Environment Statistics
History and current activities
Brochure on Environment Statistics

FDES 2013

  Basic Set of Environment Statistics
  Environment Statistics Self-Assessment Tool
  Expert Group on Environment Statistics
  Manual on the Basic Set of Environment Statistics

International Recommendations for Water Statistics

Concepts and methods in Environment Statistics



UNSD environmental indicators

  Country Snapshots
  Country Files
(Limited access)
Technical cooperation


EAC project

ECOWAS project

ESCWA project


CARICOM project




Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics

Reports to the Statistical Commission
ENVSTATS newsletters
Useful links
  National data sources
  International and regional data sources
  Environmental accounting
Contact us

Methodological work

Early methodological work carried out by UNSD in the field of environment statistics focused on the development of frameworks, concepts and methods. The Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES), published in 1984, was based on the synthesis of the different approaches that emerged during the late seventies and early eighties. The Concepts and Methods of Environment Statistics: Human Settlements Statistics (1988) and Statistics of the Natural Environment (1991) described detailed sets of statistical variables within the FDES.

The FDES is a loose and flexible framework that is still used by many national statistical offices for developing and organizing environmental and related socio-economic information.

The FDES has been used for the development of a list of environmental and related socio-economic indicators. The list, a result of a collaboration of UNSD with several developed and developing countries and international organizations that participated in the Inter-governmental Working Group on the Advancement of Environment Statistics, was adopted for international compilation by the Statistical Commission in 1995.

UNSD published a Glossary of Environment Statistics in 1997 consisting of approximately 1200 environmental terms. It is a quick reference tool for terms and definitions relevant to environmental data production and use.

Working papers are unofficial documents produced as a result of research done at the United Nations Statistics Division. A paper on Land degradation and Land Use/Cover Data Sources is currently available.

As part of the methodological work of UNSD environment statistics compilation manuals are being prepared to support the Questionnaire and to provide countries guidance and best practices in the development and production of basic environment statistics that is the precondition for any efforts aiming at the production of environmental indicators and accounts.