Socio-Economic Pressure on Nature (SEPON)

Socio-Economic Pressure on Nature (SEPON) is an index under development to provide a semi-quantitative method to estimate the likelihood an individual in a given location is having a negative or positive impact on Earth resources.  While under development the SEPON index will focus on Australian geographic locations.

Although SEPON relies on government and private sector data the development of index is a completely independent endeavour.

SEPON has two main conceptual areas, which are called Natural Resource Utilisation (NRU) and Natural Resource Conservation (NRC). NRU and NRC have some concepts that are counter to each other (e.g. National Parks generally increase the NRC values, but decrease the NRU values). SEPON therefore applies  measures to give an indication of the 'balance' between these conceptual areas. For example a geographic area that is dominated by National Park could provide few physical resources to the human population even if that population has a low resource requirement.

The index uses various attributes from numerous sources that can be applied to specific geographic areas. SEPON can be applied to small (e.g. suburban scale) or large areas (e.g. states) where consistent data is available across those areas. The draft index datasets is presently very NSW centric and includes Roads & Maritime Services vehicle data, Australian Bureau of Statistics population and dwelling data, Human Services negative income and long term transfer payment data, Office of Environment and Heritage landuse data and more.

The present draft version of SEPON provides an index value of between -40 and +40. If a geographic area has a value of 0 a person living in that geographic area is 'likely' to have little impact on the long term environmental condition of the area. The higher positive number indicates an increased likelihood that a person living in that geographic area will have a net sustainability. Conversely a strongly negative value means that the impact of a person living in that area cannot be sustained overall by that geographic area (i.e. the 'footprint' of all the people living in that geographical area extends beyond the areas geographical boundaries).

Early examples of SEPON index values have been calculated for some areas for testing purposes. Since the SEPON product is presently under development but some draft index values area available in some locations.

SEPON is copyright by Rodney W. Holland. For more information about SEPON please contact Rodney W. Holland through his business directly.

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