2005 - 02 - 08

*Finland and Norway top ranking in environment conservation

Finland, Norway and Uruguay are top ranking among 146 countries in the Index of Environmental Sustainability 2005, made by the North American universities Yale and Columbia.

North and Middle European and South American countries ranked highest in the 2005 index of environmental sustainability. USA was ranked 45th among the 146 countries measured. Kuwait, Iraq, North Korea and Taiwan were ranked at the very end.

The index, that has been made in co-operation with World Economic Forum, ranks countries on the basis of 75 different environmental criteria, for example water and air quality, biodiversity, emissions of climatic gases and of sodium hydroxide (contained in acid rain), over-fishing and co-operation with other countries concerning climatic questions.

In a comment to the environment performance measurement Mr Oliver Scholz, PR Manager of the PEFC Council in Luxemburg, notes the interesting fact that Nordic countries, which have a high percentage of PEFC certified forest, are ranked high in the index.

The first complete Index of Environmental Sustainability was published in 2002. It stirred up a great fuss and resulted in much self-examination in countries that had been ranked at the end, says Mr Daniel Ely, director of Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy.