SEEA EEA Regional Training Held in Brazil for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Regional Training Workshop on the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) for Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was jointly organized by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment), and the European Union, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 21 to 23 November 2018. The training workshop was organized as part of the project “Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services” funded by the European Union.
The workshop constituted the second phase of the regional training program, building upon the online phase of the training that started in mid-September. The in-person phase provided a unique opportunity for participants who have already acquired an understanding of basic SEEA EEA concepts to improve their knowledge through practical exercises and discussions on implementation issues. The workshop was attended by 62 participants from 15 countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, in addition to some countries from outside the region, such as Canada, India and South Africa.
During the 3-day workshop, participants had the chance to acquire in-depth knowledge on ecosystem accounting and exchange experiences with practitioners from other countries and organizations. The experiences on compilation of the extent and condition accounts in Brazil, Canada and Mexico were particularly valuable. In addition, during the workshop a practical data exercise on modelling using Geospatial Information System techniques was carried out. During this exercise the participants were able to understand the use of a mapping software (QGIS) to calculate the ecosystem extent account and derive carbon emissions due to land cover and use change for a region in Brazil.
The workshop demonstrated that many countries in the LAC region already compile several accounts following the SEEA Central Framework, informing a wide range of policies.
Participants actively shared their experiences and there was a lot of interest in further increasing mutual support between the countries in the region. At the end of the workshop many participants expressed interest to continue to or start work on ecosystem accounts in their countries.