The environmental indicator development process. The case for Zambia

Masiliso Sooka and Gift Sikaundi (2007)

Recognizing that management and communication of environmental information is fundamental to sustainable development, the country has been engaged in a process of periodic production of the State of Environment (SoE) Outlook Reports. This provides for an assessment of the state of environment, monitor environmental trends and report so as to increase awareness and facilitate the measurement of progress towards sustainable development efforts. Three SoE Reports have been produced to date (1990, 1994 and 2000). The next report is due to be produced at the end of 2007. One of the key lessons learnt in the production of these reports was the need to produce a national set of environmental indicators and improve stakeholder participation in the environmental reporting process. Zambia began the process of developing indicators at a stakeholders’ consensus workshop in August 2002 at which a wish list of applicable indicators to be used in environmental reporting was discussed. It was also resolved that an environmental reporting framework that is used by the Southern Africa region DIPSIR framework be adopted so that the Zambian report can fit into the regional report.

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