IUCN Resolution: SEEA for Accounting for Biodiversity

The IUCN Motion 070 Accounting for biodiversity: encompassing ecosystems, species and genetic diversity, co-led by Conservation International together with many other co-sponsors, including the governments of Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa, passed with resounding approval, with 100% of states and 98% of NGO & indigenous people’s organizations (IPO) members voting  “yes”. 

This is an immense step forward on accounting for natural capital following the United Nations Systems of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA), an internationally accepted framework for incorporating nature into national accounting systems. 

This new IUCN resolution calls for the development and implementation of the SEEA to describe accounting for biodiversity at ecosystem, species and genetic levels; ii. the application of accounting to support the derivation of indicators of biodiversity change (e.g. monitoring for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, SDGs, etc.) and the production and organization of biodiversity and ecosystem services data; iii. support to the national statistical offices, in implementing the SEEA; and iv. implementation and application of SEEA accounting for biodiversity in all relevant aspects of their work.  Read the full motion here https://www.iucncongress2020.org/motion/070.

The SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) the framework for .accounting for ecosystem and its benefits to the economy and livelihoods, was formally published in 2014.  A revision process of the SEEA EEA which started in 2018  has recently completed global consultation. A special working group of experts on accounting for biodiversity was established in early 2020 to have a common understanding about how the SEEA could better reflect biodiversity in the revised SEEA EA to support policy and decision making. The final revised SEEA EA will be submitted for adoption by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 52nd session in March 2021. 

This article was contributed by Conservation International.

Related article:

Linking Biodiversity with National Economic Accounting  examines the various strategies for biodiversity indicators to be linked into national economic accounts, specifically the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) framework. 

Photo: Bettapogi, Bee collects pollen on Chamomile flowers