About SEEA

The System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) organizes and presents statistics on the environment and its relationship with the economy.

The SEEA is a statistical system that brings together economic and environmental information into a common framework to measure the condition of the environment, the contribution of the environment to the economy and the impact of the economy on the environment. The SEEA contains an internationally agreed set of standard concepts, definitions, classifications, accounting rules and tables to produce internationally comparable statistics.

The SEEA facilitates better informed decision-making. The system of accounts offers a means of monitoring: pressures exerted by the economy on the environment, in terms of abstraction of natural resources and emissions; impacts in terms of changes in environmental condition; and how the economy responds in terms of expenditure on environmental protection and resource management. The SEEA does not propose particular indicators, but is instead a holistic multi-purpose information system that can generate a wide range of statistics and indicators with varying potential analytical applications.

The SEEA framework follows a similar accounting structure to the System of National Accounts (SNA). The SEEA uses concepts, definitions and classifications consistent with the SNA in order to facilitate the integration of environmental and economic statistics. By doing so, the SEEA allows us to develop indicators and conduct analysis on the economy-environment nexus.

The SEEA consists of three parts:

  • The SEEA Central Framework was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission as the first international standard for environmental-economic accounting in 2012.
  • The SEEA Ecosystem Accounting offers a synthesis of current knowledge in ecosystem accounting.
  • The SEEA Applications and Extensions illustrates to compilers and users of SEEA Central Framework based accounts how the information can be used in decision making, policy review and formulation, analysis and research.

In addition, subsystems of the SEEA Central Framework provide further elaboration on specific resources or sectors. The subsystems are fully consistent with the over-arching SEEA, but provide further details on specific topics and try to build bridges between the accounting community and the community of experts in each specific subject area in terms of terminology, concepts, classifications and reporting.

SEEA Central Framework

An international statistical standard for measuring the environment and its relation to the economy Read More

SEEA Ecosystem Accounting

A measurement framework tracking changes in ecosystems and linking those changes to economic and other human activity Read More

SEEA Applications and Extensions

How to use the SEEA Central Framework accounts for decision making, policy formulation and research Read More