From: T.V. Padma, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published February 10, 2012 08:39 AM

Call for new indicators of sustainable development

[NEW DELHI] The world must develop different indicators on sustainable development that are not biased against developing countries, a major conference has heard.


Bharrat Jagdeo, former president of Guyana, said current assessments and rankings use indicators such as access to potable water and sanitation, or malaria levels, which automatically rank developed countries higher.

He was speaking at the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in India last week (2–4 February), organised by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI).

The conference was attended by UN officials, former and current heads of state, ministers, government officials and representatives from the private sector, and comes in the run-up to the major UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) this June.

Last year, at regional workshops organised in preparation for the Rio+20 summit, scientific communities from Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean suggested a new development index should take into account environmental, social and economic indicators.

These workshops' synthesis report, published by the International Council for Science and UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) last month (27 January), called on Rio+20 to construct an "appropriate sustainable development index that will become the true measure of development" as "a matter of high priority".

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Guyana image via Shutterstock

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