On designing socio-ecological indicators
Book chapter, 1992
There is a need for indicators which capture the essential parts of society in the maladjustments of its physical relations to nature. The socio-ecological indicators should contribute to the control mechanisms that are urgently needed if society is to be able to redirect itself to a path of development which is subordinated to sustainable interactions with nature. An analysis of various factors important to the design of socio-ecological indicators is performed here. An important aspect of the socio-ecological indicators is that they will focus on parts situated early in the cause-effect chain. This implies better possibilities for foresights when dealing with the global, complex, or diffuse problems in connection to sustainability. The indicators can be useful in many situations: as a support for discussions among decisions-makers and the general public, as a part of environmental impact analysis, and as a tool in the evaluation of various plans or projects.