Earth Observations in Support of Environmental-Economic Accounting – Side Event of the Group on Earth Observations Plenary

On November 4, UNSD participated in a side-event of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2019 in Canberra:Earth Observations in Support of Environmental-Economic Accounting: understanding the value of ecosystems to people.” The event provided an opportunity for exploring the contribution of System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) to sustainable development, focusing on earth observation as an enabling factor for ecosystem accounting and showcasing examples of ecosystem accounts from both developed and developing nations.

Over 50 people attended the event, which brought together statisticians, geospatial experts and others. Participants were introduced to the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) and the current revision, including how the earth observation community can provide support through the Earth Observations for Ecosystem Accounting (EO4EA) initiative, which is fully aligned to the SEEA EEA revision and implementation. Presentations highlighting country experiences and applications were also made by members of the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting. Presentations were made from representatives of INEGI (Mexico), the Australia Department of Environment and Energy, the United States Geological Survey and Statistics Canada. Engaging discussions followed the presentations and covered the challenges in bridging the gap between earth observation data products and the needs of statistics agencies, examples of how ecosystem accounting information can be used for policy making, and some of the technical issues highlighted in the presentations.

The recording of the event can be accessed at: