Project update: Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in Africa and Asia

Over the last few months, multiple events and activities in the development of SEEA accounts in Malaysia, Philippines and Senegal have taken place under the project "Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-based Policy”.  The project, funded by the UN Development Account, is taking place in selected countries in Africa and Asia and runs until mid-2023. It is aimed at removing the technical and institutional barriers to the compilation of the SEEA at the national level. The project also aims to promote the usage of the accounts for evidence-based policy. 

High-level Launch of the project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-based Policy" in Malaysia 

On 27 August 2021, UNSD, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) and UN ESCAP held a high-level launch of the 12th Tranche Development Account project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-based Policy in Malaysia.” Over 180 participants from DOSM, line ministries and other stakeholder groups participated in the launch. Dr. Richard Marshall of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office of Malaysia and Ms. Rikke Munke Hansen of ESCAP provided opening remarks. Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician of DOSM provided a keynote address which focused on the importance of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and the project in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and ensuring a green recovery from COVID-19. The launch included a session on SEEA implementation in Malaysia, with presentations from UNSD and DOSM. The event also included presentations by the Economic Planning Unit, Plan Malaysia and the Malaysia Space Agency which focused on areas of collaboration for the project. The launch ended with a Q&A session, with participation from both DOSM and line ministries. 




Environmental Accounting in Support of Evidence-based Policies for Land Use and Management: A webinar hosted by Philippines and Malaysia

On 29 July 2021, 170 participants from PSA, DOSM, and line ministries and NGOs from both countries participated in the webinar “Environmental-Economic Accounting in Support of Evidence-based Policies for Land Use and Management”. The webinar was organized by UNSD, in collaboration with the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) and Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). Welcome addresses were given by both the Chief Statistician of PSA, Mr. Dennis Mapa and the Chief Statistician of DOSM, Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahindin. The opening messages focused on the importance of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and the project in promoting evidence-based policies for sustainable development. The webinar included presentations from UNSD on the SEEA, land accounting and the ARIES for SEEA tool, which enables rapid compilation of SEEA land and ecosystem accounts for anywhere in the world.  

In addition, representatives from Statistics Indonesia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics shared their experiences in compiling land accounts in their countries. Both country presentations stressed the importance of collaboration with stakeholders and line ministries as well as the value added of compiling land accounts. All presentations and a recording of the webinar can be found here:  


Technical Workshop on Land Accounts in Senegal 

The virtual Technical Workshop on Land Accounts in Senegal was organized on 24 and 25 August 2021 by UNSD, in collaboration with the National Agency of Statistics and Demography [Agence Nationale de Statistique et de la Démographie, ANSD], under the Development Account (DA) project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in Africa and Asia”. The workshop was attended by 25 participants from the national technical committee on SEEA accounts, including the ANSD and other related national agencies, as well as UNSD, UNECA and GLOBE as partners in the implementation of the project.  

The objective of the technical workshop was to introduce the methodology and compilation practices for land and ecosystem extent accounts to the Technical Committee on SEEA accounts in Senegal, which is composed of several national agencies participating in the development of SEEA accounts in Senegal. The workshop aimed to train the members of the Technical Committee and other participants on the methodological background of land and ecosystem accounts, the “ARIES for SEEA” tool that could be used to compile land and extent accounts using global data sources, and discuss the results obtained from these data sources.  

In addition to the global land cover maps, national agencies introduced national land cover maps available in the country form the various agencies. The participants discussed the possibility of combining the national land cover maps with the global maps to compile land accounts for Senegal and the use of appropriate land cover classifications. The workshop concluded with a set of priorities and next steps to work towards the compilation of land accounts for Senegal over the following months. The immediate priority being the identification and analysis of all the land cover maps available in Senegal, their metadata and years covered, as well as mapping of the national land cover classification with the global ones. Participants agreed to work on clarifying these issues and the mapping of classifications over the following weeks, ahead of an in-depth training and compilation workshop that would be organized later in the year in Dakar.