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Angra do Heroísmo ,  May 28, 2009

Regional Secretariat for the Environment refutes Regional development indicator

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and the Sea refuted today the data concerning the Synthetic Indicator for Regional Development (ISDR) in the Azores, which was elaborated by the National Statistics Institute (INE) in a partnership with the Department of Prospective and Planning, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning .
These two institutions have published a composite indicator (the ISDR) for 2006, but taking into account the evolution from 2004 to 2006. That indicator, when applied to the Azores, “generates results that clearly do not correspond to the reality that was demonstrated by statistics and acknowledged by the Azoreans” said Álamo Meneses.
This “distortion between the reality and the value of the ISDR results from this indicator combining three distinct components (competitiveness, cohesion and environmental quality) and, within each one, being a large number of indicators (25 for competitiveness, 25 for cohesion and 15 for environmental quality),” explained the Secretary.
The same weight is given to all the 65 indicators, being consecutively added up which, according to Álamo Meneses, makes the ISDR “an outcome of a simple sum that is the result of an addition with an equal weighting of very different realities.”  
Giving examples regarding these unadjusted realities, the Regional Secretary mentioned the proportion of the population living in municipalities with two thousand or more inhabitants, the gender gap in employment, the proportion of marriages between Portuguese individuals and foreign individuals, the percentage of the population with sewage treatment or the criminality.
“This list could continue until the GDP per capita, the employment, the air quality, or the water quality human consumption,” added Álamo Meneses.
“Obviously, the sum of such distinct realities arises from an indicator which is the direct consequence of the chosen indicators: the inclusion of indicators that clearly value regions with a high population density instead of those with a low population density; therefore, we have surprising conclusions,” underlined the Secretary.
“The results are as surprising as placing the Porto metropolitan area alongside the small villages of Beira, or placing the Azores, with their acknowledged environmental quality recognised by National and International entities (some of them even consider that the Region is among the world’s best regions regarding its environmental qualities), alongside regions that are recognised by their well-known environmental problems,” added Álamo Meneses.
Regarding this environmental indicator, Álamo Meneses underlines that “the best we have when we mix apples and oranges is deceiving results”; therefore, “this ISDR is not surely a good indicator, and it is not even an indicator of the environmental situation and the development stage of the Azores.”


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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