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Development of sustainable development indicators at the global level: experiences, challenges, and lessons learned Mersie Ejigu Executive Director, PAES.

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Presentation on theme: "Development of sustainable development indicators at the global level: experiences, challenges, and lessons learned Mersie Ejigu Executive Director, PAES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Development of sustainable development indicators at the global level: experiences, challenges, and lessons learned Mersie Ejigu Executive Director, PAES March 2011

2 Overview of Presentation  Sustainable development (SD) as a global agenda: evolution and status  Development of SD indicators – a brief review –UNCSD’s work and the current set of indicators (2007) –The World Bank –UNEP, UNDP, etc. –UN Statistical Office – role and work –Work of global NGOs (IISD, Global Foot Print, etc.) –Universities and other academic institutions  Lessons learned  Planned activities and priorities

3 Sustainable development is about:  People and for people; with people behaving rationally, responsibly, and selflessly across space and generations  Postulates that used natural resources need to be replaced by an equal amount (quantity and quality) to offset depletion  Balanced and integrated pursuit of economic growth, social wellbeing, and protection of the environment  Managing tradeoffs with an integrated short, medium, and long term perspective  Nationally owned and driven processes

4 Sustainable development is about (cont.):  Continuous process of growth and improvement in living standards, quality of life, productivity, educational, cultural, and political well being of the people while maintaining the quantity and quality of environmental resources.  Sound governance; expansion of human capabilities;  Involves all sectors and sections of society

5 Sustainable Development Dimensions

6 Economic Dimension of SD:  Optimal and efficient use of scarce resources to meet human needs  Growth that takes into account social and environmental changes (negative and positive)  Entailed shifts in economic theory from:  efficient allocation to efficient use of resources  classical production factors to new forms of wealth: natural capital, human capital, and produced capital  national income accounting from a flow to a stock/flow approach – massive effort on biodiversity valuation

7 Social dimension of SD  Is about people (human capital), the maintenance of different cultures, diversity, pluralism and effective grass-roots participation in decision- making  Intra and intergenerational equity  Equal and affordable access to minimum standards of living, education, health, security, human rights, basic needs and benefits  Opportunity to be gainfully employed, productively contribute to society, and the possibilities for individuals to receive just and fair rewards for their contributions

8 Environment Dimension of SD  The totality of all biophysical resources, ecosystem services and functions, external conditions and factors that affect the development and survival of all species including human beings  Relation between human beings and nature and how they impact one another.  The maintenance of the stability of bio-physical systems as well as resilience and dynamic capacity of such systems to adapt to change through conservation, sustainable use and management of biodiversity.

9 Governance Dimension of SD  Encompasses institutions, policies, tradition, customs, relational networks, laws and structures governing and regulating a community and common property, rule of law, effective participation in development, transparent and accountable processes, respect for citizens and their rights, state legitimacy, access to information, and political empowerment of people.  Determines who has access to natural resources and who does not, when and how such resources are utilized, and how they are managed and protected.  Glue that bonds the economic, social, and environmental pillars and makes sustainable development operational

10 Governance Dimension of SD (cont.) Creating enabling conditions for people to be creative and use their ingenuity, and be free from any kind of insecurity arising from social marginalization, environmental stress, pollution, drought, and desertification

11 Sustainable development as a business strategy

12 Why Indicators? Why bother? In a simple language:  Know where you are  Where you want to go  Where you are going / retreating to  How far you have gone  Why you have not gone far and what is blocking you?

13 Indicators: key functions  Advocacy function  Policy function  Development management function  Planning function  Resource (human, material, financial) mobilization function  Monitoring and performance assessment function including on global commitments

14 What makes SD indicators different?  Show, in an integrated fashion, the state of economic, social, and environmental wellbeing and changes taking place in a sector, system, institution, community, country, or region  Point out areas of strong or weak links between economic growth, social wellbeing, and environmental protection  Require a combined approach- assessment, measurement, use as well as testing, learning, improving,

15 UNCSD: Development of SD Indicators  1995: First draft indicator set developed jointly by the Division for Sustainable Development and the Statistics Division (UNDESA): >134 indicators for discussion with organisations within the UN and other international organizations, both intergovernmental and non-governmental  1996: Indicator methodology published in the “Blue book”

16 UNCSD: Development of SD Indicators (cont.)  : 22 countries from across the world voluntarily pilot-tested the indicator set  1999 – 2000: The results of the national testing were evaluated, the indicator set was revised  2001: The revised set of CSD indicators was reduced to 58 indicators, embedded in a policy- oriented framework of themes and sub-themes

17 UNCSD: Development of SD Indicators (cont.)  2005: the DSD started a process to review the Indicators  The coherence between CSD and MDG indicators was also assessed  Two EGMs were held, ongoing communication with different agencies  2007: The publication ‘Indicators of Sustainable Development: Guidelines and Methodologies’

18 Current set of indicators (2007)  Third version  Contains a core set of 50 indicators,  These core indicators are part of a larger set of 96 indicators of sustainable development,  The set retains the thematic/sub-thematic framework that was adopted in 2001

19 Current set of indicators (2007)

20 The World Bank:  Developed the new notion of wealth that embraces sustainable development:  Natural capital  Human capital  Produced capital

21 The World Bank (cont.): Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) –  measures overall economic wellbeing sustainability of a country by adjusting GDP for social costs (crime, automobile accidents, commuting, family breakdown, loss of leisure time, underemployment) and environmental costs (household pollution abatement, water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, loss of wetlands, loss of farmlands, depletion of non- renewable resources, long-term environmental damage, ozone depletion, and loss of old-growth forests).

22 The World Bank (cont.): Genuine Domestic Savings (GDS).  Shows changes in all capital forms: physical capital (generated by applying human skills and know-how on natural capital); human capital (stock of capabilities-productive capacities of individuals acquired or inherited) and natural capital (natural resources and ecosystem services)  Traditional approaches measure savings and investment are income-based that exclude the natural and human capital.

23 UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI)  measures national progress through the indexation of three socio-economic indicators: longevity, knowledge, and standard of living.  Often considered as an alternative to GDP, although not yet universally accepted by the scientific community and internalized at the national level. It entails considerable investment in national statistical offices to enable them generate the data required for developing the index.

24 UNECE/OECD  UNECE/OECD/EUROSTAT Task Force on Measuring Sustainable Development “  pursues the conceptual development of the capital approach  Report will be released in June 2011

25 Yale University Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI).  M easure sustainability by using the environment as an entry point and gauging the ability of nations to protect the environment through tracking “natural resource endowments, past and present pollution levels, environmental management efforts, and the capacity of a society to improve its environmental performance.  Focus in on five issues: environmental systems, reducing environmental stresses, reducing human vulnerability to environmental stresses, societal and institutional capacity to respond to environmental challenges, and global stewardship.

26 Monitoring Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability  Ecological Foot Print Measure sustainability by calculating human consumption requirements of the earth’s surface through aggregating the quantities of energy and renewable resources – minerals excluded – that a society (at any level from country to community, household, sector or business) consumes. This consumption is then converted into a common unit of area: the area of productive land and sea required to supply the same resources and absorb the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. (.

27 Monitoring Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability (cont,)  The Barometer of Sustainability.  Developed by IUCN-the World Conservation Union and IDRC  Based on the premise that economic growth, social and environmental wellbeing are inseparable and integral parts of what the authors call the “egg” of sustainable development.  Characterize a performance scale which the user can mark as desirable, acceptable, or unacceptable to ensure that ecosystem and human well-being are mutually supportive.

28 Monitoring Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability (cont.)  Dashboard of Sustainability: –Developed by IISD –Named after a vehicle’s instrument panel and presented in visual format, displays performance toward (or away from) sustainability. –Key features: performance evaluation with individual indicators and aggregate indices; country comparison with distribution curves and maps; comparison within country groups; and linkage analysis and scatter plots

29 Monitoring Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability (cont.):  Governance Research Indicators Country Snapshot (GRICS). appraises how “governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them by focusing on six dimensions of governance: voice and accountability; political stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality; rule of law; and control of Corruption

30 Monitoring Progress Toward Sustainability (cont.):  Natural resource accounts (NRA) and material/energy balances (MEB) measure physical exchanges between the economy and the environment natural resource accounts record changes in the stocks of raw materials such as minerals or timber material/energy balances record the flows of materials and energy from the environment to the economy, through the economy, and back to the environment as pollution and wastes.

31 Reporting on Progress Toward Sustainability - UNEP  The Global Environment Outlook (GEO). a comprehensive report on the global state of the environment, trends, challenges, and the way forward to improving environmental management. Since initiated immediately after the publication of Agenda 21, GEO is on its fifth year with GEO-5 expected in One of the unique features of GEO is its use of wide ranging data sources and highly participatory and consultative approach to its preparation involving leading scientists, environmental experts and key policymakers within a well coordinated global network of collaborating centers.

32 Reporting on Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability – CBD  Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). –Currently on its third edition, –Draws upon a range of information sources to report on status and trends of biodiversity and implementation of CBD

33 Monitoring Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability – UNEP :  The African Environment Outlook (AEO) –First publication in 2002, AEO has become the most authoritative, influential, and valuable source of comprehensive information on environment and development in Africa. –Published every four years, AEO tracks country, sub- regional and regional state of the environment, trends, threats, opportunities, and emerging issues. “Some 22 countries and five sub-regions have produced their environment outlook reports using the AEO methodology –Has well developed list of themes, priority issues, lead indicators, type of indicators, and indication of sources of data, AEO is a valuable reference for this SD indicators work.

34 Reporting on Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability: UNCCD  Performance Review and Assessment of the Implementation System (PRAIS). Designed to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the UNCCD Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Framework. The PRAIS has set up 18 performance indicators and 11 impact indicators. Although require further refinement, impact indicators show conditions of the livelihoods of the affected populations, conditions of the affected ecosystems, and the global benefit generated by the implementation of the Ten Year Strategic Plan.

35 Reporting on Progress Toward or Retreat from Sustainability: UNECA  SDRA I  SDRA II  SDRA III

36 Lessons learned  Need for continuous review of SD indicators based on the experiences gained by countries in applying and adapting the set of indicators  Global environmental and social awareness significantly raised, particularly by  HDI’s comprehensive approach to human resource had a profound effect in the development practitioners, researchers, and academicians view of societal advancement.  ECOFOOT, similarly, had enormous effect on how people see their consumption behavior in relation to the earth’s resourcesd practices into permanent work programmes was considered important

37 Lessons learned (cont.)  However, their influence on country level policies and operations has been very limited, at best and non-existent, at worst  Even with CSD indicators integrating them into national development policies and transforming them as national level indicators was far less than desired  The initial CSD indicator set was considered to be too large to be easily managed, hence reduced significantly. But what is the ideal number of indicators?

38 Lessons learned (cont.)  Compartmentalization (silo syndrome), hence the need for developing a multidisciplinary mindset: transcending sectoral interests  Absence of effective and capable institutions responsible for coordinating and guiding sustainable development  Data availability and reliability continue to be a problem in many countries

39 Thank You


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