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 29: How can environmental pressure indices be used to help societies monitor progress in achieving their Agenda 21 goals?

D. Huisingh

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


D. Huisingh 1. INTRODUCTION The European Commission is to be lauded for its efforts to develop environmental pressure indicators/indices (EPIs).1 Such initiatives are indicative of a growing awareness of the need for and the will to invest human efforts and financial resources in helping European societies monitor their progress towards the elusive goal of sustainability. During the process of development of these EPIs, extensive information was used and inputs from numerous people involved in waste management were solicited. Such broad-ranging consensus-building activities are very important and help us all to gain a deeper appreciation of the complexities facing us in contemporary society. I am encouraged by this initiative but also seriously concerned that the proposed EPIs will do little to help our societies make the progress toward sustainable development that is so urgently needed. Because of this concern, much of the chapter is devoted to posing questions and making suggestions for developing and using other indices and other tools together with the proposed EPIs. 2. USE OF EPIs ALONGSIDE OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TOOLS Before the EPIs are implemented, we need to address the following questions to increase the opportunities for success. G Overall, how will the EPIs be used to help EU countries make progress and monitor that progress in achieving their goals under Agenda 21? 260 D. Huisingh G G G 261 G G G G G G How will the effectiveness of these EPIs be measured? And who will monitor it? How will improvements in EPIs...

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