Environmental statistics are an integrated collection of data which include the natural environment, biodiversity, and human settlements. It is the broad application of statistical methodology to a holistic view of natural resources, human and natural activities that affect the environment and the impact of these activities. Statistics are usually compiled by central statistical agencies, international bodies, and independent organizations.
The impact of human activities on the environment is of major concern to our continued survival and future, becoming the cornerstone of many national policies and international guidelines.
It is clear now that sustainable development can only be achieved through a conscious integration of environmental and socio-economic developmental concerns. Data for environmental statistics are collected through surveys, censuses, scientific research, monitoring systems and administrative records.
These environmental inventories are necessary to act as a benchmark for further changes and to encourage intersectional analyses with related areas of development. The objectives of environmental statistics are:
- To collect data on natural resources and pollutants
- To manage a database that is conducive to national and international use and analysis
- To develop sustainable indicators related to the environment
- To integrate environmental data into general socio-economic developmental frameworks
Environmental statistics seek to provide high quality statistical information to improve knowledge of the environment, support evidence-based policy making and provide information to special interest groups and the general public.
Qualitative environmental data consists of pictorial or textual descriptions of the environment that is difficult to represent via statistics alone. Quantitative environmental data relates to environmental statistics or indicators that are usually represented using databases and spreadsheets.
Together, they help to form a broad view of the state of the environment, the important changes over time and the main factors influencing them.
Author: Central Statistical Office