Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services Project

Natural Capital Accounting - Land Cover

Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystems into policy through natural capital accounts in five countries

About the Project

The United Nations Statistics Division, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the European Union have launched the project “Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services(NCAVES).

The project funded by the European Union through its Partnership Instrument (PI), aims to assist the five participating partner countries, namely Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, to advance the knowledge agenda on environmental-economic accounting, in particular ecosystem accounting. It will initiate pilot testing of SEEA Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) with a view to:

  • Improving the measurement of ecosystems and their services (both in physical and monetary terms) at the (sub)national level;
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystems at (sub)national level policy planning and implementation;
  • Contribute to the development of internationally agreed methodology and its use in partner countries.

The project will have a duration until the end of 2021.


The project is organized along several workstreams.

  • Compiling ecosystem accounts: A range of ecosystem accounts will be piloted in the five project countries (see below for description each country). These accounts will be in physical and monetary terms. The accounts will be subsequently applied in scenario analysis based on national policy priorities. 
  • Guidelines and methodology: the country pilots will feed into the revision of the SEEA EEA and guidelines (on biophysical modeling, valuation, and scenario analysis) that will contribute to national and global implementation of NCA;
  • Indicators: Development and testing of a set of indicators in the context of the post 2020 Biodiversity Agenda and other international initiatives
  • Business accounts: Contribute to the alignment between SEEA and corporate sustainability reporting
  • Communications: increase awareness of natural capital accounting both in project countries and beyond through developing a range of products
  • Enhanced capacity building and knowledge sharing: enlarging the community of practitioners on natural capital accounting by e-Learnings and training workshops (in country and regional).

In parallel, within project countries inter-institutional mechanisms around NCA will be established or strengthened, through a country assessment feeding into developing a national roadmap.

Pilot countries


A range of ecosystem accounts, experimental statistics and a pilot study in Rio Grande river basin,

                          specifically in the states of Maranhao-Tocantins-Piaui-Bahia (MATOPIBA) .



Support ongoing pilots in the provinces of Guangxi Autonomous Region and Guizhou.

                           At the national level support will be provided to develop natural resource balance sheets.



A suite of ecosystem accounts will be assessed in a pilot for the State of Karnataka.

                           Several ecosystem services will be assessed at the national scale.



Building on earlier pilot accounts for the state of Aguascalientes, ecosystem extent, condition and 

                           services accounts will be compiled at the state and national level.


South Africa

Various types of ecosystem accounts will be compiled, including ecosystem services accounts for

                           KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, and ecosystem extent accounts at the national level.


Implementing Partners

Project funded by:

The European Union