The new Little Green Data Book 2013: new indicator should show progress towards sustainable development

For 13 years, the Little Green Data Book has been taking the pulse of development and environment using more than 50 indicators for more than 200 countries. The world bank recently published its new booklet and added a new indicator —Adjusted Net Savings—to contribute to the post-2015 development dialogue.

15 July 2013, Washington - When leaders from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio +20), one of the main outcomes was to launch a process to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals could define the post-2015 agenda, building on the Millennium Development Goals. Issues currently being discussed for SDGs cover the three pillars of sustainability—economic, social, and environmental. Yet, many countries do not have the information they need on the state of their environment and natural resources—whether in terms of GDP or from other conventional indicators. Increasingly, they need a new generation of metrics to monitor sustainable development at the macroeconomic level. One of the key indicators in the Little Green Data Book, Adjusted Net Savings (ANS), allows countries to do just that. Also known as genuine savings, ANS shows whether a country is on the path to sustainable development (see box on regional Adjusted Net Saving Rate on page vi in the booklet). It monitors whether depletion of natural capital, such as minerals or forests, is compensated for by investment in other assets, such as human capital or infrastructure. A positive ANS indicates that a country is adding to its overall wealth and that economic growth is on a sustainable path. In resource-rich countries in particular, macroeconomic indicators such as ANS can be a useful complement to GDP, providing a more comprehensive lens on the long-term sustainability of economic growth.

You can find the book and the original text here.
Tags: Ecosystem valuation | Communication | Extractive Industry

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