Archive for February, 2012

Updated: 2012 Environmental Performance Index

Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released its 2012 edition which also includes a “Pilot Trend EPI” which tracks each country’s progress and development from 2000-2010. Overall, internationalcomparison.org countries have improved, with notable improvements in Italy who has moved up to 8th, overall. 22 indicators for 132 countries have been compiled in order to influence environmental policy. The data has been organized into ten policy categories which include: environmental burden of disease, water, air pollution’s effects on human health, air pollution’s effects on the ecosystem, water resources and its effects on the ecosystem, biodiversity and habitat, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and climate change.

As stated in the most previoius post, internationalcomparison.org has been searching for a more comprehensive biodiversity index. Meanwhile, figures from the 2012 EPI (biodiversity, forestry, and fisheries) have been added to the Environment page as we continue our pursuit for a biodiversity index.

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Social Justice Index and the lack of a biodiversity index

It is rare that internationalcomparison.org provides an entire index from one source; however, the Social Justice Index is relevant and thorough enough to provide an exception. The index reviews 6 indicators which include poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, and intergenerational justice. The overall score is weighted with poverty prevention mattering the most, followed by access to education and labor market inclusion, while the final three indicators are of normal weight. The Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011 concludes that the norther European states are the most consistent at providing their citizens with the best quality of social justice. The United States weakly ranks 27th overall of the 31 OECD countries ranked, 5th from last and 11 places behind the OECD average.

In a collaborative effort, the Mountain Lion Foundation has been incredibly helpful and cooperative in gathering data in order to determine which countries have fully banned the steel jaw leg-hold trap. A definitive list was difficult to find until the Mountain Lion Foundation referred us to “Cull of the Wild” from Born Free USA.

While we were searching for more information on the steel jaw leg-hold trap, it became apparent that there is a dire lack of a proper biodiversity index. The Environmental Performance Index does well to include a biodiversity score in its report, however a more comprehensive evaluation is still needed. If you are aware of such an index, please let us know. Until then, feel free to review our research here.