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A US Human Wellbeing Index (HWBI) for evaluating the influence of economic, social and ecological service flows
Smith, L., Kevin Summers, AND L. Harwell. A US Human Wellbeing Index (HWBI) for evaluating the influence of economic, social and ecological service flows. Presented at Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference 2012, July 31 - August 04, 2012.
The overarching goal of USEPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHCRP) is to inform and empower decision makers to equitably weigh and integrate human health, socio-economic, environmental, and ecological factors to foster sustainability in the built and natural environments. The primary focus of the SHCRP is on developing tools and approaches to help local decision makers understand the effects on sustainability of alternative policies and actions. ORD research to develop a national scale, human wellbeing index (HWBI) has been underway since 2009 with the intention of using this integrated measure as an endpoint for evaluating the influence of social, economic and environmental service flows on human wellbeing. The HWBI incorporates 8 domains of wellbeing, described by 27 indicators, weighted by relative importance values. Tracked over time, the index and its domain components have the potential to serve as measures of sustainable human well-being when linked to alternative decisions that change the ecological, economic, and social states of defined populations. The metrics and methodologies for constructing the national scale measure have been developed and a draft U.S. HWBI has been calculated. Here we describe the methods used to construct the national HWBI, how the index tracks with existing measures of national wellbeing (2000-2010), and suggest next steps for modifying the national index for various spatial scales and population groups.
Communicate SHCRP human wellbeing research results (index development) to international scientific community focused on ecosystem services science, policy and valuation.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION