PAGE South Africa Validates Selected Indicators to track its progress towards a Greener Economy

Pretoria, 10 July 2019 - As countries embark on green economy transitions, it is crucial for them to be able to measure and track their progress towards their goals. Accurate information about the effects of past and current policies is an essential component of the policymaking cycle, which helps to ensure that countries’ efforts achieve the maximum possible impact. The Green Economy Progress (GEP) measurement framework tracks progress on a country level and facilitates cross-country or cross-provincial comparisons of achieved progress. It is also consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as it includes indicators correlated to most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) together with the South African Government through Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) as well as Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), hosted a Validation workshop on the Green Economy Indicator Measurement Framework. The workshop is a culmination of work that started in January 2019 led by UN Environment under PAGE.

The GEP Index captures the multi-dimensions of an Inclusive Green Economy. It measures accumulation of capital--be it natural, low carbon and resource efficient, human, or social--which serves as input for producing goods and services in an environmentally friendly manner. The GEP Measurement Framework is flexible when it comes to selecting indicators, thereby making cross-country comparisons possible on any particular aspect of an Inclusive Green Economy, as long as the underlying data is available. The process of establishing the South African Green Economy Measurement Framework is currently at the stage of indicators selection and validation. The indicator selection process started on February 2019, through an online focus-group made up of diverse government stakeholders.

Prior to the validation workshop, participants were given a catalogue of 270 candidate indicators, gleaned from national policy documents. Participants were then invited to select up to 20 indicators deemed as being particularly relevant for South Africa. The PAGE team compiled the indicators and methodically filtered and condensed them to a group of 21 indicators. Government stakeholders then reviewed each indicator, determined its relevance and validity and confirmed national data availability.

The data sources for the validated indicators were mainly derived from existing government frameworks such as the South Africa’s National Development Plan - Outcome 10 document, the Development Indicators Report, South Africa’s SDG baseline Report, including others. This is to ensure the ownership, legitimacy and the acceptability of the selection process.

Following the selection of indicators process, calculations of green economy progress can be applied to monitor the advancement or regression on separate indicators.