The Finnish sustainable development indicator process
The first national set of sustainable development indicators was published in 2000. The publication was preceded by two years of development work that involved hundreds of experts and stakeholders through commenting and seminars. "Signs of Sustainability" included 83 indicators with graphs and interpretations. The indicators were divided into ecological, economic and socio-cultural. The indicators monitored a national sustainable development strategy that was published in 1998.
The indicator set was updated twice in the year 2002 and 2004. In 2004 the framework of the indicators was also revised to better reflect the concept and challenge of sustainable development. Theme indicator leaflets were also introduced in the beginning of 2004 to support the work of the national commission for sustainable development.
The current indicator set was published in summer 2006 together with the new national strategy for sustainable development. 34 key indicators were integrated into the strategy. A wider set of indicators was also developed during the indicator process and those indicators will be used when needed to monitor the strategy. The key indicators have been updated in 2007 and 2009.
The national indicator work is carried out in cooperation between with several ministries and research institutes. Since 1997 a special working group called the indicator net has taken responsibility for the work. The role of the Statistics Finland has been central. The chairmanship is held by the Ministry of the Environment and the practical issues (collection of data, graphs and interpretations) are carried out at the Finnish Environment Institute.