The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting PDF (SEEA) – Central Framework, was adopted as an international standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its forty-third session in 2012. It is the first international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting.
System of Environmental-Economic Accounting
1. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) – Central Framework, was adopted as an international standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its forty-third session in 2012.
It is the first international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting. The SEEA Central Framework is a multipurpose conceptual framework for understanding the interactions between the economy and the environment, and for describing stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets.
The SEEA brings statistics on the environment and its relationship to the economy into the core of official statistics.
This version of the SEEA is an outcome of much path-breaking work on extending and refining concepts for the measurement of the interaction between the economy and the environment. Some important measurement challenges remain and are included in the research agenda in Annex 2.
Regular compilation of environmental-economic accounts in countries as part of a program of official statistics will foster international statistical comparability, provide policy-relevant information at national, regional and international levels, improve the quality of the resulting statistics and understanding of the measurement concepts.
2. The SEEA Central Framework builds on previous editions of the SEEA namely the 1993 Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA 1993) and the Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003 (SEEA2003).
The SEEA 1993 emerged as a result of ongoing discussions on assessing and measuring the concept of sustainable development.
This topic received increased attention following the release of the report of the World Commission on the Environment and Development in 1987 and the release of Agenda 21, the outcome document from the first UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The SEEA 1993 was issued as work in progress, recognizing that conceptual discussion as well as testing of methodologies needed to continue.
3. On the basis of the practical experience in implementation gained by countries and through other methodological advances, the revised SEEA 2003 made a considerable step towards harmonizing concepts and definitions.
However, in many cases, the methodologies remained a compilation of options and best practices.
Recognizing the increasing importance of integrated information on the relationship between the economy and the environment, and the continued technological advancements in the field, the UNSC agreed at its thirty-eighth session in 2007 to initiate a second revision process with the aim of elevating the SEEA Central Framework to an international statistical standard.
4. The SEEA Central Framework is based on agreed concepts, definitions, classifications, and accounting rules. As an accounting system, it enables the organization of information into tables and accounts in an integrated and conceptually coherent way.
This information can be used to derive coherent indicators to inform decision-making and to provide accounts and aggregates for a wide range of purposes.
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