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9 - Indicators for sustainable development

from Part One - The TARGETS model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Jan Rotmans
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
Bert de Vries
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
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Summary

The most widely used social, economic and environmental indicators are scale, sector or subject-specific. Indicators for sustainable development, however, need to address the linkages between different aspects of global change and this requires a systemic approach. One way of systematically structuring the interlinkages between indicators is by using integrated assessment models. In this chapter we discuss indicators from a modeller's point of view, including their use for communicating model results. A hierarchical framework is introduced for models in general and TARGETS in particular.

Introduction

Indicators are pieces of information designed to communicate complex messages in a simplified, (quasi-)quantitative manner so that progress in the field of decision-making can be measured. Social and economic indicators have been used for decades at both the national and international level. More recently, environmental indicators have been developed, which are not yet as widely adopted as socio-economic indicators. The most widely used social, economic and environmental indicators are scale, sector or subject-specific. Indicators for sustainable development, however, need to address the interlinkages between the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development. Because there are so many different linkages at different levels, this requires a systemic approach. One way of systematically structuring the interlinkages between indicators is by using models, in particular integrated assessment models.

Chapter 40 of Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992) calls for the development of indicators for sustainable development, at multiple levels. Indicators for sustainable development are needed in order to provide decision-makers with information on sustainable development that is simpler and more readily understood than raw or even analysed data (Billharz and Molda, 1995).

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Chapter
Information
Perspectives on Global Change
The TARGETS Approach
, pp. 187 - 204
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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  • Indicators for sustainable development
  • Edited by Jan Rotmans, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands, Bert de Vries, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
  • Book: Perspectives on Global Change
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564543.011
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  • Indicators for sustainable development
  • Edited by Jan Rotmans, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands, Bert de Vries, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
  • Book: Perspectives on Global Change
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564543.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Indicators for sustainable development
  • Edited by Jan Rotmans, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands, Bert de Vries, National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
  • Book: Perspectives on Global Change
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564543.011
Available formats
×