Sustainability indicators: Providing policy indications or just adding informative chaos?
Yli-Viikari, Anja; Risku-Norja, Helmi; Aakkula, Jyrki (2012)
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Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Taylor & Francis
Sustainability indicators are currently employed by various organizations. This article focuses on the processes where the interpretation over data is created, and thereby the relevant policy messages articulated. The case study under consideration is a sustainability report by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This report aims at providing key information on assessing the sustainability of natural resource management. An analytical framework is outlined to capture current practices in interpreting indicators, and the efficiency of information is examined by considering the reformulation of strategic goals. The impact of new information was found to be modest. In general, few strategic changes were introduced, and the changes that had been implemented were only loosely connected to the information of the sustainability report. Restrictions of indicators as a tool are outlined and the need for more flexible ways of using information at policy forums is pointed out.
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