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INDICATORS AIMED AT MEASURING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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Ross Finnie, minister for environment and rural development, has launched for consultation the document Checking fo...
Ross Finnie, minister for environment and rural development, has launched for consultation the document Checking for Change containing possible sets of indicators aimed at measuring sustainable development.
These indicators will help ensure that development and actions taken today do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Mr Finnie said:
'Scottish ministers are committed to placing sustainable development at the heart of policy making. This means that decisions will be taken on the basis of what is most socially, economically and environmentally sustainable in the long-term.'
Scottish ministers have adopted three priorities to promote sustainability in Scotland: waste/resource use, energy and travel. The adoption of a set of indicators is part of the Scottish executive's approach to tackling these three priority themes.
Mr Finnie continued:
'We now seek views on the adoption of these sustainable development indicators. What indicators does Scotland need to reflect the challenges we face? Is there one headline indicator individuals or organisations believe would serve as a universal guide?
'There has been much debate among business and organisations on the question of measuring sustainable development. This consultation presents an opportunity for them to share their views and help us develop a sustainable Scotland.'
BACKGROUND
Consultants Entec were commissioned to produce a report on a possible set of sustainable development indicators for Scotland. This report led to the production of the consultation paper Checking for Change. Both papers are on the Sustainable Scotland website.
Paper copies of summaries of the findings of consultants Entec are available free of charge from the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit (e-mail: cru.admin@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or telephone: 0131 244 7560).
Copies of the full Entec report, entitled ?Sustainability Indicators for Waste, Energy and Travel for Scotland? are available, at a cost of£5 per copy, from the Stationery Office Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, EDINBURGH (telephone: 0870 606 5566, website). Cheques should be made payable to 'The Stationery Office'.
The UK government has adopted a set of indicators, which provide an overview of progress being made in delivering sustainable development. 'Quality of Life Counts', the UK government's indicators of sustainable development, can be found here.
Responses to the consultation are due by Friday 28 September 2001. Grants of up to£250 are available to organisations wishing to hold a seminar to debate the issues raised by the consultation paper. Those interested should contact Mark Stirling on 0131 244 0395 or e-mail mark.stirling@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.
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