27th Meeting of the London Group on Environmental Accounting

More than 90 people attended the 27th Meeting of the London Group on Environmental Accounting, which was held virtually from 27 September to 4 October. The meeting sessions focused on implementation and application of the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting (EA); the SEEA EA methodology, including valuation; the SEEA Central Framework research agenda; work on SEEA-relevant classifications; and the future work of the London Group.  

More than 20 papers and presentations were discussed over the five days, which illustrated the depth and breadth of the work being done on the SEEA. Many papers on the SEEA EA were presented including, for example, implementation experiences in UgandaGermany and South Africa. Other presentations focused on new areas of research for the SEEA EA, such as accounting for indigenous perspectives and applications of gross ecosystem product. In addition, there were several presentations on valuation of ecosystem services and on the importance of accounting for ecosystem capacity. One finding became evident: Commonly agreed on definitions and system boundaries are extremely necessary. They heavily influence the results and thus impact cross country comparability. Topics relating to the SEEA Central Framework were also discussed, including the 2008 SNA update and collaboration between the SEEA and SNA communities; classification reviews/updates, including those for environmental activities and products and ISIC and CPCimproving the timeliness of air emission accounts; and more.  

Several mentimeter polls were introduced across the five days (day 2day 4 and day 5) and provided valuable insights into participant takeaways and potential priorities for the London Group in the future. For instance, a mentimeter poll indicated that possible topics of focus for next year’s meeting could include ocean accounting, classifications and the SEEA CF research agenda, among others.  

Finally, Sven Kaumanns, Chair of the London Group (Federal Statistical Office of Germany) announced that circumstances permitting, his organization would host next year’s meeting in Bonn.  

All of the papers and pre-recorded presentations of the meeting can be found on the meeting website: https://seea.un.org/events/london-group-environmental-accounting-27th-meeting. The meeting minutes will be posted to the meeting website soon.