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Introduction to experimental Ecosystem Extent and Services Accounting based on SEEA-EA - 2024

Introduction to experimental Ecosystem Extent and Services Accounting based on SEEA-EA 
Course LeaderSjoerd SCHENAU
Target GroupNSIs and Other National Authorities (with lower priority), working in the field of ecosystem accounting.
Entry Qualifications
  • Sound command of English. Participants should be able to make short interventions and to actively participate in discussions;
  • Knowledge of national statistics, such as measures of economic output and performance (e.g. GDP).
  • Provide an overview of the key concepts of SEEA ecosystem accounting;
  • Provide an overview of how national ecosystem accounts are constructed, and how they relate to ‘mainstream’ environmental and national accounting,
  • Provide understanding the data and tools used to construct the component parts of the accounts (e.g. spatial and environmental data in GIS for ecosystem extent; ecosystem services evidence; monetary valuation techniques).



Session 1: Introduction to SEEA ecosystem accounting

  • Short introduction into policy context: MAES, New Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
  • Overview of concepts and methodology as set out in SEEA-EA.
  • Description of SEEA-EA ecosystem core accounts
  • SEEA-EA vs. national accounts (SNA): differences and consistencies
  • SEEA EA vs. SEEA CF: differences and overlaps
  • Developments at Eurostat
  • Session 2: Spatial units for ecosystem accounting
  • Types of spatial units
  • Delineating ecosystem assets
  • Classifications for ecosystem types
  • Data criteria for ecosystem accounting (i.e. spatial reference, format, etc.)
  • Session 3: Introduction to data needs, GIS spatial analysis and map production
  • Core datasets for the production of ecosystem extent and some ecosystem services accounts
  • The following GIS working steps will be presented an discussed: Data loading, integration of different data sets (e.g. raster and vector) using GIS tools, production of maps
  • Exercise

Session 4: compiling ecosystem extent accounts

  • SEEA-EA extent accounts: key concepts.
  • Policy uses and indicators for the ecosystem extent accounts
  • Country example how to build ecosystem extent accounts: data extraction from GIS, building accounts from extracted datasets
  • Practical exercise

Session 5: Compiling ecosystem service accounts

  • SEEA-EA service accounts: key concepts
  • Policy uses and indicators for the ecosystem service accounts
  • Introduction to the SEEA EA reference list for ecosystem services and CICES (Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services)
  • Introduction to the concepts of potential flow, unmet demand
  • Overview of existing tools and models for mapping and accounting for ecosystem services (at different levels of ambition; in this course only the most simple tools are applied, with preference to Free and Open Source tools).
  • Country example how to compile ecosystem service maps and build ecosystem services accounts for a few selected services
  • Practical exercise

Session 6: Condition accounts

  • Condition accounts: key concepts
  • Potential indicators
  • Possible applications
  • Outstanding issues

Session 7:  Monetary ecosystem accounts

  • Key concepts for monetary valuation
  • SEEA EA Monetary accounts for ecosystem services and monetary asset accounts
  • Key challenges in monetary valuation
  • Exercise

Session 8: Thematic accounts

  • SEEA-EA thematic accounts: concepts
  • Carbon accounts, biodiversity accounts, marine accounts

Session 9: Country specific case study on ecosystem service accounting - application of learned concepts and methods to local or regional case

  • Participants to propose datasets, accounting variables, etc. for a specific and locally or regionally relevant ecosystem accounts and to prepare a mock-up ecosystem services account in excel.
  • Short presentation of selected case + discussion of challenges, selected indicators, data availability at national/ regional level, resulting analytical options.
  • Group discussion
Expected Outcome

The course will provide participants with training on the compilation of SEEA-ecosystem accounts. This will support countries to develop these accounts in detail – how to develop specific studies on components of the accounts (e.g. for specific ecosystems and/or services) that will build up the national picture.


Training Methods
  • Presentations and lectures
  • Exchange of views/experiences on national practices. Debate with participants of which are their challenges, putting in common possible solutions, discuss strengths and weaknesses, identify the solution that works best for each participant.
  • Exercises and quizzes
Required ReadingExtracts of SEEA EA (the revised document will become available in de beginning of 2021) – to be announced
Suggested Reading
  • Background information on SEEA EEA revision:

  • Ecosystem accounts in the Netherlands

  • Ecosystem accounts in the United Kingdom

Required Preparation
  • Understand objectives of the SEEA-EA guidelines.
  • Knowledge of relevant national approach/priorities/timescale to develop national ecosystem accounts.


Sjoerd SCHENAU (Statistics Netherlands)

Patrick BOGAART (Statistics Netherlands)

Linda de JONGH (Statistics Netherlands)

Rixt de JONGH (Statistics Netherlands)

Jocelyn van BERKEL (Statistics Netherlands)



Practical Information    
WhenDurationWhereOrganiserApplication  via National Contact Point
05-07.11.20243 daysThe Hague, NetherlandsICON-INSTITUT Public Sector GmbHDeadline: 09.09.2024