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indicators are those that assists in comprehending where exactly you are and
which way you are heading & how far you have reached from where you want to
be. Imitating the same notion with respect to environment gives us the real
definition of sustainability indicators. Through indicators, we understand
where our environment currently is, which way it is heading and how far our
environment is from where it is supposed to be. A strong and robust indicator
warns you about the problem before it gets too severe to handle and assists you
in understanding what needs to be performed in order to repair the problem. The
weak connection between the economy, environment, and society are indicated by
the indicators of sustainable development. Sustainable development indicators
may include texts, maps, graphics and tabular data. A bunch of systematically
selected indicators can be used, permitting a good coverage of the major issues
and ore transparency. With the use of same set of indicators over time,
provision for monitoring of progress is enabled, given steady coverage from one
assessment phase to another. An effective indicator should be relevant and
reliable, easy to understand, cost effective and usable. For example, the ISEW
(index of sustainable economics-economic indicator), it basically deducts from
the GDP corrections for damaging results of economic actions and adds to the
GDP corrections for significant activities such as outstanding domestic labour.

ISEW also accounts for the reduction of resources by calculating the cost to
replace a barrel of oil equivalent with the similar amount of energy from a
renewable source. Where as Indices are the measure of sustainability which offers
additional wide perspective on growth than economic aggregates such as GDP.

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Some of the common indices are HDI, EF, ESI, EPI and WEF. Taking HDI as an
example, Human Development Index (HDI) basically combines several indicators. These
indicators include life expectancy, education and GDP (gross domestic
product). Specifically, it covers life expectancy at birth, literacy of
the adult population, enrolment in primary, secondary and higher education,
gross domestic product per capita. Difference between indicators and indices is
that an index consists of multiple indicators merged into a composite
aggregated unit. The selection of indicators for use in the index engages the
use of a series of criteria to safeguard that appropriate indicators are

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