Session 3 on Ecosystem Services: Virtual Forum on SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting, 2020

The Virtual Expert Forum on SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting 2020 continued with its third session on accounting for ecosystem services held on 24 and 25 August. This session consisted of two 3-hour meetings  with 200 registered participants from national statistical offices, international organizations, NGOs and academia.

The session opened with a statement  by Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, who stressed the importance of a bold monitoring framework which will aim to promote the use of data and indicators for decision-making and policy development, and which is being developed in cooperation with the international statistical community. 

Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the Statistics Division of the United Nations, joined Ms. Mrema in delivering an animated speech encouraging the national statistical offices (NSO)  to  become data stewards.  NSOs play a central role in ensuring  that  solid, consistent and quality data is mainstreamed into the national monitoring systems and in promoting the use of data for tracking progress towards the 2030 Agenda and national development. "This is an historic opportunity to bring together and align two global processes happening at the same time", said Mr. Schweinfest. "One, is the revision process of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting.  The other, is the formulation of a new global biodiversity monitoring framework".  

The technical sessions on the first day of the forum started with a presentation and discussion on the  progress made on the revision of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) and practical examples on measuring ecosystem services from Germany, Indonesia, Peru, Rwanda and USA. The day concluded with a discussion on developing a typology of ecosystem services. On the second day, four solutions for biophysical modelling were introduced and their challenges and opportunities discussed. Further discussions took place on five outstanding issues related to the revision of the SEEA EEA, giving participants the opportunity to provide their input on these issues.

The Virtual Forum will continue with a fourth session on thematic accounts and indicators which is scheduled to take place on 9 & 10 November 2020. Please see the Virtual Forum website for more information.