Conventions and Agreements .pdf

Nom original: Conventions and Agreements.pdfTitre: Geography Generates Good Government Can this be True?Auteur: Dr Cameron Easton

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Conventions, International Agreements and
European Legislation on
Implementing integrated economic and environmental accounts

Dr Cameron Easton
Spatial Information Policy & Standards
Efficiency and Transformational Government Division


May 2011

Not everything that counts can be counted

Not everything that can be counted counts

Albert Einstein

Counting the uncountable?

International Agreement that we have to do so

Development of International Agreements

Pre 1992

Post 1992

Towards 2012

Development of International Agreements
- Pre 1992

1972 – relations between economic development and
environmental degradation discussed at
UN Conference on Human Environment
1983 to 1987 – UN World Commission on Environment and
Development, leads to Brundlandt Report on
sustainable development
1970 to 1992 – environmental accounting developed
on an independent basis by individual countries
1990 to 1992 – World Bank review of environmental accounting
defines methods used and extent of coverage

Developments are on an individual basis

Development of International Agreements

United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development

Rio 92; Earth Summit, etc

Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:
• Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
• Agenda 21
• Convention on Biological Diversity
• Forest Principles
• Framework Convention on Climate Change

Development of International Agreements
Agenda 21

Section 1 Chap 8
Integrating Environment and Development
in Decision-Making

2. D. Establishing systems for integrated
environmental and economic accounting

Development of International Agreements
Agenda 21
8.43. The Statistical Office of the United Nations Secretariat should:
(a) Make available to all member States the methodologies contained in the SNA
Handbook on Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting;
(b) In collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, further
develop, test, refine and then standardize the provisional concepts and methods
such as those proposed by the SNA Handbook, keeping member States informed of
the status of the work throughout this process;
(d) Coordinate, in close cooperation with other international organizations, the
training of national accountants, environmental statisticians and national technical
staff in small groups for the establishment, adaptation and development of national
8.44. The Department of Economic and Social Development of the United Nations
Secretariat, in close collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations,
(a) Support, in all member States, the utilization of sustainable development
indicators in national economic and social planning and decision-making practices,
with a view to ensuring that IEEAs are usefully integrated in economic
development planning at the national level;
(b) Promote improved environmental and economic and social data collection.

Development of International Agreements
Post - 1992

Rio 1992
Agenda 21

United Nations Approach

Europe Approach
Individual State Approach

Development of International Agreements
1993 – A crucial year
United Nations Approach – 1
Revision of System of National Accounts (SNA) in 1993
- Allowed inclusion of satellite system for
Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting
II – Overview
IX - Use of Income Accounts
XIII - Balance Sheets
XV - Supply use tables
- Inputs/outputs
• Chapter XVIII – Function classes
• Chapter XXI – Satellite Analysis Accounts


Development of International Agreements
1993 – A crucial year
United Nations Approach – 2
Development of Separate system for
Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting
- SEEA 1993
Prepared by UN Statistical Division (UNSD)
198 Pages
Defines disaggregation of SNA to SEEA
Introduces main themes of environmental accounting
e.g. physical flows and accounting, environmental costs
• etc

However final conclusion on concepts and methods not reached
Therefore SEEA 1993 issued as Interim Handbook

United Nations Approach 1993 – onwards
Development SEEA Approach
SEEA 1993


London Group established


Nairobi Group established


London Group consider revisions to SEEA 1993


Nairobi Group publish
Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting
An operations manual
229 Pages
Reflects practical experience of SEEA 1993 modules

Publication of SEEA 2003

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development publish
Guidance Manual for
Accounting and Financial Reporting for
Environmental Costs and Liabilities

United Nations Approach - SEEA 2003
Integrated Environment and Accounting 2003

Published by

United Nations
European Commission
International Monetary Fund
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
World Bank

Encourages adoption of standard classifications in environmental statistics
Encourages development of comprehensive and consistent datasets over time
Facilitates international comparisons

561 Pages
Provides framework for order and comparability :

Introduces concepts of:

Natural Resource Asset Accounts

Pollution and Material Flow Accounts

Monetary and Hybrid Accounts

Environmentally adjusted macroeconomic aggregates

SEEA 2003 – covers complex issues and much debate on techniques continues
Therefore SEEA 2003 is not an international standard
However, SEEA 2003 provides basis for future development of standards.

United Nations Approach – Development of SEEA 2003

SEEA 2003


UNSD /FAO produce SEEA for Fisheries
Expands SEEA concept for fisheries and water resources


UNSD/World Bank propose
Global Initiative for
Environmental Accounting
• Improve implementation
• Development of new initiatives
• E.g. ecosystem services


UNSD SEEA for Water
• Part I agreed concepts for water accounts
• Part II experimental concepts
• E.g. quality accounts/economic valuation

2008 0nwards


IFAC publish guidance on
Environmental Management Accounting


UNSD SEEA for Energy
UNSD SEEA for Material Flow Accounts

UN Committee of Experts on environmental accounting (UNCEEA)
• Mainstream environmental accounting and related statistics
• Elevate SEEA to international standard

United Nations Approach – Development of SEEA 2012
2007 onwards – development of SEEA 2012

SEEA 2012
• Being developed by UNCEEA, London Group and others
• Purpose is to:
• Raise SEEA 2003 to level of international standard
• Will equate to SNA as standard
• Target is 2012
• Will streamline presentation
• Will update methodologies and policies

Where relevant, uses national accounting concepts and classifications
Will extend national accounts asset boundary
Will include non-market valuations of environmental assets and flows
Will link monetary and physical information
Will enable national accounts to be adjusted for environmental depletion degradation

United Nations Approach – Development of SEEA 2012

SEEA 2012 – Targets

Part I – Central Framework
• Accounts and approaches that are internationally
standardised and accepted
• Covers standard of SNA satellite
• 2012
Part II – Accounts/approaches that might be useful
• Consensus needs to be reached on methodology
• Approach to accounts is still experimental
• Will introduce ecosystem accounts
• 2013
Part III – Uses and policy applications of environmental accounts
• Will extend guidance on application of techniques
• 2013

Development of International Agreements
1993 – A crucial year in Europe
SEEA - 1993

Netherlands develops National Accounting Matrix including Environmental Accounts

Matrix combines

environmental physical flow accounts to SNA flow accounts

•NAMAE approach adopted by EU

COM (94) 670 Directions for the EU on
Environmental indicators and Greened National


EU develops European System for
Integration of Environmental and
Economic Information Systems.

System of satellite accounts

Environment Protection Expenditure Account

Resource Use and Management Account

European Approach 1994 - onwards

Traces monetary flows linked to environmental protection
Characterises the impact of environmental protection on European economic system
Computes environmental indicators

Amsterdam Treaty

• harmonises statistics
• Integrates environment with general economic and sustainability policy

European Strategy on Environmental Accounting

• Uses techniques of SEEA 2003
• Priorities - development of comparable accounts across Europe
• Air emissions
• Economy wide material flow
• Environment expenditure and revenue accounts
• Accounts on waste, water and environmental taxes

European Approach 2003 - onwards
ESEA 2003
EU Adopts new Sustainable Development Strategy

Defines requirement to:
Extend core system of national income accounting by

integrating stock and flow concepts and non-market work

including satellite accounts

e.g. environmental expenditures, material flows

taking into consideration international best practices

EU begins revision of ESEA 2003
State of play review of progress in Europe
Proposals for revision following State of Play report

European Approach 2008 – onwards
ESEA 2008

Objectives of ESEA 2008
• At European level, to give priority to regular production of a core set of accounts.
• At national level, that National Statistical Institutes maintain and potentially expand
their work on environmental accounting, with the main objective of providing
harmonised, timely data with appropriate quality.

European Approach 2008 – onwards
ESEA 2008
Priorities for ESEA 2008
• Setting priorities between the four main types of environmental accounts
• described in section 2
• Physical, and monetary flows including hybrid NAMEA
• Economic information on the environment
• Economic activities and products
• Environmentally related transactions e.g. taxes
• Setting priorities taking scarcity of ESS resources into account
• Priority 1

Environment protection accounts
NAMEA air emission accounts
Economy wide material flow accounts
Aggregate estimates

NAMAE energy and waste accounts
Environmental taxes, subsidies etc

Activities and products, resource management transactions, MFA, NAMAE Water Accounts

• Priority 2
• Priority 3

• Establishing a legal base for Environmental Accounts
• Only for priority modules in first instance
• Providing harmonised, timely data of appropriate quality
• Promoting Environmental Accounts to policy makers, researchers and policy
• Revision of ESEA on 5 yearly basis

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Overview
Basic Principles have remained unchanged since SEEA 2003
1. Natural Resource Asset accounts
• These record stocks and changes in stocks
(flows) of natural resources such as land,
forest, water and minerals
2. Physical and hybrid flow accounts
• These provide a systematic physical description
of production and consumption processes,
including their natural resource inputs, product
throughputs and outputs i.e. wastes. Hybrid
accounts link the physical information to the
economic accounts
3. Monetary accounts
• These identify environmentally- related
transactions presented in the existing SNA flow
accounts in order to make them more explicit
for analysis
4. Environmentally-adjusted aggregates
• These combine modules of SEEA to form a fullsequence of accounts from which aggregates
such as Green GDP, or Net Saving can be

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Overview
Use of methodology is expanding – UNCEEA 2007 Report
However, there are fundamental issues:
Development of environmental accounting is still variable
• Individual states may lack resources to do it
• E.g. activity stops after funding for pilots runs out
• Resource limitations are both financial and people skills
• Complexity of data
• Therefore, states may concentrate on priorities for them
• E.g. water, energy and emission accounts
• Lack of political decision
• May mean that environmental accounts are not fully integrated with policy
• Lack of legal basis
• Means that implementation is variable within and between states

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Overview
Need to keep up with developing programmes

For example –

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity TEEB (EU 2008 onwards)

Reflects economic value of ecosystem services

Develops economic tools to take account of this value
• Fast track implementation of simplified ecosystem capital accounts for Europe (2009)

Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES)

EEA/UNEP/FDR – draft to UNCEEA 2010

This means that we have to develop methodologies to:
• Measure costs and benefits of ecosystem services

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Overview
Need to keep up with developing programmes

Elements of Ecosystem Accounting
The physical accounts provide information on
Ecosystem assets (e.g. land cover, carbon, soil, biodiversity)
Indices or composite indicators of overall ecosystem health
§ Ecosystem capital state/degradation & depreciation (consumption of
ecosystem capital)
Ecosystem services
§ need to try to define homogenous units for services
§ May need to use various techniques to define units – e.g. satellite observation
§ Need to overlay with comparable administrative units
Then need methods for monetary valuation of degradation and of ecosystem services
based on information in physical accounts

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Overview
New techniques provide new opportunities

For example:

Streamlining of methodologies in SEEA 2012
Prioritisation of accounting modules in ESEA 2008
CICES as a method of developing ecosystem accounting
• May improve macro-economic indicators and aggregates
• Streamlines ecosystem capital accounts
Legal basis of ESEA 2008

International Progress in Environmental Accounting
- Conclusions
• May need to concentrate on physical accounts of natural capital that
matter most to growth, poverty and threats to specific sectors like
water, forestry, mining, or coastal ecosystems.
• Valuation of some of physical elements can be done locally, or sectorally,
but it may not be possible to include all ecosystem services initially.
• Therefore there is a need to build up accounting mechanisms up
• It’s probably best to work with what people know already
• E.g. routine procedures, national budgets, development plans and
strategies, public environmental expenditure reviews, GDP and the
national accounts.
• Data. However, realistically we have to use data that is actually . Data
quality/coverage can be refined over time.
• People skills will be needed to keep up with changing policy/priorities
both internationally and within states

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