Resource Corner SEEA News and Notes: Issue No. 14

In this issue you will find the new global manual on economy-wide material flow accounting, the EU Ecosystem Assessment; the final results of accounting of ecosystems services in the EU, a ten-year strategy for advancing natural capital accounting in South Africa; final report from the project NCAVES in China and more results from the NCAVES project, a national land account for Australia and lots more.

The use of natural resources in the economy: A global manual on economy wide material flow accounting

Material flow accounts provide a statistical framework measuring natural resource extraction, trade in natural resources, waste disposal and emissions. This manual is fully consistent with the SEEA - Central Framework and constitutes an important step towards establishing a global standard for Economy Wide Material Flow Accounting (EW-MFA). It builds on the European MFA guidelines, and provides a modular approach for countries looking to develop EW-MFA for the first time.

National Natural Capital Accounting Strategy - A ten-year strategy for advancing natural capital accounting in South Africa

This document provides a ten-year strategy for advancing natural capital accounting in South Africa. The National NCA Strategy is owned and published by Stats SA as the national statistics office, but it was co-developed with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and guided by the various institutions represented on the NCA Strategic Advisory Group. The Strategy is a culmination of many years of Stats SA’s involvement at national and international levels, of cross-sectoral coproduction and collaboration with a range of institutions, and an intensively consultative process with stakeholder over three years.

The potential costs and benefits of addressing land degradation in the Thukela catchment, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A report of the NCAVES project

This study forms part of the Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) project and builds on the compilation of pilot physical and monetary ecosystem services accounts for KwaZulu-Natal for 2005-2011. The analysis demonstrates the utility of ecosystem accounts – consistent with the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) framework – to inform policymaking. The study investigates the economic case for ecosystem management and restoration interventions in the Thukela river basin over the period 2021-2030 to achieve or exceed land degradation neutrality relative to a 2015 baseline. This study weighs the benefits of ecosystem restoration – in terms of the monetary value of improved provision of selected ecosystem services against the costs of interventions.

Ecoystem Accounts for China: Report of the NCAVES project

The final NCAVES China report provides an overview of the work undertaken in China to compile ecosystem accounts under the SEEA EA. The report presents a synthesis of China’s work in the NCAVES project, covering ecosystem account pilots in Guangxi and Guizhou, policy scenario analysis on the ecological compensation scheme in the Xijiang River basin, research on the valuation of natural resources balance sheet, alignment of SEEA and Gross Ecosystem Product and a national assessment on natural capital accounting policy in China.

ABS releases first Experimental National Land Account

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its first experimental National Land Account, which includes national and state datasets of land use, cover, tenure and value tables for the years 2010-11 and 2015-16.

The ABS is interested in your feedback. A discussion paper Towards National Land Account 2021 is included in the release.

Measuring ecosystems and the services they provide to people in the European Union: the final report from the INCA project (phase II)

The report entitled Accounting for ecosystems and their services in the European Union (INCA). Final report from phase II of the INCA project aiming to develop a pilot for an integrated system of ecosystem accounts for the EU, summarizes key results of the INCA project achieved by 2020. INCA delivered an integrated system of ecosystem accounts for the EU. The report presents ecosystem extent, condition and service accounts for the EU28. In separate chapters, the report also presents practical examples of the possible uses of ecosystem services accounts and existing policy applications. 

This is a joint report of Eurostat, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate General for Environment (ENV), Directorate General for Research and Innovation (RTD) and European Environment Agency (EEA) – partners in the INCA project.

Natuurlijk Kapitaalrekeningen Nederland 2013-2018 [Natural Capital Accounts Netherlands 2013-2018

Statistics Netherlands released on 31 May 2021 the SEEA Ecosystem Accounts for the Netherlands. The report provides the latest results for the extent, condition, physical supply and use tables, asset account and carbon account, with data for 2013-2018. The publication is in Dutch, but the additional technical report is in English and contains all the background information on methodology and data sources.  

Accounts and indicators for Danish plastic flows

The report presents material flow accounts for plastics in the Danish economy for 2016. Flows of all types of plastics, inclusive of raw plastics, processed plastics, plastics in composite products, sorted plastic waste and plastics in mixed waste are included and allocated by industries and households. In addition, the report includes a presentation of specific circular material use rates for plastics. 

EU Ecosystem Assessment – Summary for policymakers

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre published on 20 May 2021 a summary for policy makers of the first EU–wide ecosystem assessment. The Assessment was developed by the European Commission with the European Environment Agency and provides science-based advice on restoring degraded ecosystems, improving the monitoring of their health and defining methods to assess their condition.

OECD Environment-Policy Paper :  Biodiversity, natural capital and the economy: A policy guide for finance, economic and environment ministers

This report provides the latest findings and policy guidance for G7 and other countries in four key areas: measuring and mainstreaming biodiversity; aligning budgetary and fiscal policy with biodiversity; embedding biodiversity in the financial sector; and improving biodiversity outcomes linked to international trade. The report shows how finance, economic and environment ministries can drive the transformative changes required to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

Mineral Accounts of the Philippines, 2013-2018

Based on the SEEA – Central Framework, the mineral accounts of the Philippines provide information on the stocks and changes in stocks of the four metallic mineral reserves. These accounts allow for the monitoring of the sustainability of the extraction of these valuable yet depletable natural assets.

Environmental-economic accounts: Water physical stocks year ended 1995-2020 (New Zealand)

The report, published by Statistics New Zealand on 27 May 2021, illustrates how New Zealand’s physical stocks of water change over time. The release covers water quantity and provides estimates of national and regional water flows (precipitation, evapotranspiration, and rivers) and change in storage (ice, snow, soil moisture, groundwater, lakes and reservoirs, and hydro-electric generation.

EU Strategy for Sustainable Tourism

The European Parliament resolution of 25 March 2021 on establishing an EU strategy for sustainable tourism (2020/2038(INI)) recognizes the importance of the UNWTO Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, which aims to integrate statistics on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable tourism (point 32).