World Bank Highlights Little Green Data Book’s Relevance to Post-2015 Agenda

World Bank5 June 2013: The World Bank has released the 2013 edition of the 'Little Green Data Book,' the Bank's annual compilation of environment data. The Book assesses development and environment using over 50 indicators, including adjusted net savings (ANS), which aims to foster innovative ways of understanding sustainable development at the macroeconomic level, and to complement gross domestic product (GDP) measuring; both of which are key aspects of the post-2015 agenda.

The Little Green Data Book, released on the occasion of World Environment Day 2013, is a pocket-sized reference on key environmental data for over 200 economies, based on World Development Indicators 2013 and its online database. Key indicators are organized under the headings of: agriculture; forests and biodiversity; energy and emissions; water and sanitation; environment and health; and oceans. Data are presented for the following regions: East Asia and Pacific; Europe and Central Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and North Africa; South Asia; and Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the World Bank, "ANS measures the real difference between production and consumption, taking into account investments in human capital, depreciation of fixed capital, depletion of natural resources, and damages caused by pollution." Also called genuine savings, ANS shows the level of sustainability of a country measuring whether depletion of natural capital is being compensated by other investments, such as in human capital and infrastructure.

The Book complements the work of the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) project, a global partnership led by the World Bank that seeks to include the value of natural capital in countries.

The World Bank underscores that ANS echoes the call for better indicators to measure the state of the environment and natural resources outlined in the report of the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP), which was released on 30 May 2013. [World Bank Press Release] [Publication: The Little Green Data Book 2013] [WAVES Project[IISD RS Story on HLP Report]