A Groundbreaking Set of Measures on the State of the World Ranks 180 Countries by Human Development and Environmental Conservation
Sweden 1st, United States 27th, Turkey 129th, Afghanistan 179th
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Sustainability consultant Robert Prescott-Allen will announce the findings of his new book, The Wellbeing of Nations: A Country-by-Country Index of Quality of Life and the Environment (Island Press, October 11, 2001, Cloth $50.00, Paper $25.00) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars today. His assessment concludes that nations around the globe sacrifice their environment for high standards of living. The method, developed and used by Prescott-Allen, is a new set of measures that ranks 180 countries by examining human wellbeing as conditioned by the health of the environment. This has never before been done systematically. The findings include: * The top-ranking countries (Sweden, Finland, and Norway) have achieved their advanced standard of living at great expense to the environment-the others in this group include Canada (ranked 7th), Germany (13th), Australia (18th), Japan (24th), the United States (27th), and the United Kingdom (33rd) * 116 countries have weak environmental development and inadequate social development-the worst performers are Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq * 27 countries (mostly in Africa) make low demands on the their ecosystems, but are desperately poor * Europe and North America have the worst water and air quality, and are, by far, the main producers of greenhouse gases * 4 billion people live in countries with a poor or bad level of human development less than one billion live in countries with a fair or good standard of living Indicators like the Gross Domestic Product have been typically relied on as signs of prosperity and wellbeing. To the contrary, these measures completely neglect many aspects of the economy and all non-monetary contributors to human fulfillment. They ignore the state of the ecosystem and either omit environmental and social costs or count them as benefits if they cause money to change hands. Prescott-Allen's Wellbeing Assessment Method extends the approach of indicators to the field of sustainable development. His method includes 36 indicators of socioeconomic conditions (including income distribution, health, education, freedom, security, and peace), and 51 indicators of the state of the environment (including biodiversity, pollution, and resource depletion). The Wellbeing Assessment Method was developed with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and IUCN-The World Conservation Union. Robert Prescott-Allen has been a consultant on sustainable development for 20 years. Since 1993 he has designed and advised on sustainability assessments and provided assessment training in the Americas, Africa, and Asia, working with the United Nations, governments, environment and development organizations, communities, and industry. The Wellbeing of Nations is published by Island Press, the International Development Research Centre and in cooperation with IUCN -- The World Conservation Union, International Institute for Environment and Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Map Maker Ltd., and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. For more information about the assessment, the book, the author, and the sponsoring organizations, please log on to http://www.islandpress.org . The report will be launched on October 11th at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 6th Floor Conference Room, 12-1:30pm, featuring Thomas E. Lovejoy of The World Bank, and Melinda Kimble, Senior Vice President for Programs, United Nations Foundation. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X11380530
SOURCE Island Press
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