The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2014 was released on 25 January 2014. As per the Index, India was ranked 155 out of 178 countries with an index score of 31.23 points in its efforts to address environmental challenges.
India was ranked behind neighbouring countries China at 118, Pakistan at 148 and Nepal at 139 respectively.
Among the BRICS countries, South Africa was placed at 72nd position, followed by Russia (73), Brazil (77) and China (118).
Other highlights of the EPI
• The two objectives that provide the overarching structure of the 2014 EPI are Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality.
• The 178 nations in the index represent 99 per cent of the global population, 98 per cent of the world's total land area, and 97 per cent of the global GDP.
• The country with the highest EPI is Switzerland which is followed by Luxembourg, Australia, Singapore, and Czech Republic.
• The bottom five performers in the EPI are Somalia, Mali, Haiti, Lesotho, and Afghanistan. All the low performers are grappling with civil unrest, significant economic development pressures, and political turmoil.
• Urbanisation without sufficient investment in environmental safeguards is the key reason for emerging economies' poor showing when it comes to air quality, biodiversity and habitat protection.
The EPI is prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) as well as with support from the Samuel Family Foundation and the McCall MacBain Foundation.
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is constructed through the calculation and aggregation of 20 indicators reflecting national-level environmental data. These indicators are combined into nine issue categories, each of which fit under one of two overarching objectives.
I – Environmental Health
i) Health Impact
a) Child Mortality
ii) Air Quality
a) Household Air Quality
b) Air Pollution PM 2.5 Exposure
iii) Water and Sanitation
a) Access to Sanitation
b) Access to drinking water
II- Ecosystem Vitality
iv) Water resources
a) Wastewater treatment
a) Agricultural subsidies
b) Pesticide regulation
a) Change in Forest cover
a) Coastal shelf fishing pressure
b) Fish stock
viii) Biodiversity and Habitat
a) Terrestrial Protected Areas
b) Critical Habitat Protection
c) Marine Protected Areas
ix) Climate and energy
a) Climate + energy