Resource Corner, SEEA News & Notes, Issue 10

Find the latest resources and publications here as well as in our knwoledge base including the  FAO publication Drainage of Organic Soils, South African Experimental Monetary Ecosystem Accounts, New Zealand 2019 Environmental-Economic Accounts, Brazil Water Use in Rainfed Agriculture, ESCAP Technical Guidance on Ocean Accounting for Sustainable Development and more.

Brazil Water Use in Rainfed Agriculture

ANA, the national water agency, and IBGE, the national statistical office of Brazil, launched a joint publication analizing monthly data from 2013 to 2017 for the use of water in rainfed agriculture.  This study is part of the SEEA-Water account in Brazil.  Rainfed agriculture has a water deficit of 37% during the period of the study. The study is in Portuguese.

Brazil Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-W) for 2013-2017 

Stats New Zealand Environmental-economic accounts: Sources and methods (third edition)

Environmental-economic accounts: Sources and methods presents an introduction to the accounts, and the data sources and methods used in each of environmental-economic accounts.

The third edition captures the changes and updates to environmental-economic accounts’ sources and methods since 2019. These include updates to the methods used to compile greenhouse gases by industry and households and new sections on tourism and regional and consumption-based emissions.

Stats New Zealand Environmental-economic accounts-2019-data-to 2017

Environmental accounting shows the interactions between the environment and the economy. It can be used to assess whether patterns of economic activity are depleting or degrading our resources; and to show the value of natural resources, who benefits from natural resource use, and what actions are being undertaken to protect the environment. 

Drainage of Organic Soils and GHG Emissions, 1990 – 2019 (FAO)

FAO released on April 20, 2020 updated estimates of area under drained organic soils and associated GHG emissions, 1990-2019.

This global, unique data product quantifies, with country detail, the areal extent of degradation of critical ecosystems, such as boreal and tropical peatlands, due to their drainage for agriculture. The dataset also provides estimates of the related anthropogenic emissions of N2O and CO2, of relevance to the global nitrogen and carbon.

FAO published  a new paper in Earth Systems Science discuss, which assesses for the first time the results of the FAO methodology with observed data, including country reports to UNFCCC (this is the first time in fact that such comparison has been made for any similar method):


Changing Sails: Accelerating Regional Actions for Sustainable Oceans in Asia and the Pacific 

The ocean and its resources are the lifelines of Asia and the Pacific. As a resource for the economy, livelihoods and identity for coastal communities, the condition of the ocean is inextricably linked to the pathways of sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. Produced in line with the 76th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the theme study Changing Sails: Accelerating Regional Actions for Sustainable Oceans in Asia and the Pacific explores the key areas around which regional platforms can rally interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral solutions for the ocean. It highlights the lack of data and statistics on the ocean, the growing demand for moving towards inclusive and green maritime shipping, deteriorating fish stocks and gaps in fisheries management and the mounting pressure of marine plastic pollution. The theme study calls for enhanced sharing of ocean data and stronger investment in national statistical systems for collecting and harmonizing ocean data. It underscores the need for enforcing international conventions, norms and standards in relation to maritime shipping, sustainable fisheries and marine pollution. Finally, it proposes strengthening regional platforms, such as the Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean as avenues for building partnerships, facilitating knowledge and data-sharing and supporting the implementation and monitoring of global agreements. 

Visualizing ocean accounts  (UN ESCAP)

 The customized visualisations will demonstrate the usefulness of ocean accounts for integrated analysis and decision-making for sustainable ocean development. A key objective of the visualization is to promote the building and testing of Ocean Accounts with specific policy objectives, including Coastal and Marine Resource Management and Marine Spatial Planning. 

Technical Guidance on Ocean Accounting for Sustainable Development  

Preliminary consultation draft Version 0.716 September 2019 ).  The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collaboration with institutional members of the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership published for consultation this guidance on ocean accounting.  The guidance describes a statistical framework for compiling ocean-related data, statistics and indicators in a consistent, comparable and coherent manner to eanble decision making about oceans.

The Irish Forum on Natural Capital launched a vivid, fun animated video to explain the concept of Natural Capital Accounting. 

Using Gross Ecosystem Product to value nature in decision-making

To achieve sustainable development, there is a pressing need to move beyond conventional economic measures like gross domestic product (GDP). We develop gross ecosystem product (GEP), a measure that summarizes the value of the contributions of nature to economic activity. In this study, the authors illustrate the calculation of GEP in Qinghai Province, China, to show that the approach is tractable both across China and globally. Known as the water tower of Asia, Qinghai is the source of the Mekong, Yangtze, and Yellow Rivers and nearly two-thirds of GEP derives from water-related values. GEP was greater than GDP in Qinghai in 2000, and was three-fourths as large as GDP in 2015. China is using GEP to guide investments in ecosystem conservation and restoration.