Category: Indicators


templatemo_image_04Defining Indicators

Environmental vulnerability has been characterised by three components or sub-indices. These sub-indices focus on ecosystem integrity and how it is threatened by anthropogenic and natural hazards. To be able to capture the complexity of these aspects of environmental vulnerability requires the development of a variety of indicators that target different spatial and temporal scales and hierarchical levels of the ecosystem. International initiatives to measure environmental condition or change range have developed anywhere from 4 to 260 indicators with increasing numbers being used to assess sustainable development progress or state of environment.

The EVI utilises 50 ‘smart indicators’ to capture the key elements of environmental vulnerability. The term ‘smart indicators’ has been used to define EVI indicators which aim to capture a large number of elements in a complex interactive system while simultaneously showing how the value obtained relates to some ideal condition. The basic assumption of smart indicators is that the value of a chosen indicator is a culmination of perhaps millions of transactions that must have been operating appropriately to result in the value obtained. Thankfully, this does not require our full knowledge of every transaction because if this were a requirement, we would never be able to use indicators at all. Simply it’s a bit like measuring our body temperature as an indicator of our health. If we have a high temperature it is a symptom of a potential health problem and we then rely on further tests and our doctor’s experience to find out what may be wrong. Indicators, like temperature in this case, do not tell us exactly what is wrong but are a helpful gauge that identifies a potential problem that requires further investigation.

How Indicators were Selected

The indicators selected for use in the EVI are based on the best scientific understanding currently available and have been developed in consultation with international experts, country experts, other agencies and interest groups. Some important environmental vulnerability issues are not yet  measured because relevant data or robust measurement techniques are not yet available. However with new technological advances especially in the area of remote sensing further indicators may be developed for use in the EVI. The refinement of indicators and search for more appropriate smart indicators is on-going. The 50 indicators been selected to measure environmental vulnerability are detailed below. Each indicator is classified into a range of sub-indices including the three aspects of hazards; resistance and damage and into policy-relevant sub-indices including:

Climate Change = CC | Biodiversity = CBD | Water = W | Agriculture and fisheries = AF | Human health aspects = HH | Desertification = CCD | Exposure to Natural disasters = D

Each indicator is also accompanied by a short form key name, detailed definition, keywords and a description of the main signals for which it is a proxy as well as the indicator’s policy relevance.

Indicators list

1. HIGH WINDS
2. DRY PERIODS
3. WET PERIODS
4. HOT PERIODS
5. COLD PERIODS
6. SEA TEMPERATURES
7. VOLCANOES
8. EARTHQUAKES
9. TSUNAMIS
10. SLIDES
11. LAND AREA
12. COUNTRY DISPERSION
13. ISOLATION
14. RELIEF
15. LOWLANDS
16. BORDERS
17. ECOSYSTEM IMBALANCE
18. ENVIRONMENTAL OPENNESS
19. MIGRATIONS
20. ENDEMICS
21. INTRODUCTIONS
22. ENDANGERED SPECIES
23. EXTINCTIONS
24. VEGETATION COVER
25. LOSS OF COVER
26. HABITAT FRAGMENTATION
27. DEGRADATION
28. TERRESTRIAL RESERVES
29. MARINE RESERVES

30. INTENSIVE FARMING
31. FERTILISERS
32. PESTICIDES
33. BIOTECHNOLOGY
34. PRODUCTIVITY OVERFISHING
35. FISHING EFFORT
36. RENEWABLE WATER
37. SULPHUR DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
38. WASTE PRODUCTION
39. WASTE TREATMENT
40. INDUSTRY
41. SPILLS
42. MINING
43. SANITATION
44. VEHICLES
45. POPULATION
46. POPULATION GROWTH
47. TOURISTS
48. COASTAL SETTLEMENTS
49. ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS
50. CONFLICTS

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1 High Winds

1---High-Winds

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2 Dry Periods

2---Dry-Periods

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3 Wet Periods

3---Wet-Periods

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4 Hot Periods

4---Hot-Periods

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5 Cold Periods

5---Cold-Periods

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