Sunday, January 27, 2008

The 2008 Environmental Performance Index

There's a wealth of data and cautionary thoughts in the latest installment of the Environmental Performance Index. The EPI "ranks 149 countries on 25 indicators tracked across six established policy categories: Environmental Health, Air Pollution, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Climate Change. The EPI identifies broadly-accepted targets for environmental performance and measures how close each country comes to these goals. As a quantitative gauge of pollution control and natural resource management results, the Index provides a powerful tool for improving policymaking and shifting environmental decisionmaking onto firmer analytic foundations."

The summary for policymakers notes, among other things, that, "the overall data quality and availability is alarmingly poor. The absence of broadly-collected and methodologically-consistent indicators for even the most basic concerns such as water quality–and the complete lack of time-series data for most countries–hampers efforts to shift pollution control and natural resource management onto more empirical foundations. To address these gaps, policymakers should (1) invest environmental data monitoring, indicators, and reporting; (2)set clear policy targets on the full range of important issues; and (3) undergird environmental protection efforts with performance metrics at the global, regional, national, state/provincial, local, and corporate scales."

They also supply a spreadsheet with their data, making it easy for everyone to sift through the numbers. Well worth a look.

Photo by Tomomarusan.

No comments: