Sustainable Development Indicators: A Review of Paradigms

Sustainable Development Indicators: A Review of Paradigms

Mihai Mieila (Valahia University of Târgoviste, Romania) and Valerica Toplicianu (Valahia University of Târgoviste, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4098-6.ch017
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Since the economic development ceased to represent by itself the main issue in achieving human well-being—at least for western societies—scientists have discovered that the sustainability may represent an even more significant threat for human civilisation in a fundamental sense, almost irrespective of material wealth. Sustainability assumes that the economic development is deployed in compliance with the other facets of human demand for well-being: preservation of biodiversity and climate, the human rights, the integrate approach of distributional justice, etc. Evaluation of development sustainability represents a real scientific challenge, proved by the wide variety of indicators in existing national and international sets. The Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) are the practical tool that address the balance between the development and sustainability, ensures evaluation and translation of knowledge into meaningful and manageable units of information to support analyses and research, and to inform planning and decision-making. There are pointed out the fundamentals of SDIs design and theoretic specific frameworks. As the majority of indicators are applicable straightforward, the main focus in presentation is upon the calculation algorithm of aggregate SDIs. In this respect, the chapter comprises the estimation algorithm of capital components of wealth; also, there are introduced the human life quality and environmental indicators, that can represent a suitable complement of wealth measurement, for a comprehensive development in agreement with the surrounding nature, society, and respect for future generations.
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From Definition To Measurement

Defining sustainable development is just the first step. As there are difficulties in precisely defining of the concept, it is difficult to agree on a single limited set of measurement indicators.

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