Rationale and definition:
The UN Statistical Commission adopted the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in 2012 as the first international standard for environmental-economic accounting. The SEEA brings statistics on the environment and its relationship to the economy into the core of official statistics and thereby expands the traditional System of National Accounts (SNA), which focuses on measuring economic performance. Examples of information provided by the SEEA includes 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.1 The UN Statistical Commission will develop the monitoring templates for the SEEA Central Framework.
This indicator measures whether a country applies and reports on a national SEEA. It takes into account the fact that some elements of the SEEA may not be applicable to a particular country and that the implementation is incremental starting from selected accounts depending on policy priorities.
The presence of SEEAs is a national indicator, but SEEAs themselves are highly disaggregated (by sector of activity, environmental resource, sub-national unit, etc.).
Comments and limitations:
A challenge with this indicator derives from the need to establish an institutional framework for compiling integrated data, and the statistical production processes and information management in the countries’ statistical systems.
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Potential lead agency or agencies:
European Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, United Nations, World Bank (2012). System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, Central Framework. UN: New York.