 
"Towards Environmental Pressure Indices for the EU": http://www.e-m-a-i-l.nu/tepi/
"A European System of Environmental Pressure Indices" European Commission, DG 34/F3 (Eurostat/Environment Unit) - April 1999: http://esl.jrc.it/envind/theory/handb_.htm 

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Towards Indicators of Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
United Nations, New York, 1997 - 98 p.  ST/ESCAP/1742


The South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) is continuing its work to develop an Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI). A first proposal for an Environmental Vulnerability Index appropriate for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was released by SOPAC on 4 February 1999 (see Executive Summary). This work was further developed at an Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) Think Tank, 7-10 September 1999 in Pacific Harbour, Fiji, for which a report is now available. A second phase report testing the index in 5 countries will be available soon.

The project responds to the request of the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action for SIDS to develop a vulnerability index, and complements work on economic and social vulnerability that has already demonstrated the disadvantages suffered by SIDS. SOPAC has established a homepage for the Environmental Vulnerability Index project on its web site at http://www.sopac.org.fj/Projects/Evi/index.html  where the reports can be obtained.

See also the Report of the ad hoc expert group meeting on vulnerability indices for small island developing States (New York, 15-16 December 1997)

Indicators relevant to the environmental vulnerability of islands can also be found in the Island Directory. These are specific to individual islands, rather than aggregated at the national level for SIDS.


CanadaEnvironment and Sustainable Development Indicators Initiative
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