Institute for Sustainable Innovation



The new  accounting system will allow to revaluate nature for the economy 

The UN members adopted a document that obliges countries to include natural capital to economic reporting. Now, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) will  account ecosystem services within SEEA - Ecosystem Accounting Framework. 

Ecosystems provide essential services that benefit humans and need to be maintained. According to UNEP 2021 report - Making Peace with Nature, the global economy has grown nearly fivefold over the past 50 years, largely due to the tripling of natural resources and energy extraction, which has boosted production and consumption.

                                                      Ecosystem Services

UN experts note that nowadays GDP is widely used as an indicator of the value of goods and services. But it does not reflect the interdependence of the economy and nature. Elliot Harris, Chief Economist at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, notes that combining environmental and economic indicators in one system will give an opportunity to see how economic activities affect the environment, and what impact natural processes have on society and people.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the adoption of the new document:

«This is a historic step forward towards transforming how we view and value nature.  We will no longer be heedlessly allowing environmental destruction and degradation to be considered economic progress».

The new framework can also underpin decision-making at two crucial conferences later this year - COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming and the Glasgow Climate Conference, COP 26.

More about SEEA - Ecosystem Accounting:


Some of our publications on natural capital and the Environmental-Economic Accounting System

Learn more about the interdependencies of business and natural capital

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