Problem of the reliability of the evaluation of the sustainability of the countries

Despite more than 20-year experience of the sustainability indicators at the time is not developed a generally accepted standardized evaluation system, that could on the unified basis characterize the stability of countries and contribute to a global sustainability policy.

The existing systems of sustainability assessment include about 140 private indicators. Their calculation is based on extensive source material. They are generally sufficiently representative and objective, but the calculation is possible only for a limited number of countries where the system of collecting and maintaining of statistical data on various aspects of life (economic, social, environmental) exists.

However, when accessing the website of the UN Department of Statistics revealed that a number of countries with information “older” then 2006; sets of indicators of different countries vary considerably. The result is inability of cross-country analysis and trends identification. Creates complexity dimension of an array of hundreds of indicators (difficult to comply with the requirements of operability
and decomposability); hence there are mistakes in their interpretation.

Alternatively, as a basic tool to assess the sustainability of the countries developed Environmental Performance Index (EPI). It is calculated by Yale University (USA), according to world statistics, since 2000. It is based on two main groups of estimates (partial indicators) – environmental health and vitality of ecosystems (Environmental…, 2014). On the basis of the dynamics of the indicator groups for countries identified trends and track the transition of countries in categories of environmental health and vitality of ecosystems.

This evaluation system fully characterizes the dynamics of development. However, the analysis of more than 10-year-old use of EPI revealed the following main problem points and proposed solutions for improvement.

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