Environmental indicators offer a simple measure of the status of an environmental attribute.
Many different specific environmental indicators are available, examples include indicators of potential damage, such as toxic emissions, as well as indicators of potential benefits, such as biodiversity. Environmental indicators can be used in trade-off analysis. Below are links to useful general indicators as well as links to soil erosion, pesticide toxicity, and other indicators.
- National environmental indicator data: The World Bank’s "The Little Green Data Book" offers national and regional data extracted from its annual World Development Report with environmental information for all nations.
- OECD Environmental Performance of Agriculture - Indicators page links to a broad set of indicators for member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Details on how the indicators were developed are included in the 2001 report, Environmental Indicators for Agriculture: Methods and Results.
Soil Erosion Indicators:
Tools for estimating the effects of water-caused soil erosion range from a single equation to a complex simulation model. Three major tools are:
- Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE): This is the original and most widely used tool for estimating soil erosion without knowing location specific data, developed by Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.
- Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE): RUSLE is a revised, updated version of the USLE, developed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
- Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP): WEPP is a process-based, distributed parameter, continuous simulation, erosion prediction model. It can simulate hill slope erosion processes, as well as simulation of the hydrologic and erosion processes on small watersheds.
Pesticide Toxicity Indicators:
- Toxicity of Pesticides: This bulletin from Penn State Extension explains how pesticide toxicity is measure, what are the four toxicity risk categories. and what are acute toxicity levels for major pesticides.
- Pesticide Topical & Chemical Fact Sheet, Assessing Health Risks from Pesticides: This EPA site explains how EPA calculates health risks from pesticides.
- Pesticide Fact Sheets: National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) Pesticide Fact Sheets provide general pesticide information, including toxicity profiles, organized by pesticide active ingredient name. (Oregon State University and EPA).
- Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs): EXTOXNET (Extension Toxicology Network, UC- Davis). provides detailed information on pesticide toxicity, but less cleanly presented than the NPIC pesticide fact sheets.
- Toxicology Information Briefs (TIBs): TIBs explains toxicology information contained in the EXTOXNET Pesticide Information Profiles above.