Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-based Policy in the Philippines and Senegal

Last month, UNSD kicked off a new project, “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-based Policy” in two countries, Philippines and Senegal. The project, funded by the UN Development Account, is taking place in 4-6 countries in Africa and Asia and runs until mid-2023. It is aimed at removing the technical and institutional barriers to the compilation of the SEEA at the national level. The project also aims to promote the usage of the accounts for evidence-based policy.


High-Level Launch in the Philippines

On 28 May 2021, UNSD and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) held a virtual high-level launch of the project, with over 130 participants from PSA, line ministries and NGOs participating. The launch was opened by the Chief Statistician of PSA, Mr. Dennis Mapa, and opening messages were provided by Usec. Mercedita Sombilla of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez, UN RC of the Philippines; and Ms. Gemma Van Halderen of ESCAP. The opening messages focused on the importance of the SEEA and the project in achieving sustainable development and a green recovery from COVID-19. Speakers also noted the leadership that the Philippines has shown in the region in compiling the SEEA. The launch included a session on SEEA initiatives in the Philippines, with presentations from UNSD and PSA, as well as a panel discussion. The panel discussion included experts from NEDA; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and the Resources, Environment and Economics Center and demonstrated the shared commitment of line ministries and PSA to SEEA implementation and the project. Finally, former Chief Statistician of PSA and adviser to the project, Dr. Lisa S. Bersales, provided an overview of the launch and outlined potential next steps. In closing the workshop, PSA thanked participants for their commitment and enthusiasm for the project.

High-Level Launch in Senegal

The high-level launch of the project in Senegal took place on 4 May 2021 via teleconference. The project is a collaborative effort between the National Agency of Statistics and Demography of Senegal (ANSD) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) in Senegal. Implementation of the SEEA requires a multi-stakeholder approach and the cooperation of many partners and national structures. Hence, this high-level launch aimed to ensure ownership of the project by various stakeholders and invited them to participate in the national technical committee that will be formed for the implementation of the SEEA in Senegal.

The launch event was hosted by the ANSD and attended by over 35 participants from several national agencies, including the ministry of environment, the environmental protection agency, ministry of economy and planning, and others, as well as international partners. The event was opened by the director-general of ANSD and the representative of the UN Resident Coordinator. Presentations on the project and the demand for environmental-economic accounting in Senegal were made. The event concluded with outlining the next steps and invited the national agencies to nominate experts to participate in the technical committee.