Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Forskningsartikel2024Vetenskapligt granskad

Using the system of environmental-economic accounting ecosystem accounting for policy: A case study on forest ecosystems

King, S.; Agra, R.; Zolyomi, A.; Keith, H.; Nicholson, E.; de Lamo, X.; Portela, R.; Obst, C.; Alam, M.; Honzak, M.; Valbuena, R.; Nunes, P. A. L. D.; Santos-Martin, F.; Equihua, M.; Perez-Maqueo, O.; Javorsek, M.; Alfieri, A.; Brown, C.


Robust, regular and integrated evidence on the environment and its relationship with the economy and human well-being is needed to deliver effective environmental policy. This paper highlights the role the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) can play in delivering this 'policy-ready' evidence. We demonstrate this using forest ecosystems as a policy theme of high international concern, via structured reviews of evidence needs for two case studies: the EU Green Deal; and, Liberia's forest policy framework. The EU Green Deal case study highlights evidence gaps in a proposed regulation on environmental-economic accounting that are policy relevant and could be met using the SEEA EA. These gaps concern old growth forest extent, carbon storage, biodiversity, water regulation and erosion control ecosystem services. The Liberia case study highlights evidence needs for policy concerning the extent of natural forests important for biodiversity and ecosystem services of timber provisioning, global climate regulation and non-wood forest products, which could be met by the SEEA EA. Starting from these policy perspectives is critical to establishing evidence needs that the SEEA EA should be compiled to meet. This address concerns that the compilation of SEEA EA accounts has often been an exercise in best organising available data, rather than a demand driven exercise in response to policy evidence needs. We argue that addressing clear policy needs is essential for the SEEA EA to deliver on its potential to mainstream the many benefits from natural, as well as managed forests, into development planning.


System of Environmental Economic Accounting; Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA); Policy evidence needs; Sustainable development; Forests

Publicerad i

Environmental Science and Policy
2024, Volym: 152, artikelnummer: 103653