UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Second Measuring Progress report for UNEP

Investigating how national activities may impact on the environment and society to understand how national policy can support progress towards achieving the SDG targets.

Treetops seen from the ground

1 June 2020

Key Facts

  • Funding body: UNEP
  • ​​​​​​Collaborators: Therese El Gemayel, Science Division, UNEP
  • Duration: January 2020 - June 2020


This Measuring Progress report serves two purposes. It explores the potential and limitations of using a statistical correlation analysis between indicator pairs (“state of the environment” and “drivers of change” indicators; “state of the environment” and “state of society” indicators) to improve the understanding of the interlinkages between SDG indicators. It also informs on progress being made for those SDG indicators UNEP identified as environment-related since December 2018, based on data from the SDG Global Indicators Database.

The analysis revealed examples where correlations are significant and are consistent with intuition or published evidence. In line with published evidence and intuition, water stress and water ecosystem extent are negatively correlated; Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) related to biomass extraction is negatively correlated with the Red List Index; and the proportion of Key Biodiversity Areas and certified forest area are correlated with both water ecosystem extent and forest area.

  • Publication of the second Measuring Progress report.
  • Contributed to UNEPs 2nd Measuring Progress publication: UNEP (2021) ‘Measuring Progress: Environment and the SDGs’, United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi, Kenya

Photo by ANGELA BENITO on Unsplash