An Introduction to Ecosystem Accounting

Authored by: Lars Hein , Bram Edens , Carl Obst , Roy Remme , Matthias Schröter , Elham Sumarga

Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138025080
eBook ISBN: 9781315775302
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315775302-19

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Abstract

In this chapter, we provide an introduction to ecosystem accounting, its key properties and niche in the overall system for environmental-economic accounting, and some examples of its application. Ecosystem accounting provides a systematic framework to include ecosystem services and ecosystem assets in an accounting structure, aligned with the System of National Accounts (SNA, United Nations et al., 2009). The SNA is a comprehensive system for measuring and organising information on economic activities in a country. National accounts comprise several specific accounts, such as the production account recording the value of domestic production; capital accounts that describe investment, depreciation, and other changes in assets; and balance sheets which record economic and financial wealth. Because the SNA provides an international standard, indicators produced according to the national accounts (e.g. GDP) are comparable across countries.

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