Dr. Dava Vačkářů, Global Change Research Centre Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and Charles University Environment Center
Dr. Alessandra La Notte, European Commission, Directorate D – Joint Research Centre, Sustainable Resources
The System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounts – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EEA) provides a common ground to discuss the systematic accounting of ecosystem services in physical and monetary terms. By enabling the integration into the System of National Accounts, it creates the opportunity to bring ecosystem services and their use into a new level of policy making. Many applications and initiatives are testing the SEEA-EEA; and first releases still highlight the need for further improvements and developments.
The number of literature and applications of ecosystem accounting is increasing, but often without impact on national statistics, accounting standards or alternative indicators of sustainability or societal progress. For the thematic issue, we propose two sets of topics: the accounting-related issues and applications in policy making. The purpose of this thematic issue is to bring together high-quality and original contributions/research articles on the the methodological as well as policy aspects of SEEA-EEA development, testing, application and implementation.
The accounting-related issues are:
The appropriateness of enlarging the SNA production boundary within the SEEA-EEA
The use of valuation techniques in ecosystem service accounting, e.g. the use of welfare values versus or together with exchange prices
Multiple scale applications in terms of harmonization of ecosystem service accounts at different scales (e.g. national vs. local) and organization of the information for nested administrative scales
Accounting for ecosystem service contribution to the economy at the level of economic sectors (intermediate production) and households (final consumption)
The policy uses and applications of ecosystem service accounting include especially the following challenges:
Identification of the best tools and indicators for communication of SEEA-EEA
Application of ecosystem accounting and indicators principles to international trade analysis
Linking ecosystem services accounting of supply and demand to sustainable production, consumption and environmental footprints
Approaches to measuring ecosystem degradation and accounting for valuable ecosystem assets