Title: Introduction to the key issue concerning the use of sustainable development indicators

Authors: Helene Rey-Valette, Francis Laloe, Jean Le Fur

Addresses: Department of Economics, LASER-CEP, Universite de Montpellier 1, Faculte des Sciences Economiques, Avenue de la Mer – Site de Richter, CS 79606, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France. ' UMR C3ED (IRD-UVSQ) IRD, BP 64501 F-34 394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. ' IRD/CBGP, Campus International de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988, Montferrier sur Lez, France

Abstract: The concept of sustainable development has become an essential reference, which concerns all public policies and which is becoming increasingly assimilated by actors and firms with respect to their behaviour. At the same time, a profusion of institutional initiatives were implemented by international organisations in order to develop indicators for sustainable development. The aim of this issue is to study this in greater detail, in particular by determining in which conditions it would be possible to develop more integrated or coordinated approaches. After having recalled the complexity of this question concerning the use of sustainable development indicators with respect to their various functions, we successively examine how scientists attempt to identify, to take into account and/or satisfy indicator demand. Finally, we introduce the concept of indicator trajectory which appears to be the most appropriate way for accounting for the diversity of indicator statuses and elaboration forms.

Keywords: sustainable development; sustainability; indicators; indicator trajectory.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2007.014410

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2007 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.4 - 13

Published online: 05 Jul 2007 *

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