IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Significance of environment in the assessment of sustainable development: The case for south west Victoria

  • Wallis, Anne M.
  • Graymore, Michelle L.M.
  • Richards, Anneke J.
Registered author(s):

    The assessment of sustainable development is often based on the three pillars of sustainability model using social, economic and environmental indicators. It is thought that by measuring the performance of each system, information can be gained about the sustainability of the whole system. However it seems there has been no attempt to evaluate if such an assumption is true. During the development of a sustainability assessment framework for south west Victoria, Australia, it has become evident that this approach to sustainability assessment does not provide an accurate assessment of system sustainability. The project found that environmental indicators were considered the most important for assessing regional sustainability. As a consequence, the assessment produced shows that in south west Victoria, sustainability is largely determined by the condition of the environment. This finding highlights the current disconnection between the theory and reality of sustainability. Here, we describe a framework for sustainability assessment that attempts to re-connect theory to practice.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 595-605

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:595-605
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Izac, A-M. N. & Swift, M. J., 1994. "On agricultural sustainability and its measurement in small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 105-125, November.
    2. Marco Keiner, 2005. "Re-emphasizing sustainable development — The concept of ‘Evolutionability’," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 379-392, January.
    3. Bob Giddings & Bill Hopwood & Geoff O'Brien, 2002. "Environment, economy and society: fitting them together into sustainable development," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 187-196.
    4. Rennings, Klaus & Wiggering, Hubert, 1997. "Steps towards indicators of sustainable development: Linking economic and ecological concepts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-36, January.
    5. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
    6. Graymore, Michelle L.M. & Sipe, Neil G. & Rickson, Roy E., 2008. "Regional sustainability: How useful are current tools of sustainability assessment at the regional scale?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 362-372, October.
    7. Gustavson, Kent R. & Lonergan, Stephen C. & Ruitenbeek, H. Jack, 1999. "Selection and modeling of sustainable development indicators: a case study of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 117-132, January.
    8. Stephen Morse & Nora McNamara & Moses Acholo & Benjamin Okwoli, 2001. "Sustainability indicators: the problem of integration," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 1-15.
    9. S. lópez-ridaura & H. Keulen & M. Ittersum & P. Leffelaar, 2005. "Multiscale Methodological Framework to Derive Criteria and Indicators for Sustainability Evaluation of Peasant Natural Resource Management Systems," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 51-69, 01.
    10. Patrick McAlpine & Andrew Birnie, 2006. "Establishing sustainability indicators as an evolving process: experience from the island of Guernsey," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 81-92.
    11. Ruth Kelly & Richard Moles, 2002. "The Development of Local Agenda 21 in the Mid-west Region of Ireland: A Case Study in Interactive Research and Indicator Development," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(6), pages 889-912.
    12. Ness, Barry & Urbel-Piirsalu, Evelin & Anderberg, Stefan & Olsson, Lennart, 2007. "Categorising tools for sustainability assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 498-508, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:595-605. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.