A Set of Sustainability Indicators Related to High-priority Policy Issues

By Hasnat Dewan.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since the publication of the Brundtland Commission Report numerous definitions of sustainability and many different sets of sustainability indicators have been proposed by researchers and various stakeholders. However, the quest for a useful composite index and a set of sustainability indicators related to high-priority policy issues still continues. This paper gives a brief overview of popular sustainability indicator initiatives; and proposes a working definition of sustainability and a framework for integrating the large number of sustainability indicators into a smaller set of indicators. It defines sustainability in terms of human development, equity, damages to natural and social conditions, and future development potential. The set of indicators include economic, environmental, social, and cultural variables. Economic growth, environmental conditions, public debt, and productivity growth are some of the key indicators in the proposed set of sustainability indicators making it a set of high-priority policy issues. Like the stock market indices and the weather forecasts, which are reported daily in the news, the levels and changes of these sustainability indicators can be reported at regular intervals as part of local and national sustainability report cards.

Keywords: Sustainability, Sustainability Indicators, Sustainable Development, Sustainability Report Card

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.145-156. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 312.760KB).

Dr. Hasnat Dewan

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, School of Business & Economics, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Hasnat Dewan is an Associate Professor of Economics at Thompson Rivers University in Canada. He taught Economics at four other universities in the USA, Canada, China, and Bangladesh. He is a recipient of several Teaching Excellence Awards. Dr. Dewan also worked as a partner/researcher in three consulting firms. He earned his MA in International & Development Economics from Yale University and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. A Fulbright scholar, Dr. Dewan was awarded the highest university-wide academic honour, the Asadul Kabir Gold Medal, for his outstanding results in the B.Sc. (Honours) Exam. His current research projects include Measurements of Sustainable and Human Development, Sustainability Assessment of a Small City, Pollution and Optimum City Size, Microcredit Industry, Banking Crises, and Poverty and Inequality.