Towards a Theoretical Basis for Applied Ecological Economics
1994 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
The paper deals with the planning/public policy instruments sustainability indicators, standards and criteria, which aim at evaluating whether, in which sense and to what extent the evolution of societal and natural systems leads towards sustainability.
Traditionally, environmental quality indicators are conceived as numerical values of the state or the development of specific biotic or abiotic levels or flows, often expressed in biological, physical or chemical terms. The ecological bioindicators represent a well-known example. However, environmental quality can also be viewed in a perspective encompassing social science aspects as well as the natural science ones. This has led to the idea of sustainability criteria, which are concepts embracing social and natural aspects of sustainability.
The basic idea of sustainability criteria is to make the implicit assumptions underlying indicators and standards explicit and thereby amenable to scientific analysis. They should be used in combination with indicators and standards. The formulation of the criteria directs the choice and definition of the indicators. The criteria have to be based on scarcity concepts and associated natural limits to sustainable development. The properties and implications of some such limits are discussed.
The paper embraces both the theoretical basis and opportunities and obstacles for the application of sustainability criteria
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sustainability policy instruments, indicator, standard, criterion, sustainable resource use
Research subject Environmental and Energy Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-24985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-24985DiVA: diva2:598759
Paper presented at the INTECOL VI, Manchester, England 21-26 August 1994