Supporting SEEA Implementation in Countries
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) has been working on projects that support countries in developing and strengthening their environmental-economic accounting programmes. UNSD works with national statistical offices and other stakeholders to establish regular SEEA programmes which respond to national policy priorities and the need for consistent, coherent measurement systems for measuring progress towards sustainable development. National implementation projects usually share two common activities: the development of national plans and the compilation of pilot accounts. These activities (described below) incorporate collaboration and communication with line ministries and users with the aim of institutionalizing the accounts and mainstreaming the SEEA in countries.
Developing National Plans:
Before compiling accounts, project countries first utilize diagnostic tools to assess their respective institutional environment and data availability. Subsequently, countries develop national plans based on the outputs of the diagnostic tools. The national plans then serve as blue prints for the implementation of the SEEA by identifying policy priorities and the environmental-economic accounts that can best inform those priorities. Consultations on the national plans are usually held with relevant national stakeholders to ensure broad uptake and increase awareness and buy-in.
Compiling Pilot Accounts:
The compilation of the pilot accounts provide an opportunity to work with partners across government to determine how best to compile the accounts. Accounts are usually compiled using already available data from the national statistical office and/or other government institutions, and most countries already have the data needed for SEEA accounts. However, data availability and technical expertise are not enough to ensure sustained production of the accounts. Established institutional mechanisms and collaboration among data producers are key factors to successful compilation of the pilot accounts in countries.
Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in Africa and Asia (2020-2023)
This project aims to remove technical and institutional barriers to the compilation of SEEA at the national level and to promote the usage of the accounts for evidence-based policy for 4-6 countries in Africa and Asia. In particular, the project will address the implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA) in these countries using a flexible and modular approach. Project activities will focus on: building the institutional frameworks in support of SEEA implementation; building capacity in countries to compile selected accounts on a regular basis; fostering inter-instituional relationships to promote collaboration and data-sharing in producing the accounts; and promoting the effective communication and use of the accounts in supporting evidence-based policies and the SDGs. The United Nations Development Account is providing funding for this project.
Recent events under this project include high-level launches in two of the project countries:
Developing and Strengthening Environmental-Economic Accounting (2015-2017)
The project, “Supporting Member States in developing and strengthening environment statistics and integrated environmental-economic accounting for improved monitoring of sustainable development,” took place over the period of 2015 to 2017, with four participating Member States--Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia and Uganda. The objective of the project was to improve the capacity of national statistical offices in the project countries to compile official statistics that inform policy makers on the environment-economic nexus and to allow measurement of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The main in-country activities focused on the development of national plans and the compilation of pilot accounts. The United Nations Development Account provided the funding for this project.