Update November 2011

There is at present considerable international effort directed towards revising the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), first outlined in 2003. As part of this work the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) has commissioned a UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) to develop “Experimental Ecosystem Accounts”. The goal is to circulate a draft for global consultation in mid-2012 and prepare a final draft for endorsement by the United Nations Statistical Commission in February 2013.

The development of a Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) forms part of this work.

The idea for CICES arose in December 2008, at a meeting hosted by the European Environment Agency (EEA), UNEP and the German Federal Ministry of Environment. It was recognised that there was a need to develop a new standard classification of ecosystem services that was consistent with accepted categorisations but which allowed easy translation of statistical information between different applications.

Following the initial meeting a further workshop on CICES was hosted by the EEA in Copenhagen in December 2009, and e-forum was launched on this site from November 2009 to January 2010. The forum allowed enable a wider international audience to comment on the issues relating to the CICES concept. As a result of the feedback gained a revised proposal was prepared and presented to the UNCEEA Committee in June 2010.

A copy of the proposal can be downloaded via this link.

Since 2010 the discussion of the CICES proposal has continued. The current update paper has been prepared for an expert meeting on ecosystem accounts to be hosted by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), on behalf of UNSD, the EEA and the World Bank, in December 2011. Once again comment from the wider community is invited.

By registering at this site you can download the most recent discussion paper, leave a comment or give more direct feedback via e-mail. Registration also gives you access to the archive discussion. It also means that  we can keep you updated.