Supporting SEEA Accounts a Priority in Latest GEF Investment Cycle

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the world’s largest single source of environmental finance, has included natural capital and environmental accounting as one of its priorities in its latest round of investments, known as GEF-7. This represents a significant opportunity to increase the development and implementation of SEEA accounts worldwide but is dependent on demand from recipient countries.

The GEF Opportunity

The GEF-7 Programming Document (pages 21-24) presents how natural capital accounting, and therefore the SEEA, fits into overall GEF priorities. As part of its biodiversity focal strategy, the GEF has identified natural capital accounting and assessments as entry points for countries to mainstream biodiversity across sectors. By mainstreaming, the GEF aims to embed ecosystem and biodiversity considerations into the policies, strategies and practices of public and private actors, so that biodiversity is conserved and sustained. The GEF will target greater application of natural capital accounting in countries where a baseline capacity has been built, including where:

  • Basic national accounts are already in place and institutional and technical capacity exists
  • Data for developing natural capital accounts is available or can be generated relatively easily
  • Commitment exists to maintain and use natural capital accounts in policy and decision-making
  • Natural resources and ecosystems play an important role in economic development and human welfare

Importantly, GEF-7 financing is made available based on proposal requests from recipient governments through one of the GEF Agencies. As each recipient country has a designated GEF focal point who needs to endorse each project submitted by countries, raising awareness of Natural Capital Accounting and the SEEA with these focal points is essential.

A fact sheet has been developed that makes the case for environmental-economic accounts and provides information on the specifics of the GEF opportunity.