Compendium of data and indicators for sustainable development in Benin, Bhutan, Costa Rica and the Netherlands
In 1994, the Netherlands' Government signed three bilateral Sustainable Development Agreements with the Governments of Bhutan, Benin and Costa Rica. Initiatives taken within this framework resulted in a quadrilateral project with these four participating countries to develop indicators for sustainable development.
This report presents a first overview of data on social, economic and environmental issues in the four countries, collected from reports by international and multilateral organisations (e.g. World Bank and World Resources Institute) and occasionally from national information sources. Many of the presented data could be regarded as potential indicators for sustainable development, although comparison of the four countries is still complicated due to a lack of a comprehensive and universally accepted definition of sustainable development and a lack of data and reliable data for certain issues.
Quantitative data and indicators for issues such as human welfare or cultural aspects of sustainable development are almost non-existent. The comparison of data gives some insight in the simalarities and differences between the four countries with regard to sustainable development issues, but better data collection, tuning of methodologies and indicator selection could improve this. This first attempt to relate the countries using more-or-less comparable indicators shows the progress of the Netherlands in realising sustainable development to be no more advanced than that of Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica. The strategy for reaching this target, however, varies from country to country.
|Author(s)||Vuuren DP van ; Kruijf HAM de|