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Sustainability Indicators: A Scientific Assessment (Scope)by Tomás Hák and Bedrich Moldan and Arthur Lyon Dahl
Synopses & Reviews
While the concept of sustainability has been widely embraced, it has been only vaguely defined and is exceedingly difficult to measure. Sustainability indicators are critical to making the broad concept of sustainability operational by providing specific measures by which decision makers and the public can judge progress.
Sustainability Indicators defines the present state of the art in indicator development. It presents a comprehensive assessment of the science behind various indicators, while placing special emphasis on their use as communications tools. The contributors draw on their experience as academics and practitioners to describe the conceptual challenges to measuring something as complex as sustainability at local, regional, national, and global scales. The book also reviews existing indicators to assess how they could be better employed, considering which indicators are overused and which have been underutilized.
Sustainability Indicators will help planners and policy makers find indicators that are ready for application and relevant to their needs, and will help researchers identify the unresolved issues where progress is most urgently needed. All readers will find advice as to the most effective ways to use indicators to support decision making.
Book News Annotation:
When it is not desirable or practical to wait a hundred years or so to find out whether a practice is sustainable--that is, always--organizations and governments develop indicators and indices they hope will predict the degree of sustainability. Mostly each develops its own, which means there are at least dozens, maybe hundreds in use. A team of Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment and the United Nations prepared this guide to assessing the reliability of such indicators. They also include some case studies. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Sustainability Indicators helps planners and policy makers find indicators that are ready for application and relevant to their needs, and will help researchers identify the unresolved issues where progress is most urgently needed. All readers will find advice as to the most effective ways to use indicators to support decision making.
About the Author
Tomás Hák is Deputy Director and Head of the Indicator Unit at Charles University Environment Center in Prague.
Professor Bedrich Moldan held the historic position of first Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic and is now Director of the Charles University Environment Center inPrague.
Arthur Dahl served as Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is now a consultant to UNEP and other international organizations.
The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) was established by the International Council for Science (ICSU) in 1969. It brings together natural and social scientists to identify emerging or potential environmental issues and to address jointly the nature and solution of environmental problems on a global basis.With its headquarters in Paris, France, SCOPE programs are conducted by volunteer scientists from every inhabited continent of the globe.
Table of Contents
List of figures, Tables, Boxes and Appendixes
Chapter 1. Challenges to Sustainability Indicators
PART I. Crosscutting Issues
Chapter 2. Meeting Conceptual Challenges
Chapter 3. Identifying Methodological Challenges
Chapter 4. Ensuring Policy Relevance
PART II. General Approaches
Chapter 5. Indicators: Boring Statistics or the Key to Sustainable Development?
Chapter 6. Sustainability Indicators: An Economist's View
Chapter 7. The Institutional Dimension of Sustainable Development
PART III. Methodological Aspects
Chapter 8. Frameworks for Environmental Assessment and Indicators at the EEA
Chapter 9. Frameworks for Policy Integration Indicators, for Sustainable Development, and for Evaluating Complex Scientific Evidence
Chapter 10. Integrated Assessment and Indicators
Chapter 11. Qualitative System Sustainability Index: A New Type of Sustainability Indicator
PART IV. System and Sectoral Approaches
Chapter 12. Indicators of Natural Resource Use and Consumption
Chapter 13. Indicators to Measure Decoupling of Environmental Pressure from Economic Growth
Chapter 14. Geobiosphere Load: Proposal for an Index
Chapter 15. Sustainable Development and the Use of Health and Environment Indicators
Chapter 16. Biodiversity Indicators
Chapter 17. Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP) as Indicator for Pressures on Biodiversity
PART V. Case studies
Chapter 18. The Development of UK Sustainable Development Indicators: Making Indicators Work
Chapter 19. Developing Tools for the Assessment of Sustainable Development in the Province of Brabant, the Netherlands
Chapter 20. Sustainability Assessment Indicators: Development of Practice in China
Chapter 21. A Core set of UNEP GEO Indicators Among Global Environmental Indices, Indicators, and Data
Chapter 22. Further Work Needed to Develop Sustainable Development Indicators
Chapter 23. Yale and Columbia Universities' Environmental Sustainability Index 2005
Annex: Menu of Selected Sustainable Development Indicators
List of Contributors
SCOPE Series List
SCOPE Executive-Committee 20052008
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