26th Meeting of the London Group on Environmental Accounting

This year marked the 26th Meeting of the London Group on Environmental Accounting and, of course, the first year the meeting has been held virtually. This offered the possibility to engage more experts than usual, resulting in the largest London Group meeting yet. More than 100 participants from around the world gathered around their screens on 5-8 and 12 October to discuss papers and presentations on the SEEA. The meeting sessions focused on the SEEA Central Framework research agenda, SEEA implementation and applications, and the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting.

Thirty papers and presentations were discussed over the five days, which illustrated the depth and breadth of the work being done on the SEEA. Topics on the SEEA Central Framework were discussed, including experiences (in the U.S. and Europe) on the classification of environmental activities and fossil fuel transactions, among others. Similarly, many papers on the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting were presented, including on topics such valuation, testing of the ecosystem type classification of the revised SEEA Ecosystem Accounting, general equilibrium modeling, and more.

The meeting also covered a wide geographical scope, and participants discussed papers focusing on Afghanistan to Uganda and beyond. In addition, participants discussed papers on ecosystem accounts compiled by select countries (Mexico, India and South Africa) of the E.U. funded Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services project. Regional experiences were the focus on the last day of the meeting when implementation experiences in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Western Asia and Europe were discussed. The recent years have seen the development of regional Communities of Practice for the SEEA, and this session provided a valuable experience for countries within and across regions to learn from each other and share best practices.

Lastly, the meeting introduced the new Chair of the London Group, Sven Kaumanns, Head of Section of Environmental-Economic Accounting and Sustainable Development Reporting of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, who will be the Chair of the London Group for the next three years.

All of the papers and pre-recorded presentations of the meeting can be found on the meeting website: https://seea.un.org/events/london-group-environmental-accounting-26th-meeting. The meeting minutes will be posted to the meeting website soon.