Going Beyond GDP

One major limitation of using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator is the poor representation of natural assets. The contribution of natural capital like forests, water sources, wetlands, agricultural land and oceans is not factored into GDP. To make nature visible in national accounts, natural capital has to be measured, which is very challenging for researchers specializing in social and economic indicators.

This issue was discussed by a panel of experts at the 18th meeting of the Brazil – European Union Civil Society Round Table in Brasília, Brazil, on 15-16 September 2014. The event was organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Brazilian Economic and Social Development Council (CDES).

The panel focused on defining development indicators that go beyond GDP within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Speakers included Rômulo Paes de Sousa, the Director of the RIO+ Centre; Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Advisor to the Board of the Association of Portuguese Metallurgical, Mechanical Engineering and Similar Industrial Companies (AIMMAP), and Nelson Côrtes, CDES member and CEO of Brasil Solair.

To find out more about the meeting, go to:

European Economic and Social Committee

Conselho de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social


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