Natural Capital Accounting in Support of Land Degradation Neutrality- Side Event CoP14 India

The 14th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification took place from 2 to 13 September 2019 in Delhi, India.


A side-event was jointly organized by the United Nations Statistics Division, UN Environment and the Gabarone Declaration of Sustainability in Africa in close collaboration with UNCCD member countries participating in the NCAVES project or GDSA and the European Union, entitled “Natural Capital Accounting in support of Land Degradation Neutrality.” The objective of the session was to provide an overview of the SEEA-EEA, and to illustrate how the various types of accounts can support both implementation and monitoring needs of the convention. For example, how accounts can be used to measure progress towards achieving land degradation neutrality and the data generated can be integrated into decisions on how to conserve, sustainably manage and restore land in the context of land use planning.


The session started with a presentation by Bram Edens (UNSD) that provided an Overview of the SEEA-EEA and NCAVES project and linkages with work on UNCCD, in particular land degradation neutrality. Ms P. Bhanumati, National Statistical Office, India provided a summary of work in India to advance natural capital accounting including a comparison of recent work on valuing the crop provisioning service in a spatial explicit way, which was compared with the map of where land degradation has occurred in India. Disikalala Gaseitsiwe (GDSA) presented on priorities of GDSA for natural capital accounting and progress within member countries, and in particular the experience of Botswana. Finally, William Speller (UNEP) presented on the development of tools for use of the accounts in policy scenario analysis in the context of LDN. All presentations can be accessed at:


Around 25 attendees participated in a highly engaging question and answer session. The discussion touched upon a range of issues including on how economic benefits of ecological restoration can be weighed against social factors, especially where communities may not perceive that they benefit from restoration, and examples of how NCA has been used for land use planning or scenario analysis. The suggestion was made to sensitize UNCCD’s Scientific-Policy Interface (SPI) body about NCA as this has hitherto played only a minor role in UNCCD.


Download the brochure The SEEA and Land Degradation Neutrality: