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Policy session: Ecosystem services valuation and accounting for better policies

The CBD Aichi Targets as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 call for mapping and assessing the state of ecosystems and their services and integrating these values into accounting and reporting systems at EU and national levels by 2020.

The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) provides an internationally agreed statistical standard to describe the interrelationship between the economy and environment. A novel development is the framework for ecosystem accounting (the SEEA EEA), which takes an ecosystem perspective by describing the extent and condition of ecosystems, the services they supply, and how they benefit economic activities. The valuation of ecosystem services, ecosystem assets as well as their degradation features prominently on the research agenda. A key challenge lies in reconciling the requirements of an accounting system with its focus on exchange values with the welfare based environmental economics tradition of valuation of ecosystem services.

The objectives for this session are to introduce the SEEA and the research agenda for the revision of the SEEA EEA; showcase best practices in valuation of ecosystem services; explore and solidify links with the research communities working on ecosystem service valuation and environmental accounting; and help build bridges that will enhance the development of ecosystem accounts for informing policy.

Organizer(s): Matías Piaggio, Environment for Development - Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (EfD - CATIE), Costa Rica; Bram Edens, United Nations Statistics Division; Juha Siikamäki, International Union for Conservation of Nature; Alessandra Alfieri, Chief, Environmental Economic Accounts Section Economic Statistics Branch, Statistics Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations

Chair: Juha Siikamäki, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Panelists: Bram Edens, United Nations Statistics Division;
Matías Piaggio, Environment for Development - Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (EfD - CATIE), Costa Rica;
Jane Turpie, Environment for Development - University of Cape Town;
Irene Alvarado-Quesada, Central Bank of de Costa Rica;
Alessandra La Notte, European Commission - Joint Research Centre