New Report from CIESIN and Yale Examines the Policy Uses of Environmental Indicators
Lead author of the study, Alex de Sherbinin, discusses the findings in a video interview on the Environmental Performance Index blogspot, where the report can also be accessed.
Over the past few years the number of environmental indices has increased dramatically. However, little attention has been given to how they have actually been used in policy and decision making. A new report produced by CIESIN and Yale University, Indicators in Practice: How Environmental Indicators Are Being Used in Policy and Management Contexts, addresses this gap by examining the role of indicators in environmental policy making, and by quantifying measurable impacts. The report assesses both the theory and practice of indicator use, drawing on a range of case studies from around the globe. The resulting case studies are available in the report and on Yale′s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) Web site as part of the ongoing Indicators in Practice project.
Three potential applications for indicators emerged from among the diverse possibilities: use by policymakers to help choose a course of action; broad, conceptual use of indicators to frame an issue for society; and the political role of indicators, helping to make a case for or against policy action.
CIESIN senior research associate Alex de Sherbinin was lead author of the report, written with deputy director Marc Levy and researchers Aaron Reuben and Laura Johnson from the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. YCELP and CIESIN produce the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which every two years ranks more than 130 countries based on 22 performance indicators. A video interview with de Sherbinin discusses the report′s findings. The study will continue to track the evolving uses and impacts of environmental indicators, adding new case studies as they are produced to the Indicator Case Studies Web site.
See: Report: Indicators in Practice (2.99 MB PDF)