The burgeoning demand of 1.3+ population coupled with unplanned developmental activities have been jeopardizing the subtle equilibrium between well-being and social development without compromising the quality and stock of the existing biophysical resources. Hence, an assessment of environmental performance at decentralized levels is necessary to understand the current environmental status. It has become extremely important to assess the condition of the ecosystem accurately in order to facilitate proper management measures to enhance the quality of environment and prevent it from deteriorating even more. As such there has been tremendous improvement in environmental assessment methods. Technology has advanced significantly which facilitates easy access and interpretation of data required in environmental research. Real-time data as well as historical data is available for various environmental parameters like Climate Indicators, Marine data, Atmospheric Chemistry Atmospheric Phenomena, Land-Surface data, Cryosphere data, Biosphere data, Terrestrial data, etc. There are numerous data sets available from a variety of sources, including experimentally acquired data to data obtained from satellite-based remote sensing. NASA's Giovanni, NASA's Earthdata search, and EU's Copernicus Climate Data Store are few of the web service providers. Numerous software applications are available that enable quick and accurate processing of huge volumes of data, allowing the researcher to obtain accurate results to base their decisions. MATLAB, QGIS, ARCGIS, Whitebox GAT, uDig, gVSIG, GeoDa, FalconView and MapWindow etc. are few of the software applications available for facilitating easy data processing. There are several indices which try to assess environmental performance and sustainability on various scales ranging from city level to country level. Air quality Index, Ecological Footprint, Material Footprint, Environmental Performance Indicator (EPI) are few examples of environmental indices.

An environmental performance index (EPI) reflects the environmental performance of a region, developed by integrating social, economic, bio, geo and climatic information, which provide insights to the sustainability of natural resources. The environmental performance based on climate change performance, environmental health, ecosystem vitality, etc. aids as a practical guide for evolving appropriate policies to mitigate impacts and ensure sustainability with the understanding of ecological or environment thresholds. The environment quality, social responsibility, and the economic prudence constitute pillars of sustainability. United Nations has formulated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, based on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (UN 2012,

The current issue of Sahyadri E News (Issue 86) presents Environmental Performance Indices computed talukwise for Karnataka. The environmental assessment is primarily done by measuring the present conditions of the region against the safe, sustainable conditions (or goals) set for the region. Policies and initiatives need to be formulated with the objective of ensuring a long-term sustainable future. Adaptations in the regional policies (environmental, social and economic) for prudent management of natural resources (land, water, energy, etc.) are crucial to accomplish sufficiency in biophysical resources while bequeathing social equity in access and exploitation of natural resources toward the continuance of social developments with the overall economic development.