An data. A set of systematically chosen indicators

indicator is something that assists in understanding where you are, which way
you are going and how far you are from where you want to be. Imitating the same
notion with respect to environment gives us the real definition of
sustainability indicators. Through indicators, we understand where our
environment currently is, which way it is heading and how far our environment
is from where it is supposed to be. A good indicator warns you to a problem
before it gets too bad and helps you in recognizing what needs to be done in
order to fix the problem. Indicators of sustainability development indicate
those areas where the connections between the economy, environment and society
are weak. Sustainable development indicators may include texts, maps, graphics
and tabular data. A set of systematically chosen indicators can be used,
allowing a better coverage of the key issues and more transparency. By
utilising the same set of indicators over time, the progress can be monitored,
provided consistent coverage from one assessment period to another. An
effective indicator should be relevant and reliable, easy to understand, cost
effective and usable. For example, the ISEW (index of sustainable economics-economic
indicator), it basically subtracts from the GDP corrections for harmful
consequences of economic activity and adds to the GDP corrections for
significant activities such as unpaid domestic labour.  One of the
uses of ISEW is that it accounts for depletion of resources by estimating the
cost to replace a barrel of oil equivalent with the same amount of energy from
a renewable source. Indices are also the measure of sustainability which
provides more nuanced perspective on development than economic aggregates such
as GDP. Some of the common indices are HDI, EF, ESI, EPI and WEF. Taking HDI as
an example, Human Development Index (HDI) basically combines several
indicators, with 1.0 being the highest achievable value. These indicators
are life expectancy, education and GDP (gross domestic
product). Specifically, it covers life expectancy at birth, literacy of
the adult population, enrolment in primary, secondary and higher education,
gross domestic product per capita. Difference between indicators and indices is
that an index consists of multiple indicators combined into a composite
aggregated unit. The selection of indicators for use in the index involves the
use of a series of criteria to ensure that appropriate indicators are selected.




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