UN-­backed symposium: Beyond Gross Domestic Product -- transitioning into sustainability

May 02, 2014

Enlarging the world's perspective on economic progress with social and environmental indicators is the focus of "Beyond GDP: Transitioning into Sustainability," a UN­-backed high level symposium open to the public May 19 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (12.30 ­ 4.20 pm, Grand Ballroom, Hilton Hotel).

Organized by the UN University-­hosted International Human Dimensions Programme (UNU-IHDP) based in Bonn, Germany, together with the Malaysian Industry ­Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), and in partnership with the Japanese Ministry of Environment and the Sime Darby Foundation, the symposium will be an innovative, interactive gathering of the public, researchers, academics, government officials and international experts. More than 500 attendees are expected. It will foster greater attention to, understanding of and involvement in setting the foundations for a new, more comprehensive way to measure economic wealth ­­ beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The failure of indices such as GDP and the Human Development Index (HDI) to capture and reflect the full wealth of a country and changes in natural or "nature-­based" assets and human well-­being has come under growing scrutiny as their limitations may in part be fuelling environmental decline and degradation. While many economies appear to get wealthier, it often happens often at the expense of the natural capital base.

Measuring well-­being, many experts now say, requires a shift from conventional production indicators to metrics that incorporate non­-economic markets­-based aspects of well-­being, including sustainability issues and natural capital, such as forests; produced capital, such as roads and factories; and human capital, including levels of education, knowledge, and creativity.

New research has begun to show that people often value non­-material wealth just as highly, if not more, than monetary wealth.

Moreover, as countries develop, there are diminishing returns to quality of life from economic output - indeed, the relationship becomes increasingly contentious and questionable. Growing inequality within and across nations is becoming a force for social tension and conflict in developing and developed countries alike, where calls grow for a more equal society and sustainability in a world of human­-driven climate change and losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

UNU-IHDP and the UN Environment Programme have led development of the Inclusive Wealth Index, debuted at the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero.

A new, internationally-comprehensive Inclusive Wealth Report (IWR), including a major focus on human capital in national account measurement, will by released in Nagoya Japan in November. A two-day IWR experts' workshop and half-day IWR Science Committee Meeting will precede the May 19 public symposium.
-end-
The public symposium agenda, online at http://ihdp.unu.edu/file/download/11677, includes the debut of a UNU-IHDP video featuring the perspective of people from a variety of economic and geographical backgrounds.

Malaysian Industry ­Government Group for High Technology

Related Sustainability Articles from Brightsurf:

New method adds and subtracts for sustainability's true measure
Policies across the world seek clear paths to sustainability, but it takes a broad look to know their true impact.

Striving and stumbling towards sustainability amongst pandas and people
Understanding how achieving one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals spins off more SDG success -- or sabotages progress on another goal across spatial and administrative boundaries.

Is less more? How consumers view sustainability claims
Communicating a product's reduced negative attribute might have unintended consequences if consumers approach it with the wrong mindset.

Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into turmoil and disrupted the status quo, but it is also providing opportunities for innovation in the way we live and work.

Thematic package: Corona and sustainability
The COVID-19 pandemic remains an important topic throughout the world.

Digital agriculture paves the road to agricultural sustainability
In a study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers outline how to develop a more sustainable land management system through data collection and stakeholder buy-in.

Lack of transparency in urban sustainability rankings
UPV/EHU researchers have looked at the quality and good methodological practices employed and published in 21 rankings, indexes and similar tools used for classifying and monitoring urban sustainability.

New research shows sustainability can be a selling point for new ingredients
The first UK consumer study on the use of Bambara Groundnut as an ingredient in products has shown that sharing information on its sustainable features increased consumers' positive emotional connection to food.

Sustainability strategies more successful when managers believe in them
New research from Cass Business School has found that business sustainability strategies can succeed alongside mainstream competitive strategies when managers believe in them.

Sustainability claims about rubber don't stick
Companies work hard to present an environmentally responsible image. How well do these claims stack up?

Read More: Sustainability News and Sustainability Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.