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  • UNU-IAS Working Paper No. 109

    Environmental Indicators for ASEAN:

    Developing an Integrated Framework

    Lap Duc Nguyen

    February 2004

  • 1

    Environmental Indicators for ASEAN:

    Developing an Integrated Framework

    Lap Duc Nguyen

    Executive Summary

    ASEAN is in the midst of a whirlwind of changes for economic development, many of

    which have damage on environment, such as a proliferation of slum area, degradation of

    air quality, encroachment on natural systems, and public health degradation from water

    pollution, and poor drainage.

    The reasons for this problem could be epitomized as the influence of global forces and

    trends as well as environmental mismanagement, inefficient and ineffective

    administration. Most policy makers in the region concerned with environmental issues

    at a national level are confronted with fragmented information from a variety of sources

    on several different issues.

    To solve these problems, indicators can be useful tool in crystallizing key questions,

    condensing the information available into a manageable form, and providing a

    benchmark for measuring progress or a target to aim at.

    This study takes therefore up the challenge of developing an integrated framework to

    support the empirical analysis of environmental linkages, especially in terms of

  • 2

    quantifying the impact of economic policies on the environment. Premised on this

    framework to examine environmental linkages as well as to identify indicators to assist

    policy makers, including monitoring progress towards achieving sustainable

    development.

    This study explores a set of 21 environmental indicators covering a broad spectrum of

    environmental issues. 7 indicators relate to the environmental pressures from total

    economic activities under the headings of energy, transport, agriculture and

    manufacturing. 9 state indicators focus on environmental conditions such as climate

    change, air pollution, water quality, and natural resources. The remaining 5 indicators

    indicate policy options, which provide a measure of the willingness and effectiveness of

    a society’s responses to the changes in the state of environment. The chosen indicators

    consider covering the range of primary economic impact on the environment which are

    policy relevant and that are practical to measure, bearing in mind data availability and

    the resource requirements to collect, process and analyze data.

    As the result, this study shows that the environmental indicators are cost-effective and

    powerful tools for tracking and charting environmental progress and performance.

    Following the basic work that laid down the concepts, framework and principles for

    developing a set of environmental indicators in the ASEAN contexts, progress is now

    needed in: (i) further improving the coverage of social and economic dimensions; (ii)

    improving the quality and comparability of the indicators and related basic data sets;

    (iii) linking the indicators more closely to established policy goals and sustainability

    issues.

  • 3

    Contents

    1. Introduction 2. Developing an Integrated Framework 3. Criteria for Aggregating Indicators 4. Major Environmental Concerns in ASEAN Countries 5. The Set of Environmental Indicators for ASEAN 6. Conclusions

    1. Introduction

    ASEAN is in the midst of a whirlwind of changes fueled by economic development.

    Many of the new pressures, such as the proliferation of slums, increases in automobile

    usage, land use encroachments on natural systems, and the spread of disease and

    industrial and household dumping of waste into water bodies have damaged the

    environment. The depletion of natural resources are beginning to effect agricultural

    productivity; are causing increasingly frequent disasters, such as floods and landslides;

    and are impairing the quality of life in the region. In the 1990s, smoke haze arising from

    land and forest fires spread across national borders to become a common threat to the

    region. Other sources of concern include massive soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and

    the destruction of marine and fresh water coastal areas.

    The two main reasons for these problems include globalization and national and local

    trends in environmental mismanagement, inefficient and ineffective administration.

    When attempting to confront these challenges, however, most national level policy

    makers have only fragmentary information on the sources of the problem, the current

    conditions of the environment and variety of responses available to deal with them. In

    this context, it is difficult to make thorough evaluations of the impacts of economic

  • 4

    policies, as this type of analysis requires information about the links of specific

    economic activities with particular environmental outcomes. Similarly, analysts are

    facing difficulties in estimating how far economic activities are contributing to, or

    detracting from national sustainable development goals. In short, there is an inadequate

    supply of information to meet the growing demand for understanding the relationship

    between the current pressures on the environment, the environmental trends and

    conditions and the impacts of policies. Therefore there is a need to: (i) identify the

    environmental problems, risks and benefits related to economic activities, (ii) improve

    the targeting of programmes that address environmental issues, (iii) facilitate the

    monitoring and assessment of policies and programmes. The basis for approaching this

    massive task is to provide baseline information on the trends and conditions of the

    environment. In this regard, indicators are useful tools in crystallizing key questions,

    condensing information available into manageable forms and providing benchmarks for

    measuring progress toward a target goal. Moreover, in the context of ASEAN,

    indicators developed in our integrated framework may provide a systematic and

    effective integrating tool for environmental and economic decision-making as the region

    attempts to move towards a sustainable development model.

    Following this introduction, section 2 considers about how to design an integrated

    framework, which can assist in identifying and structuring indicators, to contribute to

    the analysis of environmental linkages and sustainable development. Section 3 focuses

    the choice of indicators, within the overall analytical framework, against the criteria of

    policy relevance, analytical soundness, measurability and the appropriate level of

    aggregation. Section 4 describes the main environmental issues in environmental

  • 5

    sustainability of relevance to ASEAN policy-makers. Section 5 introduces a set of

    indicators that examines the technical background, and aspects of data and

    measurability related to each issues. Section 6 concludes by outlining the future work on

    ASEAN environmental indicators.

    2. Developing an Integrated Framework

    The integration of environmental, social and economic issues is one of the

    distinguishing features of developing environmental indicators in the context of

    sustainable development. These are considered important both for assessing the current

    situation and for monitoring progress towards future goals.

    This section makes an effort to develop an integrated framework to aid the policy-

    making processes surrounding national, regional efforts to address issues pertaining to

    sustainable development. The framework is specifically designed to consider the

    relationships between the parts of a system and its intended use is to better understand

    the holistic workings of the system being modeled. The choice of how to represent and

    model a system, and the overall effectiveness of the framework depend heavily upon the

    choice of a set of indicators to be followed in the framework. The set of indicators, on

    the one hand, determines the direction the whole system that is moving in order to

    understand at the macro level whether it is sustainable or not and hence to set macro

    policies to correct the situation and, on the other hand, provides adequate information

    for decision making at the micro level, where action really counts. Since the ecosphere

    is clearly more than the sum of its many parts, it is necessary to try to understand things

    holistically. As opposed to dissection and reintegration, one way of building up an

    understanding of how a complicated system functions is to look at it as a whole from

  • 6

    several different perspectives. Therefore, an approach taken hereby reflects recognition

    of the interconnection of the environment, the economy and society.

    Figure 1: Integrated System

    The integrated system is outlined here (Figure1). It consists of three objects, such as

    social sphere, economic system and the environment; two-way interactions between the

    objects; and processes that relate to objects together. In the figure, the world is

    represented by three objects: the social sphere, economic system and the environment,

    interacting by a big triangle. Their interactions are indicated by the arrows. The main

    concept in the interaction among social sphere, economic system and the environment is

    that the socio-economic system changes the environment. The interactions between

    socio-economic system and the environment can be categorized as pressures of the

    people and economic activities put on the environment; the resulting state or condition

    of the environment; and the response of society and economic policies to environmental

    conditions.

    DYNAMIC

    INTERACTION

  • 7

    The framework applied in the above system is based on the PSR framework developed

    by the OECD1, following a cause-effect-social response logic, that considers key

    environmental problems identifies driving forces that are leading to pressure on natural

    resources, tracks the state of the resource and then identifies mechanisms that have been

    or can be put into place in response. In the revised PSR framework (Figure 2), pressure

    indicators represent human activities, processes and patterns that have an impact on

    environment. These indicators provide an indication of the causes of positive and/or

    negative changes in the state of sustainable development. Pressure indicators can pertain

    to developments at economic sectors, as well as social trends. Examples of pressure

    indicators include the population growth rate, which indicates the impact on

    environmental sustainability from an increased population and emissions of greenhouse

    gases that contribute to changes in the state of the composition of the atmosphere. State

    indicators provide an indication of the state of environment, or a particular aspect of it,

    at a given point in time. This pertains to qualitative and/or quantitative indications.

    Ambient concentrations of carbon dioxide, for example, provide an indication of the air

    quality in areas. Response indicators indicate policy options and other responses to

    changes in the state of sustainable development. These indicators provide a measure of

    the willingness and effectiveness of a society in providing responses. Some responses to

    changes in the state of environment can be legislation, regulation, economic instruments,

    information activities etc. Examples of response indicators include expenditure on air

    pollution abatement and wastewater treatment coverage.

    1 The PSR framework, initially proposed by Tony Friend, David Rapport, and others (Friend and Rapport

    1979; OECD, 1991; Adriaanse, 1993)

  • 8

    Figure 2: PSR Framework Applied in the Integrated System

    These three categories are the basic components of the pressure-state-response (PSR)

    framework that can provide a flexible framework in which analysis can help to: (i)

    improve understanding of the complexity of linkages and feedbacks between the causes

    and effects of economic activities to the environment, and the responses by policy

    makers and society to changes in environmental conditions; (ii) identify indicators to

    explain and quantify these linkages and feedbacks. Analysis of the linkages between

    pressure, state and response is a key element in shedding light on the relationship

    between the causes and effects of economic activities on the environment to better guide

    policy makers in their responses to changes in environmental conditions.

    While developing indicators in the context of the integrated system and the revised PSR

    framework, we shall try to avoid developing the indicators in isolation; chosen

  • 9

    indicators can provide insights for policy makers as to the economic, social and

    environmental linkages and components of sustainable development. The indicators

    presented in the integrated framework (Figure 3) are intended to promote the integration

    of environmental concerns into economic policies and decisions. More specific

    objectives are to: (i) highlight the interface between economic activities and

    environmental issues, and identify how different driving forces and policy instruments

    interact and affect the environmental impacts of economic activities; and (ii) provide a

    basis for monitoring the integration of environmental concerns into economic policies.

    Figure 3: Integrated Framework

    3. Criteria for Aggregating Indicators

    There are potentially a large number of indicators that could be developed to help

    quantify the various components and linkages in the PSR framework. To assist in the

    choice of a set of indicators within this framework each indicator is examined against

    RESPONSE Legislation

    Economic

    instrument others

    PRESSURE Population

    Trade

    Production Consumptio

    n

    STATE Air

    Water

    Land Forest

  • 10

    the following criteria, which are to some extent similar to the criteria used by some

    organizations, but differs in their particular focus on outstanding aspects of ASEAN

    countries. The inclusion of the economic, social and environmental aspects is

    particularly important for ASEAN and other developing countries for whom an equal

    balance between the developmental and environmental aspects of sustainable

    development is important in order to ensure future sustainable growth patterns. To assist

    in the choice of a set of indicators within this framework each indicator is examined

    against the following criteria:

    Analytical Soundness: The criterion of analytical soundness, in particular, the extent to which the indicators can recognise the key linkages between economic,

    social and environmental dimensions. The indicators should also be able to show

    trends and ranges of values over time, which might be complemented by

    nationally defined targets and thresholds where these exist.

    Policy Relevance and Utility for Users: The criterion of policy relevance relates to those environmental issues identified in the PSR framework as being of

    importance to policy makers. Recognise the importance of a degree of flexibility

    for countries to choose indicators suited to their own environmental

    circumstances.

    Measurability: The criterion of measurability, relates to the appropriate data available to measure the indicator. In an effort to overcome some of these

    difficulties this paper tries to stimulus discussions of developing consistent

    indicator definitions and methods of measurement between countries.

    As indicated in the criteria, the indicators have been developed for use at the regional

    level. This means that the indicators are selected from their ability to monitor progress

    towards sustainable development at the regional level. To be useful for decision-makers,

    it is important that the indicators are understandable and realizable within the capacities

    of national governments and regional organizations. The indicators should be

    conceptually well founded, meaning that the underlying methodology is available. The

  • 11

    limitation in the number of indicators is important to ensure that the indicators provide

    indication of only the main aspects of sustainable development, rather than on all

    thinkable aspects of sustainable development. The indicators are, to the greatest extent

    possible, based on data, which is readily available in most countries/organizations, or

    data, which can be collected and analysed at a reasonable cost.

    4. Major Environmental Concerns in ASEAN Countries

    There is much interest in the rapid economic, social and environmental changes

    sweeping across ASEAN countries. Rapid economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s

    (Figure 4) has made Southeast Asia the more populous (Table 1, 2) and developed part

    of the tropics in the world with megacities and intensively used agricultural land.

    Urbanization and industrialization have also had deleterious impacts, leading not only to

    high pollution loads but also social stress. These diverse features provide a setting for

    studying human driving forces of change and their environmental consequences.

    Figure 4: Comparision of Asean GDP – Industry Growth to World

    0

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

    9

    1980-90 1990-99Year

    %

    Asean(GDPGrowth)

    World(GDPGrowth)

    Asean(IndustryGrowth)

    Sources: WB, World Development Indicators 2001

  • 12

    Table 1: Urbanized Population in Selected ASEAN

    Country

    Urban Population Population in urban

    agglomerations exceeding

    one million

    (% of total population)

    Population in

    largest city

    (% of urban

    population)

    Millions Percent of total

    population

    1980 1998 1980 1998 1980 1995 2015 1980 1995

    Cambodia

    Indonesia

    Laos

    Malaysia

    Myanmar

    Philippines

    Singapore

    Thailand

    Vietnam

    0.8

    32.9

    0.4

    5.8

    8.1

    18.1

    2.4

    7.9

    10.3

    1.7

    79.0

    1.1

    12.4

    13.7

    42.7

    3.9

    12.8

    15.0

    12

    22

    13

    42

    24

    38

    100

    17

    19

    15

    39

    22

    56

    28

    57

    100

    21

    20

    7

    0

    7

    12

    100

    10

    5

    13

    0

    6

    9

    13

    100

    11

    7

    16

    0

    7

    11

    15

    100

    15

    9

    18

    ..

    16

    33

    100

    59

    27

  • 13

    Table 3: Key Environmental Issues and Causes in ASEAN

    Country Shared Issues Key Causes

    Brunei Seasonal smoke and haze, solid wastes Transboundary pollution from land and forest

    fires

    Cambodia Soil erosion, sedimentation, water

    pollution, deforestation, loss of

    biodiversity, and threats to natural

    fisheries.

    Unmanaged waste & effluent discharge into

    Tonle Sap lake; destruction of mangrove

    wetlands through extensive industrial &

    aquaculture development.

    Indonesia Deforestation; loss of biodiversity; water

    pollution; air pollution in urban areas;

    national and transboundary seasonal

    smoke and haze; land degradation;

    pollution of Malacca straits.

    Deficiencies in urban infrastructure - unmanaged

    industrial wastes and municipal effluents and

    waste; vehicular congestion and emissions;

    extensive land clearance and forest fires for pulp

    wood and oil palm production; extensive and

    unmanaged mining activities; national and

    transboundary industrial pollution; tourist

    developments in coastal regions beyond carrying

    capacity.

    Laos Deforestation; loss of biodiversity; soil

    erosion; limited access to potable water;

    water-borne diseases.

    Land clearance; shifting cultivation; inadequate

    water supply & sanitation infrastructure.

    Malaysia Urban air pollution; water pollution;

    deforestation; loss of biodiversity; loss of

    mangrove habitats; national and

    transboundary smoke/haze.

    Vehicular congestion and emissions; deficiencies

    in urban infrastructure industrial and municipal

    effluents; extensive land clearance and forest

    fires for pulp wood and oil palm production;

    unmanaged coastal developments; tourist

    developments in coastal regions beyond existing

    carrying capacity

    Myanmar Deforestation; loss of biodiversity; urban

    air pollution; soil erosion; water

    contamination and water-borne diseases.

    Land clearance; excessive mineral extraction;

    vehicular congestion and emissions; deficiencies

    in urban infrastructure – unmanaged industrial

    and municipal effluents.

    Philippines Deforestation in watershed areas; loss of

    biodiversity; soil erosion; air and water

    pollution in Manila leading to

    waterborne disease; pollution of coastal

    mangrove habitats; natural disasters

    (earthquakes, floods).

    Illegal forest cutting; land clearance; rapid

    urbanization and deficiencies in urban

    infrastructure - unmanaged industrial and

    municipal effluents, inadequate water supply and

    sanitation; tourist developments in coastal regions

    beyond existing carrying capacity;

    Singapore Industrial pollution; limited natural fresh

    water resources; waste disposal

    problems.

    Seasonal smoke/haze; limited land available for

    waste disposal.

    Thailand Deforestation; loss of biodiversity; land

    degradation and soil erosion; shortage of

    water resources in dry season and

    flooding in rainy season; conflict of

    water users; coastal degradation and loss

    of mangrove habitat; urban air pollution;

    pollution from solid waste, hazardous

    materials and hazardous waste.

    Sporadic development and destruction of

    watersheds; unmanaged aquaculture; tourist

    growth exceeding growth in carrying capacity;

    deficiencies in urban & rural infrastructure;

    freshwater resources polluted by domestic /

    industrial wastes & sewage runoff.

  • 14

    Vietnam Deforestation and soil degradation; loss

    of biodiversity; loss of mangrove habitat;

    water pollution and threats to marine life;

    groundwater contamination; limited

    potable water supply; natural disasters

    (e.g. floods).

    Land clearance for industry; extensive

    aquaculture & overfishing; growing urbanization

    and infrastructure deficiencies; inadequate water

    supply & sanitation (particularly in Hanoi & Ho

    Chi Minh City).

    The root causes of different environmental problems vary considerably in ASEAN

    countries (Table 3). Much of the increasing severity of problems is driven by the

    demographic situation, although other aspects of the human condition-such as social,

    and economic status have played a significant role. High population growth is exerting

    pressure on the environment and on natural resources in the region. Rapid population

    growth has contributed to depletion of forests (Table 5, Figure 5 ) not only through

    land-clearing for cultivation but also through over harvesting of forests for fuelwood,

    roundwood, and fodder. The high population growth rate has been found to strongly

    correlate with rates of deforestation, expansion of agricultural land, and increasing

    water scarcity in some countries2. In recent decades, pressure on arable land resulting

    from expansion of human settlements, the clearing of land for cultivation, intensive

    agriculture for intensified food production, and overgrazing has been noted, and has led

    to the expansion of agricultural areas into forest areas and marginal lands. The major

    environmental problems associated with urban development, as described earlier, are

    increasing pollution levels due to the concentrated discharge of gaseous, liquid, and

    solid wastes into the environment and the consequent destruction of fragile ecosystems.

    2 ESCAP, 1995a

  • 15

    Table 4: Population Estimates of ASEAN 2000-2050

    Country

    Land Area

    (sq km)

    Population in 2000 Population projections

    Thousands % of

    ASEAN

    Persons

    per sq km

    2015 2025 2050

    Brunei

    Cambodia

    Indonesia

    Laos

    Malaysia

    Myanmar

    Philippines

    Singapore

    Thailand

    Vietnam

    ASEAN

    5,765

    184,800

    1,812,000

    236,800

    332,665

    676,553

    299,404

    683

    513,115

    331,042

    4,392,827

    330

    13,100

    212,090

    5,280

    22,220

    48,123

    75,650

    4,018

    62,810

    78,140

    521,761

    0.1

    2.5

    40.7

    1.0

    4.3

    9.2

    14.5

    0.8

    12

    15

    100

    57

    72

    117

    23

    67

    71

    252

    5,885

    122

    236

    119

    420

    18,590

    250,070

    7,330

    27,910

    55,260

    95,880

    4,760

    72,490

    94,410

    679,930

    470

    22,310

    272,900

    8,720

    31,330

    60,240

    107,070

    5,000

    77,480

    105,490

    691,010

    570

    29,880

    311,300

    11,440

    37,850

    68,550

    128,380

    4,620

    82,490

    123,780

    798,860

    Source: World Population Prospects 2000 (WPP, UNDESA, 2000)

    Table 5: Deforestation in Selected ASEAN

    Average Annual

    Deforestation Sq.km

    Decline in

    Forest Area

    %

    Cambodia

    Indonesia

    Malaysia

    Myanmar

    Philippines

    Thailand

    600

    13,00

    2,400

    5,200

    900

    1,100

    0.6

    1.2

    1.2

    1.4

    1.4

    0.7

    Figure 5: Deforestation Rate by the Region 1990-2000

    0

    0.2

    0.4

    0.6

    0.8

    1

    1.2

    1.4

    World Asia Africa N/C America ASEAN South America

    DeforestationRate (% year)

    Source: Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000(FAO, 2000)

  • 16

    The impact of industry on the environment has become increasingly evident: resource

    depletion; contamination of water, air, and land; health hazards; and degradation of

    natural ecosystems3. Industrial sources contribute a relatively high share to air pollution

    in this region because the main source of industrial energy is fossil fuels, with a high

    share of coal, and the major air polluting industries, such as iron, steel, fertilizer, and

    cement, are growing in the region. Significant health threats also arise from indoor air

    pollution resulting from the use of low-quality solid fuels, such as coal, wood, crop

    residues, and dung for cooking and heating in lower-income urban households and in

    rural areas throughout the region4. Transboundary air pollution also becomes a problem

    that has accompanied economic growth and high-energy consumption. The effects of

    coal burning tend to spread over a large area, resulting in acid deposition in areas near

    the coal burning plants as well as further away. The accumulation of fly ash adds

    suspended particulate matter into the air and leads to air quality deterioration. In

    addition, slash-and-burn agriculture leads to haze problems that extend beyond national

    boundaries. Unfortunately, only a limited number of quantitative analyses of

    transboundary air pollution have been done in the past. Urban air pollution is a serious

    problem in many major cities of the region (Table 6).

    Table 6: Urban Air Pollution

    City

    TSP SO2

    Indonesia-Jakarta 271 …

    Malaysia-Kuala Lumpur 85 24

    Philippines-Manila 200 33

    Thailand-Bangkok 223 11

    Japan-Tokyo 49 18

    Sweden-Stockholm 9 3

    Source: WB, World Development Indicators, 2001

    3 Asian Environment Outlook 2001

    4 Second ASEAN State of the Environment Report, 2000

  • 17

    The transportation sector has become a key accelerating factor for economic growth as

    well as environmental degradation. A relatively heavy concentration of road networks

    and vehicles in a few cities has resulted in high levels of pollution5.

    Agriculture in the Southeast Asia region has witnessed accelerated structural changes.

    In terms of direct impact on the environment, farming activities are major contributors

    to soil erosion, land salinization, and loss of nutrients. Shifting cultivation has been an

    important cause for land degradation in almost countries of this region6. As noted earlier,

    natural habitats are being destroyed, degraded, and depleted, accompanied by

    significant loss of wild species.

    Take a look at the table; the fresh-water withdrawals in Singapore, Thailand and

    Vietnam respectively are 56%, 16% and 15% of total internal resources (Table 7).

    Agriculture accounts for 70-90 per cent of the annual water withdrawal in most

    countries of the region, with the highest proportion in Cambodia (94 %). The demands

    for domestic and industrial uses are increasing in the region due to the high rates of

    urbanization and industrialization. The demand for water will continue to rise in the

    region in parallel with population growth. Fresh-water availability of below 1,000 cubic

    meters per capita per year indicates water scarcity. Singapore is already water-scarce,

    with considerably less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita of water available per year.

    5 Asian Environment Outlook 2001

    6 Global Environment Outlook 2000

  • 18

    Table 7: Fresh Water Resources and Withdrawals in ASEAN

    Country

    Annual Internal

    Renewable Resources

    Annual Freshwater

    Withdrawals

    Sectoral Withdrawal (% of total)

    Total

    (cu km)

    Cu

    m/capita

    2000

    % total

    internal

    resource

    Per

    capita

    (cu m)

    Domestic Industry Agriculture

    Brunei

    Cambodia

    Indonesia

    Laos

    Malaysia

    Myanmar

    Philippines

    Singapore

    Thailand

    Vietnam

    8.0

    120.6

    2,838.0

    190.4

    580.0

    880.6

    479.0

    0.6

    210.0

    366.5

    10,795

    13,380

    35,049

    26,074

    19,306

    6,305

    155

    3,420

    4,591

    0

    3

    1

    2

    12

    56

    16

    15

    66

    407

    260

    633

    102

    811

    109

    596

    814

    50

    5

    6

    8

    11

    7

    8

    55

    5

    4

    1

    1

    10

    13

    3

    4

    45

    4

    10

    94

    93

    82

    76

    90

    88

    0

    91

    86

    Source: World Resources 2000-2001

    The largest water user on a regional scale is the agricultural sector, with more than two

    thirds of the water abstracted from the region's rivers, lakes, and aquifers being used for

    irrigation. With regard to the impacts of agro-chemicals, there is now considerable

    evidence that the leaching of fertilizer into water bodies is a significant source of water

    pollution. In particular, excessive levels of nitrates and other nutrients resulting from

    fertilizer application are a major cause of eutrophication in surface water throughout the

    region. The region's use of fertilizers reached nearly 7 million tons in 1998 (Table 8).

    The intensification of agriculture in recent years has also been accompanied by the

    extensive use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides).

  • 19

    Table 8: Agriculture Inputs in 1998

    Country Pesticide Trade (US$’ 000) Fertilizer

    Consumption (MT) Imports Exports Brunei

    Cambodia

    Indonesia

    Laos

    Malaysia

    Myanmar

    Philippines

    Singapore

    Thailand

    Vietnam

    ASEAN

    2,900

    760

    18,589

    120

    51,865

    50,140

    50,468

    115,000

    20,000

    309,840

    25

    ---

    41,822

    ---

    60,713

    5,575

    81,479

    17,000

    ---

    206,614

    ---

    12,716

    2,772,900

    10,166

    1,406,111

    121,000

    627,930

    2,350

    1,660,863

    1,947,400

    6,614,036

    Source: FAO website

    5. The Set of Environmental Indicators for ASEAN

    The above analysis shows that there are underlying economic and social factors that

    drive the pressures on the environment and that most of these pressures arise from

    activities in specific economic sectors. Based upon that analysis, this study explores a

    set of 21 environmental indicators covering a broad spectrum of environmental issues. 7

    indicators relate to the environmental pressures from total economic activities under the

    headings of energy, transport, agriculture and manufacturing. 9 state indicators focus on

    environmental conditions such as climate change, air pollution, water quality, and

    natural resources. The remaining 5 indicators indicate policy options, which provide a

    measure of the willingness and effectiveness of a society’s responses to the changes in

    the state of environment.

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    Pressure Indicators 1. Population growth rate 2. Rate of growth of urban population 3. Per capita consumption of fossil fuel by motor vehicles transport 4. Annual energy consumption 5. Use of agricultural pesticides 6. Use of fertilizers 7. Wood harvesting intensity

    State Indicators

    1. Ambient concentrations of carbon dioxide 2. Ambient concentrations of sulphur dioxide 3. Ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide 4. Access to safe drinking water 5. Annual withdrawals of ground and surface water 6. Ground water reserves 7. Land use change 8. Irrigation percent of arable land 9. Forest area change

    Response Indicators

    1. Expenditure on air pollution abatement 2. Wastewater treatment 3. Protected forest area as a percent of total forest area 4. Programmes for national environmental statistics 5. Mandated environmental impact assessment

    The set of indicators present information through graphs and tables and, for each

    indicator, provides a brief explanatory text to help interpretation. An attempt was made

    to maximize the country and time period coverage for each indicator, but data gaps

    remain important. Of the 21 indicators, 10 are considered conceptually sound and data

    are available for at least 7 Member countries. A further 11 indicators are also considered

    conceptually sound, but suffer from statistical data gaps.

  • 21

    Sample of Pressure Indicator (1): Fertilizer Use

    Technical Background: Annual fertilizer use refers to nutrients in terms of nitrogen

    (N), phosphate (P2O5), and potash (K2O). These three major nutrients are used as

    synthetic chemical fertilizers in agriculture. The application of these fertilizers “reflects

    the specialization and intensification of cropping practices.” These chemical fertilizers

    pose a threat to human health and the environment, particularly with respect to water

    quality. Nitrates from fertilizer can accumulate in groundwater and can reduce the

    ability of human blood to carry oxygen. Infants are particularly susceptible to nitrate

    poisoning – a phenomenon known as blue baby syndrome.

    Fertilizer Consumption per hectare (1968-1998)

    Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia

    Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam Source: World Resource Indicators (WRI, 2001)

    Relevance of Data: Fertilizer use is calculated using a trade balance approach. As

    nations sometimes increase or decrease their stocks of fertilizer in a given year, actual

    use may be larger or smaller than the figure given. If the sale of fertilizer stocks is

    particularly large, there is the potential for a negative fertilizer use value. Most fertilizer

    use data are reported yearly for the period July 1–June 30. For information on which

    Brunei

  • 22

    countries report their data in ways that differ from the July 1–June 30 year, please refer

    to the FAO website noted in reference.

    Sample of Pressure Indicator (2): Annual Energy Consumption:

    Technical Background: Consuming energy causes a wide range of health and

    environmental impacts, from the habitat loss associated with exploration for fossil fuels

    and the construction of hydroelectric facilities to the pollution resulting from the

    burning of fossil fuels.

    Environmental impacts are caused by the actions required to produce energy, including

    oil and gas exploration and development, coal mining, and the construction of nuclear

    reactors, hydroelectric dams and reservoirs. Environmental impacts also include the

    pollution generated by burning oil, gas and coal or disposing of nuclear waste and the

    impacts of dams on aquatic ecosystems. Fossil fuel combustion is the main source of

    three major air pollution problems – climate change, acid deposition and urban smog.

    Annual Energy Consumption (1990-1997)

    Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia

    Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam

    Source: World Resource Indicators (WRI, 2001)

  • 23

    Relevance of Data: Energy consumption from all sources is the amount of energy from

    all sources used by each country in the year specified. In addition to solid, liquid, and

    gaseous fuels and nuclear electricity, the total also includes hydropower, geothermal,

    solar, combustible renewable and waste, and indigenous heat production from heat

    pumps. Per capita shows the amount produced per person for that country.

    Energy consumption from solid fuels is the total energy produced from all types of coal.

    Energy consumption from liquid fuels is the energy consumed from liquid fuels such as

    crude oil or natural gas liquids. Energy consumption from gaseous fuels is the amount

    of energy consumed from natural gas. Energy consumption from nuclear fuels shows

    the primary heat equivalent of the electricity consumed from nuclear power plants.

    Heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency is assumed to be 33 percent.

    Sample of State Indicator (1): Ambient Concentration of Carbon Dioxide

    Technical Background: The scientific community acknowledges that atmospheric

    concentrations of CO2 have continued to increase, and that “the balance of evidence

    suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”. Future climate change is

    expected to have major impacts on e.g. agriculture, water resources, ecosystems and

    human health. The main source of CO2 emissions is fossil fuel combustion. Emissions

    are directly related to the relative share of fossil fuels in total energy consumption, the

    energy intensity of an economy and the GDP of a country. Total anthropogenic carbon

    dioxide (CO 2) emissions from the sectors energy, industrial processes, solvent and

    other product use, agriculture, land use change and forestry, and waste (as defined by

    IPCC ). Since CO2 removals are also accounted for, this indicator concerns net

  • 24

    emissions. Natural emissions are not accounted for. The unit of measurement is tonnes

    CO2 per year.

    Ambient Concentration of Carbon Dioxide (1950-1998)

    Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia

    Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam Source: World Resource Indicators (WRI, 2001)

    Relevance of Data: Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are often calculated and reported

    in terms of their content of elemental carbon. For this table, their values were converted

    t o the actual mass of CO2 by multiplying the carbon mass by 3.664 (the ratio of the

    mass of CO2 to that of carbon). These data from CDIAC represent a complete

    harmonized global dataset of CO2 emissions. However, individual country estimates,

    based on more detailed information and a country-specific methodology, could differ.

    Guidelines were developed to assist in the preparation of national greenhouse gasses

    inventories. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) accepted these

    guidelines at its Twelfth Session in Mexico City on September 11–13, 1996. The

    guidelines were published in Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse

    Gas Inventories (IPCC, Cambridge, England, 1997). Such data are currently available

    for an increasing number of countries, but long time series are rare. Methods used by

  • 25

    CDIAC have the advantage of calculating CO2 emissions from a single common dataset

    available for all countries.

    Sample of State Indicators (2): Surface & Ground Water Resources

    Technical Background: Some urban areas are experiencing shortages of water or bad

    water quality. In this context, it is important to monitor withdrawals of water and the

    amounts of available water. The indicator measures withdrawals of ground and surface

    water as a percentage of available water (local/regional and residential /industrial/

    agricultural/ other). The total annual gross volume of ground and surface water

    extracted for water uses, including conveyance losses, consumptive uses and return

    flows, as a percentage of the total average annually-available volume of freshwater.

    Surface & Ground Water Resources (2000)

    Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia

    Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Vietnam Source: World Resource Indicators (WRI, 2001)

  • 26

    Relevance of Data: Average annual internal renewable water resources refer to the

    average annual flow of rivers and recharge of groundwater generated from endogenous

    precipitation. Caution should be used when comparing different countries because these

    estimates are based on differing sources and dates. These annual averages also disguise

    large seasonal, inter annual, and long-term variations. When data for annual river flows

    from and to other countries are not shown, the internal renewable water resources figure

    may include these flows. When such data are shown, they are not included in a

    country’s total internal renewable water resources. Actual annual renewable water

    resources available for use is usually less than the sum of internal renewable resources

    and river flows. This is due to the fact that not all resources can be mobilized for use

    and that part of the f low coming from upstream countries or leaving for downstream

    countries might be reserved to t hose countries by treaty or her agreement.

    6. Conclusions

    This study shows that the environmental indicators are cost-effective and powerful tools

    for tracking and charting environmental progress and performance. Indicators presented

    in the framework provide valuable information by revealing where a problem may be

    emerging that might require a policy response, and as contribution to monitoring the

    environmental effects of actions taken to response to changing policy incentives or

    disincentives. However, this study also shows significant lags between the demands for

    indicators. Analysis of the linkages between pressure, state and response is a key

    element in shedding light on the relationship between the causes and effects of

    economic activities on the environment to better guide policy makers in their responses

    to changes in environmental conditions. When indicators are used to compare

  • 27

    environmental performance among countries, the national circumstances of each

    country must also be taken into account. These include factors such as country size,

    population density, natural resource endowments, energy profile, economic structure

    and stage of economic development.

    Following the basic work that laid down the concepts, framework and principles for

    developing a set of environmental indicators in the ASEAN contexts, progress is now

    needed in: (i) further improving the coverage of social and economic dimensions; (ii)

    improving the quality and comparability of the indicators and related basic data sets;

    (iii) linking the indicators more closely to established policy goals and sustainability

    issues.

  • 28

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