African NCA Community of Practice Webinar: ARIES for SEEA for rapid natural capital accounts generation: Towards fast, transparent and standardized yet customizable ecosystem accounts

The webinar is part of a series under the Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice organized in cooperation between UNSD and the World Bank Global Program on Sustainability, the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, the Conservation International and the Capitals Coalition. 

Date and time: Thursday, 5 May 2022 at 12:00 pm UTC (8:00 am EDT, 14:00 CET/CAT, 15:00 EAT)


Presented by: the ARIES team (Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability) of BC3 (Basque Center for Climate Change)

The Artificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability (ARIES) team, in collaboration with the United Nations, has developed a web-based application in support of the implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting--Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) that was adopted in 2021 as a statistical standard.

The ARIES for SEEA Explorer is a computational platform that lowers the barriers to compiling ecosystem accounts. The application can generate a basic set of ecosystem accounts for any user-specified terrestrial area in the world (such as a country, administrative region, watershed, etc.), through its access to hundreds of data sets (from global to local). The Explorer’s technology is based on machine reasoning and chooses the best-available combination of web-hosted data and models for the analysis context. For example, the use of national data is prioritized over global data. In case no national data are accessible to the system for the chosen area of interest, the accounts are generated from global data sets.

The current ARIES for SEEA functionalities include land accounts; ecosystem extent accounts (based on the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology), condition accounts (for forest ecosystem types), and selected ecosystem services in physical and monetary units, using basic models as a starting point. The outcomes can be analyzed and downloaded to further explore and improve the results (either through a spreadsheet or GIS software).

The philosophy behind ARIES is based on the principle of interoperability: it enables users to share their own data and models, thereby growing the accuracy of the accounts and the functionalities of the platform.



The objective of this webinar is to present to the Africa NCA community of practice the ARIES for SEEA web-based application and to demonstrate the potential of this technology.


Chair/Moderator: Monica Lopez Colon, Programme Management Officer, UNEP


Program Outline

Welcome remarks: Peter Katanisa, NCA CoP Coordinator, World Bank

1- Introduction: SEEA EA implementation strategy and ARIES for SEEA  
Speaker: Bram Edens, UNSD

2- Presentation/demo: ARIES, an Integrated modelling platform to democratize knowledge and information
Speaker: Ferdinando Villa, BC3

3- Presentation/demo: the ARIES for SEEA web-based application, developing fully transparent and automatic compilation of Ecosystem Accounts
Speaker: Alessio Bulckaen, BC3

4- Presentation: Interoperability and Artificial Intelligence to standardize and scale up ecosystem accounting - advancing automatization and customization of models
Speaker: Kenneth Bagstad, USGS

5- Open Q&A with the audience

Contact: Alessio Bulckaen, NCA officer, BC3 []




Watch the webinar

ARIES for SEEA for rapid natural capital accounts generation

Event Date

Thursday, 05 May 2022 - 8:00am to 9:30am