Authors: Mona Ray
Abstract: Sustainable development as currently understood by intellectuals involves three pillars of development – social, economic and environmental. The earlier measures of growth like Gross Domestic Product per capita, or even the more recent measures like Human Development Index (HDI) fails to consider the environmental aspect of development. This paper uses the ‘ecological footprint to total bio-capacity ratio’ as an indicator of environmental resource use to improvise the HDI. This new index defined as Environmentally Stressed Human Development Index (ESHDI) dramatically alters the original HDI rankings of countries. The new rankings show that some high income and medium income countries are enduring an excessive environmental stress to sustain development.
Keywords: Economic growth; national income accounting methods; integrated economic and environmental accounting (SEEA); sustainability; ecological footprint; human development index