Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services - Brazil
Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into policy through natural capital accounting
What's been accomplished
The activities and related outputs of the project NCAVES in Brazil include:
Compilation of a range of ecosystem accounts and studies at the national level:
- Ecosystem extent accounts: The publication, “Ecosystem Accounts: Land Use in Brazilian Biomes (2000-2018)”, was released on 24 September 2020 in Portuguese. The English translation was released in August 2021.
- Biodiversity / Species accounts. The publication, Ecosystem Accounts: Endangered Species in Brazil, 2014, was released on 5 November 2020 in Portuguese. The English translation wa released in August 2021
- The second release of the water accounts “Environmental-economic accounts for water” was jointly published by the national water agency (ANA) and IBGE on 7 May 2020. English translation of the accounts was published in August 2021
- Experimental statistics have been released (in Portuguese) on the valuation of water, ecosystem condition accounts (of water), as well as non-timber forest accounts assessing provisioning services in physical and monetary units. An English summary can be found in the Final Project Report.
Pilot accounts in the MATOPIBA region
The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) has assessed various hydrological services for the MATOPIBA region as well as conducting scenario analysis to model the effects of land use and land cover changes on these services in areas undergoing a rapid expansion of mechanized agriculture in Brazil, which is the case of the Rio Grande River Basin, the second fastest advancing agricultural frontier.
Looking ahead - Next steps for Ecosystem Accounting in Brazil
Through the NCAVES project, IBGE has built a supportive management structure, trained economic and environmental statistics experts, published important accounts, and launched several studies and used experimental statistics related to natural capital accounting. IBGE also solidified partnerships with other specialized institutions in Brazil to improve data availability to provide policy insights.
Brazil will now consolidate NCA and ecosystem accounting in a strategic and systemised way across government as the Brazilian System of Environmental Economic Accounts (BRASEEA). BRASEEA will:
- fully integrate ecosystem contributions to prosperity and well-being with measures of social and economic activity;
- enable public policy and strategic planning to take account of the benefits of a healthy environment and its contribution to societal well-being;
- help decision-making optimise between sustainable economic, social and environmental outcomes; and
- help the environmental, economic, and social returns from investments in the environment be more clearly demonstrated.
To realise this potential a five-year road map is proposed, supported by external funding. The road map will involve:
- strengthening the institutional framework (implementation of the Technical Cooperation Agreements);
- conceptual development (participation in the development of international methodologies);
- data development (updates, framework for data sharing, etc.);
- accounts development (energy, forests, biodiversity, among others); and
- communication and engagement (workshops with environmental policy and decision makers, conference on application of EEA for environmental policy and decision making, etc.).
Since 2012, when the SEEA Central Framework came into force, the IBGE has been leading the development of several efforts related to this international standard. Environmental-Economic Accounts started to be seen in some Brazilian institutions as a key tool for an effective public management of natural resources
The first accounts launched were the Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (EEA-W) in Brazil, in March 2018, in a partnership between IBGE and the National Water Agency (ANA), as a result of the GIZ funded regional-local TEEB project which had a pillar on Natural capital accounting. These accounts provide important information on water usage and water efficiency.
The Monitoring of Land Use and Land Change (LULC) was first launched by IBGE in 2015 and in 2018 was organized according to SEEA-CF Land Accounts, becoming the second account launched in Brazil.
In 2017, with the launch of the project NCAVES in Brazil, IBGE started testing the methodology of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting and compiling a range of experimental ecosystem accounts at national level.
NCAVES Implementation in Brazil
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE, for its acronym in Portuguese) is the lead institution implementing the European Union- funded project Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) in Brazil, in collaboration with a range of other national partners such as the National Water Agency (ANA), National Forest System (SNF) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).