Front Matter

Author(s):
United Nations;European Commission;Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations;International Monetary Fund;Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development;World Bank
Published Date:
April 2017
    Share
    • ShareShare
    Show Summary Details

    System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—Central Framework

    United Nations

    New York, 2014

    Copyright © 2014

    United Nations

    European Union

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    International Monetary Fund

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

    The World Bank

    All rights reserved worldwide

    United Nations

    Document symbol: ST/ESA/STAT/Ser.F/109

    Sales No.: E.12.XVII.12

    ISBN: 987-92-1-161563-0

    eISBN: 978-92-1-055926-3

    European Union

    Catalogue No.: KS-01-14-120-EN-C

    ISBN: 978-92-79-35797-8

    Catalogue No.: KS-01-14-120-EN-N

    ISBN: 978-92-79-35791-6

    Foreword

    Comparable and reliable data supporting coherent analytical and policy frameworks are essential elements to inform debates and guide policy related to the interrelationships between the economy and the environment.

    The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—Central Framework (SEEA Central Framework) is a statistical framework consisting of a comprehensive set of tables and accounts, which guides the compilation of consistent and comparable statistics and indicators for policymaking, analysis and research. It has been produced and is released under the auspices of the United Nations, the European Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. The SEEA-Central Framework reflects the evolving needs of its users, new developments in environmental-economic accounting and advances in methodological research.

    Agenda 21, adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, called for the establishment of a “programme to develop national systems of integrated environmental and economic accounting in all countries”. More recently, the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held also in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012, reconfirmed that “integrated social, economic and environmental data and information … are important to decisionmaking processes.”

    In response to the policy demands from the World Commission on Environment and Development—or Brundtland Commission—(1983-1987) and, subsequently, Agenda 21 (1992), the 1993 Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA 1993) was developed. Further development of the statistical framework, based on practical experience in implementing the SEEA 1993, was published in the Handbook of National Accounting: Intergrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003 (SEEA-2003). In view of the continued need for environmental and environmental-economic information, the United Nations Statistical Commission established the Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting in 2005, composed of representatives from national statistical offices and international agencies with the mandate to revise the SEEA-2003 and the objective of establishing a statistical standard for official statistics. The Bureau of the Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting, consisting of representatives elected among its members and acting under delegated authority from the Committee of Experts, managed and coordinated the revision of the SEEA. National statistical offices from countries throughout the world, as well as international organizations, made valuable contributions. Expert groups carried out research on the issues being reviewed. During the update work, the recommendations and the updated text were posted on the website of the United Nations Statistics Division for worldwide comment, thereby achieving full transparency in the process.

    At its forty-third session, the Statistical Commission adopted the SEEA-Central Framework as the initial international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting, to be implemented in a flexible and modular approach. We encourage all countries to compile their environmental-economic accounts on the basis of the SEEA-Central Framework, to report statistics derived from it and to continue to work together to address the remaining challenges in this domain to provide an even more comprehensive set of environmental-economic accounts.

    Preface by the Secretary-General of the United Nations

    The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—Central Framework is a multipurpose conceptual framework for understanding the interactions between the environment and the economy. By providing internationally agreed concepts and definitions on environmental-economic accounting, it is an invaluable tool for compiling integrated statistics, deriving coherent and comparable indicators and measuring progress towards sustainable development goals.

    The United Nations Statistical Commission adopted the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—Central Framework as an international statistical standard at its forty-third session in 2012. Its implementation in developing and developed countries is timely given the importance placed on integrated information for evidence-based policymaking in the outcome document of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. I commend this work to all countries working to compile environmental-economic accounts to support their pursuit of sustainable development.

    BAN KI-MOON

    Secretary—General

    Preface

    A. Introduction

    1. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012—SEEA Central Framework (SEEA Central Framework), which was adopted as an international standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its forty-third session in March 20121 is the first international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting. The SEEA Central Framework is a multipurpose conceptual framework for understanding the interactions between the economy and the environment, and for describing stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets. It puts statistics on the environment and its relationship to the economy at the core of official statistics. This version of the SEEA is an outcome of much path-breaking work on extending and refining concepts for the measurement of the interaction between the economy and the environment. Some important measurement challenges remain and are included in the research agenda in annex 2. Regular compilation of environmental-economic accounts in countries as part of a programme of official statistics will foster international statistical comparability, provide policy-relevant information at national, regional and international levels, improve the quality of the resulting statistics and ensure a better understanding of the measurement concepts.

    2. The SEEA Central Framework builds on previous versions of the SEEA, namely, the 1993 Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA 1993) and the Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003 (SEEA-2003). The SEEA 1993 emerged from ongoing discussions on assessing and measuring the concept of sustainable development. This topic received increased attention following the release of the report of the World Commission on the Environment and Development in 1987 and the adoption of Agenda 21 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 19922 the SEEA 1993 was issued as a work in progress, in recognition of the fact that conceptual discussion and the testing of methodologies needed to continue.

    3. On the basis of the gains in practical experience in implementation achieved by countries and other methodological advances, the revised SEEA-2003 took a considerable step towards harmonizing concepts and definitions. However, in many cases, the methodologies remained a compilation of options and best practices. Recognizing the increasing importance of integrated information on the relationship between the economy and the environment, and the continued technical advancements in the field, the United Nations Statistical Commission agreed at its thirty-eighth session in 2007 to initiate a second revision process, with the aim of elevating the SEEA Central Framework to an international statistical standard.3

    4. The SEEA Central Framework is based on agreed concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules. As an accounting system, it enables the organization of information into tables and accounts in an integrated and conceptually coherent manner. This information can be used to create coherent indicators to be used to inform decision-making and to generate accounts and aggregates for a wide range of purposes.

    5. The SEEA provides information related to a broad spectrum of environmental and economic issues including, in particular, the assessment of trends in the use and availability of natural resources, the extent of emissions and discharges to the environment resulting from economic activity, and the amount of economic activity undertaken for environmental purposes.

    6. While the SEEA Central Framework provides guidance on the valuation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources and land within the System of National Accounts (SNA) asset boundary, it does not include guidance on valuation methods on these assets and related flows that go beyond values already included in the SNA. Full valuation of assets and flows related to natural resources and land beyond the valuation included in the SNA remains an outstanding issue. Addressing this issue in future revisions of the SEEA may provide further guidance in answering key questions such as the impact of environmental regulations on economic growth, productivity, inflation and jobs.

    7. Given its multidisciplinary scope, the SEEA Central Framework was designed to be coherent with and complementary to other international standards, recommendations and classifications such as the System of National Accounts 2008, the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), the Central Product Classification (CPC) and the Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics.

    8. The SEEA Central Framework is complemented by two other publications, namely SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting and SEEA Applications and Extensions. While SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting is not a statistical standard, it provides a consistent and coherent synthesis of current knowledge regarding an accounting approach to the measurement of ecosystems within a model that complements the SEEA Central Framework. The SEEA Applications and Extensions presents various monitoring and analytical approaches which could be adopted using SEEA data sets and describes ways in which the SEEA can be used to inform policy analysis. It, too, is not a statistical standard.

    9. It is also planned that the SEEA Central Framework will be supported by related publications which further elaborate the conceptual framework of the SEEA for specific resources or specific sectors, including, for example, the SEEA-Water and the SEEA-Energy. These specific publications may also be supported by international recommendations that provide guidance on data items, data sources and methods for developing the basic statistics that can be used, among other things, to populate the accounting tables. These guidance documents include International Recommendations for Water Statistics and International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (forthcoming).

    10. It is expected that the SEEA Central Framework, like other international statistical standards, will be implemented incrementally, taking into account national statistical office resources and requirements. To support this, the SEEA Central Framework accommodates a flexible and modular approach to implementation within national statistical systems which can be aligned with the particular policy context, data availability and statistical capacity of countries. At the same time, much of the benefit of the SEEA stems from its ability to compare and contrast relevant information from a range of countries. In this context, the adoption of the SEEA Central Framework for specific modules is encouraged, particularly with regard to environmental issues that are multinational or global in nature.

    11. The SEEA Central Framework was prepared under the auspices of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA), as mandated by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its thirty-eighth session in 2007. The Committee of Experts is composed of senior representatives from national statistical offices and international organizations. It is chaired by a representative of one of the country members of the Committee. The United Nations Statistics Division serves as the Committee secretariat. Regular oversight of the project on the revision of the SEEA Central Framework was provided by the Bureau of the Committee.

    12. The development of the technical input to the revision process was led by members of the London Group on Environmental Accounting, who outlined the key issues for the revision (which were subsequently endorsed by the Committee of Experts), drafted and discussed issue papers, and prepared outcome papers on the key revision-related issues. The recommendations provided in the outcome papers were subject to global consultation and the final recommendations were presented to the Statistical Commission at its forty-second session in 2011.

    13. A SEEA Editorial Board was established in June 2010 to provide technical advice to the editor who had drafted the text. Initial draft chapters of the SEEA Central Framework were the subject of global consultation through 2011 and a final global consultation on the whole document was conducted in late 2011. Draft versions of the chapters were also presented to the Committee of Experts at it sixth meeting in June 2011. The extensive consultation on issue and outcome papers, draft recommendations, draft chapters and the complete document ensured that there were sufficient opportunities for comment from a wide range of stakeholders and led to an improvement in the overall quality of the document.

    B. New features and changes from the SEEA-2003

    General coverage and style

    14. Four significant changes to coverage and style were made in the SEEA Central Framework. First, in various places through SEEA-2003, in particular in chapters 9, 10 and 11, there was extensive discussion on environmental degradation and associated measurement issues, including on various approaches to the valuation of environmental degradation. Accounting for degradation and other measurement topics associated with ecosystems are not covered in the SEEA Central Framework. The relevant material is discussed in SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting.

    15. Second, the SEEA-2003 contained numerous country-based examples for different accounting areas. Such examples have not been included in the SEEA Central Framework. However, in most cases, the accounts described are supported by numerical examples for illustrative purposes and there is a searchable archive of country examples and related material on the SEEA website.

    16. Third, in several places the SEEA-2003 incorporated a number of options for accounting treatments of specific issues. The process for preparing the revised text ensured discussion of and decisions on these options. Consequently, the SEEA Central Framework presents no options concerning accounting treatments.

    17. Fourth, since the release of SEEA-2003, there has been a revision of the System of National Accounts (SNA). The relevant technical content and national accounting language used in the SEEA-2003 was based on the 1993 SNA while the SEEA Central Framework is based on the 2008 SNA. Readers are referred to annex 3 of the 2008 SNA, entitled “Changes from the 1993 System of National Accounts”, for more information on these changes.

    Changes relating to physical flows

    18. There have been changes in the terms used to describe physical flows from the environment to the economy. In the SEEA-2003, these flows were referred to as natural resources and ecosystem inputs. In the SEEA Central Framework, all of these flows fall under the heading of natural inputs. In turn, natural inputs are divided into natural resource inputs, inputs of energy from renewable sources, and other natural inputs (including inputs from soil and inputs from air).

    19. There is now a clearer delineation of the boundary of physical flows with respect to the production boundary of the SNA. In particular, (a) all cultivated biological resources are considered to be within the production boundary, (b) all flows to controlled landfill sites are treated as flows within the economy, and (c) there is a consistent treatment of so-called natural resource residuals (referred to in the SEEA-2003 as “hidden” or “indirect” flows).

    20. In addition, flows relating to the inputs of energy from renewable sources are explicitly recognized in the SEEA Central Framework, and a definition of solid waste has been provided.

    21. In presentational terms, the design of the physical supply and use tables (PSUT) has been based on an expansion of the monetary supply and use tables used in the SNA through the addition of columns and rows specifically for flows between the economy and the environment. The same design approach has been used in all specific physical supply and use tables, such as those for flows of water and energy.

    Changes relating to environmental activities and related transactions

    22. The most significant change in this part of the SEEA entails the recognition of only two economic activities, namely, environmental protection and resource management as “environmental” activities. Recognition of environmental activities is restricted to those economic activities whose primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate pressures on the environment, or to make more efficient use of natural resources. Other economic activities considered to be environmental in the SEEA-2003, such as natural resource use and minimization of natural hazards, are no longer considered environmental activities, although information on these types of economic activities and their relationship to the environment may well be of interest.

    23. An interim listing of classes relevant to the measurement of resource management activities and expenditure has been provided. In the SEEA-2003, only classes pertaining to environmental protection were described.

    24. Reference to the net cost of environmental protection, which was the final extension of the environmental protection expenditure accounts (EPEA) presented in the SEEA-2003, has been removed in the SEEA Central Framework.

    25. A description of the environmental goods and services sector (EGSS) in the SEEA Central Framework extends the discussion of the “environment industry” contained in the SEEA-2003. The relationship between statistics on the environmental goods and services sector and those on the environmental protection expenditure accounts is described more rigorously.

    26. The SEEA Central Framework has taken on the updated research and discussion in the 2008 SNA in the areas of decommissioning costs associated with fixed assets (including both terminal and remedial costs), treatment of tradable emission permits, and recording of expenditure on research and development.

    Changes relating to the measurement of environmental assets

    27. The structure and detail of the discussion on the measurement of environmental assets in the SEEA Central Framework, compared with the SEEA-2003, have been streamlined in a number of areas. Of significance is the introduction of a definition of environmental assets, although it is noted that the definition is aligned in broad terms with the description of environmental assets in the SEEA-2003.

    28. The description of environmental assets in the SEEA-2003 covered both natural resources and ecosystems and accepted the fact that, in the measurement of these different assets, there might be overlaps. In the SEEA Central Framework, the coverage of environmental assets is similar; however, a distinction has been made between an approach to the measurement of environmental assets that is based on the measurement of individual natural resources, cultivated biological resources, and land, and one based on to the measurement of ecosystems. These are seen as complementary approaches in the SEEA Central Framework.

    29. The SEEA Central Framework includes all natural resources, cultivated biological resources and land within a country of reference (including resources within a country’s exclusive economic zone); hence, coverage of environmental assets either in terms of individual environmental assets, as well as coverage in terms of terrestrial and most aquatic ecosystems are both relatively common.

    30. However, while the SEEA-2003 also included marine ecosystems and atmospheric systems within its scope of environmental assets, the SEEA Central Framework does not include oceans and the atmosphere as part of environmental assets, since their stocks are too large to be meaningful for analytical purposes. Thus, while some aquatic resources on the high seas are included as part of individual environmental assets (e.g., fish stocks attributable to countries on the basis of international agreements on access rights), the overall scope of the asset boundary in the SEEA Central Framework is narrower than that presented in the SEEA-2003. SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting describes the measurement of ecosystems, including marine ecosystems and the atmosphere.

    31. In the description of the standard asset account, the framework has been aligned more closely to the 2008 SNA, with a standard asset account structure being applied for all types of environmental assets in both physical and monetary terms. For each environmental asset, the measurement boundaries are explicitly described.

    32. The discussion on the application of the net present value approach to the valuation of natural resources and the associated choice of discount rate has been developed. One consequence of further work in this area has been a change in the decomposition of the change in stock values over an accounting period. In the SEEA-2003, the various changes in stock were valued using the unit resource rent as the price. In the SEEA Central Framework, the price used is that of the resource “in the ground/in situ”. These two prices are related to each other, but are in fact different and have different implications for the accounting of changes in the values of environmental assets.

    33. The SEEA-2003 contained an extended examination of the accounting for non-renewable resources, particularly mineral and energy resources, including a discussion on the allocation of resource rent between depletion and a return to environmental assets and between different economic units involved in extraction. A range of options was provided to handle the various accounting issues. The SEEA Central Framework has determined the treatment in each of the relevant areas and has concluded that:

    • (a) The resource rent should be split between depletion and a return to environmental assets;

    • (b) The costs of mineral exploration should be deducted in the determination of the resource rent;

    • (c) The economic value of mineral and energy resources should be allocated between the extractor and the legal owner;

    • (d) Additions to the stock of natural resources (for example, through discoveries) should be recorded as other changes in the volume of assets rather than as a consequence of a production process;

    • (e) Depletion should be recorded as a deduction from income in the production accounts, generation of income accounts, allocation of primary income accounts and distribution of income accounts, in a manner similar to that in which the deduction for consumption of fixed capital is made in the SNA.

    34. An important extension is the incorporation of discussions on the depletion of natural biological resources such as timber resources and aquatic resources, with particular mention of the use of biological models. The fact that depletion is both a physical and a monetary concept, and that without physical depletion of a natural resource there can be no monetary depletion, is clarified.

    35. With regard to the measurement of some specific natural resources, the following changes are noted:

    • (a) For mineral and energy resources, the relative likelihood of recovery of the resources is now determined by using the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources (UNFC-2009) rather than by following the logic inherent in the McKelvey box described in the SEEA-2003. Consequently, terms such as “proven resources”, “probable resources” and “possible resources” are no longer used;

    • (b) For land, interim classifications for both land use and land cover have been developed;

    • (c) For soil resources, a basic introduction to accounting for soil resources within the structure of the asset accounts of the Central Framework has been included. (Very little on accounting for soil resources was included in the SEEA-2003.)

    C. Future developments: the research agenda

    36. The SEEA Central Framework, the first comprehensive international environmental accounting standard, is based on over 20 years of development of environmental accounting. Progressively, through the continued accumulation of experience in the implementation of the Central Framework, it is expected that text related to clarifications, interpretations and changes will be issued by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting, as custodian of the Framework. At some point in time, these incremental updates, along with new developments in environmental accounting and new needs of environmental policy, may warrant a more comprehensive review and revision of the international standard to ensure its overall coherence and consistency.

    37. A large number of research issues were resolved during the preparation of the SEEA Central Framework and the recommended treatments are described. Evidently, the present version is based on the best practices and techniques available. In some cases, however, research was still under way while the Central Framework was being drafted, which suggests that as the result of ongoing research, some decisions may need to be revisited before the next update of the Framework.

    38. The Committee of Experts identified a few specific areas of ongoing research at the conclusion of the revision process. A short description of each is presented in annex 2 of the present publication.

    39. The Committee of Experts will be responsible for advancing the research on these issues (and any others of importance that emerge) and will rely on assistance from the countries and international organizations responsible for environmental accounting around the world.

    Acknowledgements

    1. The SEEA Central Framework is the outcome of a process notable for its transparency and the wide involvement of the international statistical community and beyond. This was made possible by the innovative use of a project website as a communication tool. The process comprised six steps:

    • (a) Identification of and obtaining of agreement on the issues to be considered during the revision of the SEEA Central Framework:

    • (b) Research on those issues and presentation of proposals for addressing the issues;

    • (c) Consideration of the issues by experts and agreement on provisional recommendations;

    • (d) Consultations with countries on the recommendations (through the second half of 2010);

    • (e) Presentation of a set of recommendations to the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2011;

    • (f) Incorporation of the agreed recommendations in the text of the SEEA Central Framework for adoption by the United Nations Statistical Commission as the international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting.

    The United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) and its Bureau

    2. The process of revision of the SEEA involved the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting; other international, regional and non-governmental organizations; project staff; agencies responsible for compiling official statistics in many countries; city groups; other expert groups; and individual experts in environmental-economic accounting and related fields from all regions of the world. As could be expected from a product of such a complex and sustained process, the SEEA Central Framework reflects many diverse contributions.

    3. The Statistical Commission established the Committee of Experts at its thirty-sixth session in March 2005 with the mandate, among others, to oversee and manage the revision of the SEEA.4 The Committee is composed of representatives from national statistical offices and international agencies as members.

    4. The Bureau of the Committee of Experts, whose members are elected from among the members of the Committee, acts under delegated authority from the Committee. The Bureau managed and coordinated the revision of the SEEA Central Framework. The Committee of Experts and its Bureau were chaired by Walter Radermacher (Germany), 2006-2008; and Peter Harper (Australia), 2009-2012.

    5. The following served as members of the Bureau of the Committee of Experts: Peter Harper (Australia), 2008-2012; Karen Wilson (Canada), 2008-2011; Art Ridgeway (Canada), 2012; Walter Radermacher (Germany), 2008; Peter van de Ven (Netherlands), 2008-2011; Geert Bruinooge (Netherlands), 2012; Olav Ljones (Norway; Chair, Oslo Group on Energy Statistics), 2008-2012; Estrella Domingo (Philippines), 2008-2009; Rashad Cassim (South Africa), 2008-2009; Joe de Beer (South Africa), 2010-2012; Pietro Gennari (FAO), 2011-2012; Alessandra Alfieri, Paul Cheung, Ivo Havinga and Eszter Horvath (UNSD), 2008-2012; Mark de Haan (Chair, London Group on Environmental Accounting), 2008-2012; Pieter Everaers (Eurostat), 2008; Pedro Diaz (Eurostat), 2009-2012; Glenn-Marie Lange (World Bank), 2010-2012; and Peter van de Ven (OECD), 2012.

    6. The staff of the Economic Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division, under the overall responsibility of Ivo Havinga and with the assistance of Alessandra Alfieri, provided secretariat services to Committee of Experts and its Bureau.

    7. The following country representatives served as members of the Committee of Experts: Peter Harper and Gemma van Halderen (Australia); Luiz Paulo Souto Fortes, Wadih Joao Scandar Neto and Eduardo Nunes (Brazil); Martin Lemire, Art Ridgeway and Robert Smith (Canada); Huaju Li and Yixuan Wang (China); Luz Amparo Castro, Monica Rodriguez Diaz, Carlos Eduarte Sepulveda Rico and Luz Dary Yepes Rubiano (Colombia); Ole Gravgård Pedersen, Bent Thage and Kirsten Wismer (Denmark); Miguel Jimenez Cornielle, Roberto Blondet Hernandez, Olga Luciano Lopez and Olga Diaz Mora (Dominican Republic); Leo Kolttola (Finland); Walter Radermacher, Michael Kuhn and Karl Schoer (Germany); Ramesh Chand Aggarwal, Jogeswar Dash and Shri V. Parameswaran (India); Slamet Sutomo (Indonesia); Corrado Carmelo Abbate and Cesare Costantino (Italy); Hida Fumikazu (Japan); Mark de Haan and Peter van de Ven (Netherlands); Torstein Bye and Olav Ljones (Norway); Khalaf Al-Sulaimani (Oman); Estrella Domingo and Raymundo Talento (Philippines); Sergey Egorenko, Igor Kharito and Andrey Tatarinov (Russian Federation); Joe de Beer and Anemé Malan (South Africa); Inger Eklund and Viveka Palm (Sweden), Rocky Harris (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); and Dennis Fixler and Dylan Rassier (United States of America).

    8. The following representatives of international organizations served as members of the Committee of Experts: Lidia Bratanova (ECE); Salvador Marconi and Kristina Taboulchanas (ECLAC); Joel Jere (ESCAP); Wafa Aboul Hosn (ESCWA); Jean-Louis Weber (European Environment Agency); Pedro Díaz Muñoz and Pieter Everaers (Eurostat); Pietro Gennari (FAO); Manik Shrestha (IMF); Myriam Linster (OECD); Linda Ghanimé, Maria Netto and Veerle van de Weerd (UNDP); Kathleen Abdalla, Tariq Banuri, Matthias Bruckner, Jean-Michel Chéné, Manuel Dengo, Liisa-Maija Harju and Mary Pat Silveira (UNDSD); Hussein Abaza, Derek Eaton, Maaike Jansen, Fulai Sheng, Guido Sonnemann and Jaap van Woerden (UNEP); Alessandra Alfieri, Ivo Havinga and Eszter Horvath (UNSD); and Kirk Hamilton, Barbro Elise Hexeberg, Glenn-Marie Lange and Marian S. delos Angeles (World Bank).

    9. The following participants served as observers to the Committee: Brad Ewing and Pablo Muñoz (Global Footprint Network); Arnold Tukker (Organization for Applied Scientific Research); Yamil Bonduki (UNDP); Frederik Pischke and Friedrich Soltau (UNDSD); Molly Hellmuth (consultant to UNESCO); Haripriya Gundimeda (UNEP); Rolf Luyendijk (UNICEF); Francois Guerquin and Koen Overkamp (United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation); Martin O’Connor (l’Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines); and Peter Cosier (Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Australia).

    10. The following experts in environmental-economic accounting from international organizations regularly provided substantive contributions:

    • Brian Newson and Anton Steurer (Eurostat)

    • Manik Shrestha and Kimberly Dale Zieschang (IMF)

    • Paul Schreyer (OECD)

    • Alessandra Alfieri and Ivo Havinga (UNSD)

    • Glenn-Marie Lange (World Bank)

    11. Other staff members of international organizations who contributed substantively were:

    • Jean-Louis Weber (European Environmental Agency)

    • Stephan Moll, Julio Cabeca and Marina Anda Georgescu (Eurostat)

    • Antonio Di Gregorio, Greg Gong, John Latham, Valentina Ramaschiello, Sachiko Tsuji, Adrian Whiteman (FAO)

    • Odd Andersen, Annette Becker, Ralf Becker, Daniel Clarke, Magdolna Csizmadia, Ilaria DiMatteo, Bram Edens, Robert Edwards, Vladimir Markhonko, Ricardo Martinez-Lagunes, Gulab Singh, Herman Smith, Sokol Vako, Michael Vardon and Jeremy Webb (UNSD).

    12. Michael Brodsky of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management copyedited the original publication.

    13. The United Nations Statistics Division developed and maintained the project website (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/envaccounting/default.asp), which provides more information on the contributions summarized in the preface.

    Editorial Board

    14. The SEEA Editorial Board consisted of Alessandra Alfieri (UNSD), Mark de Haan (Statistics Netherlands), Julie Hass (Statistics Norway), Brian Newson (Eurostat), Paul Schreyer (OECD), Manik Shrestha (IMF), Joe St. Lawrence (Statistics Canada), Michael Vardon (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and Kimberly Dale Zieschang (IMF) and was chaired by the Editor, Carl Obst.

    London Group on Environmental Accounting

    15. The London Group on Environmental Accounting met eight times to discuss issues related to the SEEA, among other items. The London Group was chaired throughout the preparation of the SEEA Central Framework by Mark de Haan (Statistics Netherlands). The meetings were held: in June 2006 in New York, hosted by the United Nations Statistics Division; in March 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by Statistics South Africa; in December 2007 in Rome, hosted by the National Institute of Statistics of Italy (Istat); in September 2008 in Brussels, hosted by Eurostat; in April 2009 in Canberra, hosted by Statistics Australia; in November 2009 in Wiesbaden, Germany, hosted by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis); in October 2010 in Santiago, hosted by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile; and in September 2011 in Stockholm, hosted by Statistics Sweden.

    16. The following persons have participated in meetings of the London Group since 2006: Alessandra Alfieri, Jairo Arrow, Charles Aspden, Dominic Ballayan, Jose Miguel Barrios, Sacha Baud, Jean-Pierre Berthier, Wolfgang Bitterman, James Blignaut, Lidia Bratanova, Hanna Brolinson, Torstein Bye, Julio Cabeca, Pablo Campos, Alejandro Caparrós, Annica Carlsson, Juan Pablo Castañeda, Maja Cederlund, Jean-Michel Chéné, Peter Comisari, Sebastian Constantino, Jeff Cope, Cesare Costantino, Jackie Crafford, Valeriano da Conçeiçao Levene, Jogeswar Dash, Michel David, Joe de Beer, Mark de Haan, Roel Delahaye, Raul Figueroa Diaz, Ilaria DiMatteo, Estrella Domingo, Subagio Dwijosumono, Danuta Dziel, Mats Eberhardson, Bram Edens, Inger Eklund, Markus Erhard, Tammy Estabrooks, Pieter Everaers, Federico Falcitelli, Aldo Femia, Alessandro Galli, Jean-Yves Garnier, Ian Gazley, Chazhong Ge, Marina Anda Georgescu, Alfredo Gomez, Xiaoning Gong, Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, Patrice Gregoire, Roy Haines-Young, Jorge Hanauer, Jane Harkness, Peter Harper, Rocky Harris, Julie Hass, Ivo Havinga, Wafa Aboul Hosn, Li Huaju, Elisabeth Isaksen, Christine Jasch, Matt Jones, Fredrik Kanlen, Aljona Karlõševa, Ester Koch, Kristine Kolshus, Michael Kuhn, Glenn-Marie Lange, Ursula Lauber, Sylvie Le Laidier, Martin Lemire, Kirsty Leslie, Myriam Linster, Donna Livesey, Olav Ljones, Sandre Jose Macia, Anemé Malan, Lars Marklund, Farid Matuk, Robert Mayo, Roeland Mertens, Stephan Moll, Elisabeth Mollgaard, Rainer Muthmann, Jukka Muukkonen, Michael Nagy, Frederic Nauroy, Wahid Neto, Brian Newson, Tea NõMann, Eduardo Nunes, Carl Obst, Martin O’Connor, Thomas Olsen, Sara Overgaard, Morrice Nyattega Oyuke, Viveka Palm, Jean-Louis Pasquier, Ole Gravgård Pedersen, Cristina Popescu, Walter Radermacher, Irene Ramashala, Ute Roewer, Jesus Romo y Garcia, Giovanni Ruta, Sjoerd Schenau, Karl Schoer, Paul Schreyer, Fulai Sheng, Manik Shrestha, Gabriel Kulomba Simbila, Robert Smith, Tone Smith, Joe St. Lawrence, Nancy Steinbach, Anton Steurer, Suresh Sukumarapillai, Khalaf Al Suleimani, Jana Tafi, Raymundo Talento, Peter Tavoularidis, Karen Treanton, Sachiko Tsuji, Angelica Tudini, Sokol Vako, Gemma van Halderen, Maarten van Rossum, Michael Vardon, Anders Wadeskog, Yixuan Wang, Jeremy Webb, Jean-Louis Weber, Adrian Whiteman, Fang Yu, Kimberly Dale Zieschang and Oliver Zwirner.

    17. The papers prepared for consideration by the London Group, which constitute a substantial body of research, will continue to be available on the project website provided above. The authors included the following individuals: Luke Aki, Alessandra Alfieri, Odd Andersen, Carolina Ardi, David Bain, Jeff Baldock, Ralf Becker, James Blignaut, Torstein Bye, Julio Cabeça, Andrew Cadogan-Cowper, Maja Cederlund, Peter Comisari, Jackie Crafford, Mark de Haan, Roel Delahaye, Ilaria DiMatteo, Estrella Domingo, Mats Eberhardson, Bram Edens, Markus Erhard, Federico Falcitelli, Aldo Femia, Anda Marina Georgescu, Xiaoning Gong, Cor Graveland, Ole Gravgard Pedersen, Andrii Gritsevskyi, Jane Harkness, Peter Harper, Rocky Harris, Julie Hass, Ivo Havinga, Christine Jasch, Kristine Kolshus, Glenn Marie Lange, Sylvie Le Laidier, Kirsty Leslie, Olav Ljones, Edward Eugenio Lopez-Dee, Lynne Macdonald, Lars Gunnar Marklund, Jukka Muukkonen, Michael Nagy, Thomas Olsen, Sara Øvergaard, Viveka Palm, Ute Roewer, Sjoerd Schenau, Elizabeth Schmidt, Karl Schoer, Nancy Steinbach, Sachiko Tsuji, Dirk van den Bergen, Maarten van Rossum, Michael Vardon, and Jean-Louis Weber.

    Other expert groups

    18. Other consultations also informed the process. These included meetings of OECD and Eurostat Environmental Accounts and Environmental Expenditure Statistics Working Groups and Task Forces, and the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics.

    Country contributions

    19. National statistical offices, ministries responsible for the environment and other national agencies made significant in-kind contributions to the revision of the SEEA, particularly through the provision of papers for discussion at various meetings and the transmission of comments during the global consultation processes. Over 50 countries and international organizations submitted comments during the round of global consultations on individual chapters (held from May to September 2011), and the round of global consultation on the final draft of the document, held in November and December 2011. Heads of the national statistical offices were involved through their participation in the work of the Statistical Commission which had mandated the formation of United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting.

    20. Last but not least, a number of national and international agencies supported the project through financial contributions. Financial contributions were received from Australia, Germany, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and Eurostat.

    Contents

    List of abbreviations and acronyms

    ASFIS

    Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System

    BOD

    biological oxygen demand

    BPM

    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual

    CEA

    Classification of Environmental Activities

    CFC

    chlorofluorocarbon

    CO2

    carbon dioxide

    COD

    chemical oxygen demand

    COICOP

    Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose

    CPC

    Central Product Classification

    CPUE

    catch per unit effort

    CWP

    Co-ordinating Working Party on Fisheries Statistics

    ECE

    Economic Commission for Europe

    ECLAC

    Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

    EEZ

    exclusive economic zone

    EGSS

    environmental goods and services sector

    EP

    environmental protection

    EPEA

    environmental protection expenditure accounts

    ESCAP

    Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

    ESCWA

    Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

    Eurostat

    Statistical Office of the European Union

    EW-MFA

    economy-wide material flow accounts

    FAO

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    FRA

    FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment

    GDP

    gross domestic product

    GFCF

    gross fixed capital formation

    GFSM

    Government Finance Statistics Manual

    GOS

    gross operating surplus

    IMF

    International Monetary Fund

    IPCC

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    IRES

    International Recommendations for Energy Statistics

    IRWS

    International Recommendations for Water Statistics

    ISCAAP

    International Standard Statistical Classification of Aquatic Animals and Plants

    ISIC

    International Standard Industrial Classifications of All Economic Activities

    ISO

    International Organization for Standardization

    ISWGNA

    Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts

    ITQ

    individual transferable quota

    ITSQ

    individual transferable share quota

    K

    potassium

    LCCS

    Land Cover Classification System

    LCML

    Land Cover Meta Language

    LULUCF

    Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

    N

    nitrogen

    NDP

    net domestic product

    n.e.c.

    not elsewhere classified

    NNI

    net national income

    NOS

    net operating surplus

    NPISH

    non-profit institutions serving households

    NPV

    net present value

    OECD

    Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

    P

    phosphorus

    PCB

    polychlorinated biphenyl

    PEDS

    potentially environmentally damaging subsidies

    PM10

    particulate matter of size 10 microns or smaller

    PSUT

    physical supply and use table

    R&D

    research and development

    RM

    resource management

    RR

    resource rent

    SEEA

    System of Environmental-Economic Accounting

    SEEA-Energy

    System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Energy

    SEEAF

    System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting for Fisheries

    SEEA-Water

    System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water

    SEEA-2003

    Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003

    SERIEE

    European System for the Collection of Economic Information on the Environment (Système Européen pour le Rassemblement des Informations Economiques sur l’Environnement)

    SIEC

    Standard International Energy Product Classification

    SNA

    System of National Accounts

    UN

    United Nations

    UNCEEA

    United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting

    UNCLOS

    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982

    UNDP

    United Nations Development Programme

    UNDSD

    Division for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Secretariat

    UNEP

    United Nations Environment Programme

    UNESCO

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

    UNFC-2009

    United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources, 2009

    UNFCCC

    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

    UNICEF

    United Nations Children’s Fund

    UNSC

    United Nations Statistical Commission

    UNSD

    United Nations Statistics Division

    VAT

    value added tax

    VPA

    virtual population analysis

    1993 SNA

    System of National Accounts, 1993

    2008 SNA

    System of National Accounts, 2008

      Other Resources Citing This Publication