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System of Environmental-Economic Accounting

Aim of the resource

The SEEA aims to provide a framework for countries to incorporate natural capital into their accounting systems. It aims to go beyond the System of National Accounts (the international statistical standard for measuring national income and savings) to include broader forms of wealth such as natural capital and the benefits flowing from ecosystem services. By doing so, the SEEA allows for the analysis and development of indicators on the economy-environment nexus. The SEEA follows a similar accounting structure to the System of National Accounts to facilitate the integration of environmental and economic statistics.

Using the resource
Potential benefits from using the resource
The SEEA Central Framework and SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting framework are compatible with the System of National Accounts (an international standard for national accounting) and can be integrated with many pre-existing national accounts.
The SEEA Central Framework is an international statistical standard and provides internationally agreed concepts and definitions for environmental-economic accounting.
The SEEA provides a framework to mainstream information on ecosystems and the environment within economic planning and development decision making.
Practical information
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Contact details
United Nations Statistics Division, Environmental-Economic Accounts section
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The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) provides a framework for measuring the links between the environment and economy.

The SEEA consists of two parts. The SEEA Central Framework (SEEA CF) was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission as the first international standard for environmental-economic accounting in 2012. The Central Framework looks at individual environmental assets, such as water, forests and fisheries resources, and how they are extracted from the environment, used within the economy, and returned to the environment as air, water, and waste.

The SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EEA) complements the SEEA CF and provides a coherent accounting approach to the measurement of ecosystems. Ecosystem accounts enable the presentation of data and indicators of ecosystem extent, ecosystem condition, and ecosystem services in both physical and monetary terms in a spatially explicit way.


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