Table of Contents

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.

Chapter 19: Introduction

A. Viergever and W. Sauer

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


A. Viergever1 and W. Sauer 1. BACKGROUND Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, has embarked on a project to define pressure indicators for ten of the major policy fields within the EU’s environmental policy, as laid down in the Fifth Environmental Action Programme (5EAP).2 One of these ten policy fields is Resource Depletion, which is the subject of this part of the volume. Elements of the Eurostat project comprise the operationalization of the ten policy fields in terms of delimitation with respect to other policy fields. Three essays, drafted by noted experts within each policy field, contributed to this aim and also provided a starting-point for the development of a limited set of about thirty indicators per policy field. Based on these essays, the suggestions made by the ‘Scientific Advisory Groups’ (SAGs – some 200–300 experts per policy field throughout the EU) and the expertise from earlier projects, INFOPLAN Environmental Consultants, contractors of Eurostat, have created a framework allowing the delimitation, aggregation and positioning of indicators for Resource Depletion on a European scale. The potential indicators were obtained by sending a questionnaire to the SAG for Resource Depletion, asking for suggestions. This produced a huge and heterogeneous set of indicators, which had to be reduced to a ‘manageable’ set of specific pressure indicators for Resource Depletion, to be used as the basis for the second round of the survey – the ranking of the indicators. Similar suggestions were grouped into pressure indicators which are...