Outcome indicators are:
based on a natural capital framework – each indicator is assigned as a condition of, pressure on, or service/benefit from, natural capital;
designed to make best use of existing monitoring programmes;
to be used to show changes in the environment over the period of the 25 Year Environment Plan;
voluntarily compliant with the Code of Practice for Statistics and some are official statistics in themselves (see Official statistics);
reported showing their connections to relevant actions, commitments, targets and strategies as well as links to relevant datasets.
The 66 indicators are arranged into 10 broad themes. These are topics that people will generally recognise as relating to different aspects of the environment (for example, air, water, seas and estuaries, and wildlife). Some indicators may be applicable to one or more themes but have been allocated to just one of them. Detailed descriptions of each of the indicators are presented in this dashboard. The 25 Year Environment Plan goals and targets relevant to each indicator, the natural capital assets to which each indicator relates, and other relevant international reporting commitments are also detailed within these descriptions.
The readiness of each indicator is assessed in terms of whether it is already published or whether further development is required. Links are also provided to relevant data sources and data trends are presented where data are available in appropriate formats. In some instances, interim indicators are presented pending further development of the indicator; this is clearly identified where relevant. The geographic scope refers to intended coverage, any interim deviation from this is specified within individual indicator fiches.
The inclusion of 66 indicators in the framework provides a comprehensive and systematic means to observe and convey environmental change. However, for some purposes it may not be necessary to examine this large number of indicators. Therefore, in the framework we identify a sub-set of the indicators under 16 headlines; these are highlighted in the individual indicator pages. The headline indicators relate to key aspects of the environment which are a focus of policy intervention and should make intuitive sense to a wide range of readers. When complete, the framework will present a large amount of information and so we will highlight key indicators under headlines to provide a way to simplify this information and provide clear communication. Further examples on how the headlines and indicators may be used are given in Section B of the 2019 report.