A conceptual framework for selecting environmental indicator sets ecological indicators
- David Niemeijer, Rudolf S. de Groot
In recent years, the sustainable indicators have become prominent in the evaluation of minesite rehabilitation and sustainable development. A great many sustainability indicators have been proposed by rehabilitation scientists. However, in many studies no formal selection criteria are mentioned and when selection criteria are used they are typically applied to indicators individually. As a result, the indicator selection process is subject to more or less arbitrary decisions, and reports dealing with a similar subject matter or similar geographical entities may use widely different indicators and consequently paint different pictures of the environment.In this paper we present a conceptual framework for the quality evaluation and prioritization of sustainability indicators. The framework is based on DPSIR theory. The framework was conceived in support of methodological studies to identify, evaluate and interpret indicators of land quality. The concept of causal networks can facilitate the identification of the most relevant indicators for a specific domain, problem and location, leading to an indicator set that is at once transparent, efficient and powerful in its ability to assess the state of the environment.