Introduction to Experimental Ecosystem Extent and Services Accounting based on SEEA-EEA


Introduction to Experimental Ecosystem Extent and Services Accounting based on SEEA-EEA

Course Leader


Target Group

NSIs 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 Reading

  • Extracts 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)


Practical Information





Application  via National Contact Point


3 days

The Hague – The Netherlands

ICON-INSTITUT Public Sector GmbH

Deadline: 21.09.2021