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In the four years since the Rio Summit, there have been many initiatives to promote sustainable development. Indicators are useful tools to gain insight regarding the progress made in achieving sustainable development. Agenda 21 calls for countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to develop and use indicators of sustainable development.

Building on many national and international initiatives aimed at developing and using indicators, the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1995 adopted a work programme on indicators for sustainable development. The work programme includes an initial set of 130 indicators.

To facilitate the use of these indicators and to test their practicability at the same time, methodology sheets have been developed for each of them. This publication presents these methodology sheets.

It is essential to get feedback on the indicators and the methodology sheets. We, in the CSD secretariat, look forward to your reactions and comments. The goal is to have a good set of indicators for sustainable development by the year 2000. We count on the users of this publication to contribute to this goal.

On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to thank all of those who have participated in the process of making this publication possible.

Joke Waller-Hunter
Division for Sustainable Development
Department for Policy Coordination
and Sustainable Development



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15 December 2004