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Chapter 2: Accounting structure and concepts

Draft chapter:
Cover note:
Comment template:
Posted on:14/07/2011
Deadline for comments:26/08/2011
Number of comments:37

Comments from the global consultation
Posted onProvided byComments
22/09/2011Statistics CanadaPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides a good overview of the topic.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Section 2.6.3 does not appear to fit very well under Accounting Rules and Principles. The key rule/principle is that of residence, but the discussion of geographic boundaries does not seem to clearly illustrate this. It may be worth putting the discussion of geographic boundaries under 2.5 since these are the boundaries within which the economic units operate. Then discuss the residence principle more explicitly under 2.6.2 on recording rules and principles. Section 2.6.5 could also benefit from a bit of re-ordering. Specifically, para 144 could come before 143 – this would get the idea of controlling for inflation out first, and then follow this with the suggestion that such measures are useful for trend analysis.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Para 24: We believe the last sentence is meant to refer to stocks and flows that occur outside the national environment rather than the environment in general. Para 34: "physical supply and use tables" is shorthand for supply and use tables in physical units of measure. The first sentence could use the latter term to introduce the idea, and then continue through the rest of the document using the shorter version and its associated abbreviation. This is a little cumbersome, but might avoid some confusion. Table 2.3.2 The Use table shows Collection and treatment under the residuals row and the industries column. If collection is counted in volume, then there will be double counting once those residuals end up in accumulation and ROW (i.e. it will be "used" more than once). The first cell should just include treatment since any collection that is not treated will either go to inventory or export. There is still the risk of double counting if treated waste is then landfilled, however, so this cell will require a more specific designation. Perhaps something like "incineration of waste and treatment of waste to yield products" then the rest of the row can cover landfilling (including treated waste sent to landfill) and exports. (Ash from incineration will need special mention and accounting if it is landfilled in the same accounting period.) Para 41 second sentence speaks of regeneration of assets, but it does not specify that this is only relevant for renewable resources. The motivation for assessing depletion and degradation can certainly discuss this, but should also provide the rationale for non-renewables. Table 2.3.4 same comment as above for 2.3.2 Para 67 Last sentence suggests "adjustment" of data, however the idea is more the production of comparable indicators. It is important to change this term since it may cause confusion when para 69 mentions adjustment in a different context. Para 78 It would be worth mentioning natural resource residuals here since it opens with "directly incorporated into economic production …or that are moved…." Para 88 could use a better rationale for exclusion of atmosphere and oceans, since in para 124 it speaks of attribution of airspace and territorial waters to countries. Section 2.6.3 as noted in the comment to Part 1, B above, the key idea here seems to be the residence principle and its application as an accounting rule, and as such this topic seems a better fit under 2.6.2. The opening discussion in 2.6.3 is also a little difficult to follow as it mentions political boundaries, geographic scope, economic territory, etc. Perhaps this discussion could focus on the distinction between geographic area and economic territory (without mention of political boundaries) and include these classifications under 2.5 on economic units. Paras 143 and 144 Again, suggest to switch the order here to introduce the idea of controlling for inflation, then following with the discussion of timeseries.
12/09/2011France/ Ministry in charge of Ecology – Statistical department (SOeS)Part I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
We find this chapter constitutes a good overview of the different concepts that will be detailed in the next chapters. It represents a useful entry to the main principles governing the central framework of the SEEA.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
We find this chapter is relatively complete and we don''t see any missing content. Simply, the section 2.2 page 3 would gain an additional value by the insertion of a new paragraph, for instance between 8 and 9, explaining in parallel that: 1- the link between SEEA and SNA central framework and the goal of measuring the interaction between economic activities and the environment justify the coherence between the concepts of the two frameworks, and therefore this chapter on the SEEA framewor formulates a lot of rules and principles of the SNA framework. 2- with the awareness that this rule of identity between the SEEA and SNA concepts and definitions needs to have exceptions when justified by the specific purpose of the SEEA, which introduces a few differences between the concepts of the two accounting frameworks (e.g. the valuation scope for mineral and energy resources as referred to in §90, or "own-account" activities as explained in §102) 3- and briefly end with a summary the accounting features that the SEEA brings in more specifically, that are not developed in the SNA.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
• §1 p2: we would reformulate the first sentence as follows: "The purpose of the System of Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) is to integrate information on the environment and its interactions with the economy." • §10 p3: The paragraph starts with a very general definition of what is the environment. Such a general definition would be questionable in other contexts, so we suggest to change for a more limitative formulation: "The environment is considered in the context of the SEEA as the location within which economic activities of production, consumption and accumulation take place." • Pt 19 p6, 3rd sentence: we need also to emcompass the third type of flows (from the economy to the environment, i.e. residuals). For instance, as follows: "These tables indicate whether the flows are between the environment and the economy or between different groups within the economy, ..." • Table 2.3.4 p12: we already signalled for chapter III that since households may produce energy as a own-account activity (solar panels, heat pumps...), the cell crossing at "product supply" line and households column should be left blank. • Table 2.3.5 p14: for the two first accounts (production, income), we may add the adjustment variable for "main entries". For the production account that would give: Main entries: Output, IC, depletion value (+ CFC?). Idem for income accounts. • §131 p27, last sentence: We would state: "Corrections should be considered in such situations in order to get closer to normal market prices equivalents." • • §143 p29, last sentence: the second "economic growth" stands wrongly for "environmental pressure" or an equivalent term.
09/09/2011Australia/Bureau of MeteorologyPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The structure of the chapter is mostly well done and takes the reader through a logical progression. The main comments and suggested changes relate to clarifying the definitions, particularly to assist with achieving the goal of an introductory style. It would help to more clearly differentiate and clarify the relationship between the "SNA framework", the "SEEA central framework" and extended "SEEA framework" (i.e. "SEEA Part II: Experimental Ecosystem Accounts"). This is partly a matter of using consistent wording throughout the Chapter, but there may also be benefit in more clearly describing the relationship between the SEEA central framework and the extended SEEA framework. For example paragraphs 14-17 present ideas and discussion relevant to the ecosystems perspective and then paragraph 18 assigns the approach to the "Experimental" Part II. This disjunct in the writing appears to reflect an underlying lack of integration between the approaches and is also reflected to some degree in figure 22.1 where the word "Ecosystems" appears isolated. A separate diagram illustrating the ecosystem and ecosystem services concepts could be useful. Preferably, the definition of "natural inputs" and "ecosystem services" could be integrated more clearly, perhaps by expanding the definition of "natural inputs" to include the ecosystem services concept more explicitly. This would also help to clarify that the SEEA framework is capable of including flows solely within the environment that are vital for the continued flow of natural inputs/ecosystem services (i.e. the concept of "supporting" ecosystem services), though acknowledging that practical considerations will influence what is actually included.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Structure, Balance and Coverage It would help those "with less connection to the SEEA" to have a set of definitions of key concepts early in the document, perhaps in the form of a glossary or, alternatively, as an index/look up table of key concepts with pointers to the relevant paragraphs. We suggest key concepts for definition are "economy", "environment", "ecosystems", "environmental assets", "identity" and "depletion adjusted". More detailed suggestions are made it the attached. Style, Tone and Readability The document is generally well written and readable.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Some spatial boundary definitions may need attention to reduce potential confusion. Specifically, in relation to defining the economic territory, paragraph 123 recognises that "land" extends under the oceans and, by inference, under territorial waters and this definition is also recognised in Australian law. This definition conflicts with paragraph 124 which presents a boundary definition for "land accounts" that refers to the "low water mark". This latter definition is most consistent with the common usage of the term "land" but is inconsistent with that presented in Paragraph 123. This clash of definitions may be unavoidable for practical purposes, but it would be useful to clearly differentiate between the two meanings of "land". Similarly, "airspace" is included in "economic territory" in paragraph 124 but atmosphere is excluded from the scope of "environmental assets" in paragraph 88. I may be simpler to include "atmosphere" in the definition of the environment. [Additional detailed comments attached]
 Chapter2-Australia_BoM.pdf;   
02/09/2011UNSDPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter is well structured and reads well.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
To improve its readability we would suggest the following: - Elaborate on the boundary between the economy and the environment. Explain that the boundaries are a mere constructs of the accounts to be able to organize the information (para 10 – it does not make sense to talk about boundaries if the economy is completely within the environment – need to clarify). Explain the both production and asset boundary. As for the asset boundary it would be useful to have an understanding of the scope of the SEEA assets (e.g. produced assets used for resource management, cultivated biological resources – are they within the scope?) - Explain in greater detail the section on the sequence of accounts. It is not easy to follow the arguments for non-national accountants. - Elaborate the description of the tables: in particular explain the tables headings and the grey cells - Clearly explain that environmental assets are more than land and natural resources. - Add a para in the text to the effect that the three subsystems of water, energy and materials have the same accounting structure but the rows (industries) and columns (products) may need to be disaggregated to grouped according as relevant - Briefly explain the difference between cultivated and non-cultivated asset in the section on asset accounts before it is introduced in Table 2.3.4 so that you build the individual tables to include in the general table 2.3.4. - Mention monetary depletion in the section on monetary flow accounts. It is an important aggregate and should be mentioned. Physical depletion is mentioned in the section on physical flow but not in the monetary. - Other flows are defined as not being transactions (same as the SNA). Although this is correct it would be useful to add some examples (the SNA uses natural resources as an examples) - Elaborate in Section 2.5.3 the household sector and the government – when they are recorded as producers and when as consumers. - Are we recommending that output for own account activities that are for intermediate consumption be valued? I thought we would only record the output and intermediate consumption for own account in physical terms to maintain the consistency with the monetary accounts. - The subsection of double and quadruple entry accounts (para 110-114) does not add value to the text. It will be a difficult read for non-accountants and will not add very much for accountants. - Consistency – it is important that the concepts and definitions presented in the other chapters are presented in this chapter using exactly the same terminology. In this context the definitions should be presented in a way that they stand out from the rest of the text (e.g. using bold and italics). - Use of examples – some of the examples are not really relevant to the environment (e.g. purchase of a bed, car, etc.). It would be useful if all the examples were environment-related.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
[attached]
 Chapter2-UNSD.pdf;   
02/09/2011UK/Office for National StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides a good overview of the SEEA framework. In terms of what might be missing, reference is made to the ongoing work on experimental ecosystem accounting. It might also be helpful to outline briefly how SEEA-Energy, SEEA-Water should be applied in reference to the central framework.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
We welcome the level of detail provided on the SNA, the balance seems very helpful.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
2.3.1 para 19 – concerns were raised that ‘economic units'' may be confused with ‘institutional units'', which given it relates to industries and households, would not be appropriate. 2.3.1 para 19 – we had requests for an illustrative example table to support the text, or a reference to where in the SEEA this could be found. 2.3.1 para 20 – there is much reference to ‘consistent'' – worth clarifying what consistent with – internally consistent ? consistent with SNA ? Tables 2.3.1 and 2.3.1 – is it possible to add some brief words to explain why some cells are blank 2.3.3 para 32. – should this refer to 2.3.5 rather than 2.3.6? 2.3.5 paras 54 and 55 – would it be possible to be more specific about which part of the SNA is being referenced ? 2.4.2 para 74 – products can be for own intermediate use as well as own final use 2.6.2 para 118. a ‘hydrological year'' is used as part of an example – it may be helpful to explain further for the uninitiated what this is. 2.6.5 para 144 – price indices rather than price indexes As a general point, we have been asked about having numbers in the illustrative tables, even if these are dummy numbers, to help with understanding.
30/08/2011Switzerland/Federal Statistical OfficePart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
This chapter provides a good overview of the SEEA framework and the core accounting principles that apply throughout it.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
This chapter is well structured and balanced and the style is good.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
§ 15: It would be clearer to make a list with the 4 types of ecosystem services instead of a list of the "other ecosystem services". Moreover why not making a reference to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; your definitions are almost the same. Besides that, is the formation of soil chosen to illustrate category (iii) an ecosystem service to the environment itself or an ecosystem service to the agriculture, comparable to pollination in category (i)? § 24 states that the "stocks and flows that exist entirely outside of the environment are not recorded". For more clarity, please give an example or two of such stocks and flows. § 35, Table 2.3.2 and § 47, Table 2.3.4: Fore more clarity, please explain why the household-cells in the use table are grey even if they also make use of natural inputs (e.g. fish or timber) and collect or treat waste. § 85: To prevent misunderstandings we propose to add "/or" after "and" at the end of the last sentence: "(…) that are used in production and/or that deliver ecosystem services to the benefits of current and future generations. We particularly support this explanation "(…) Environmental assets are the naturally occurring living and non-living components of the Earth, together comprising the bio-physical environment, that are used in production and that deliver ecosystem services to the benefits of current and future generations." § 86: We particularly support this explanation "(…) environmental assets can be considered either from the perspective of the individual assets or from the perspective of the ecosystems themselves." § 126 states that fishing operations in international waters are considered as residents'' activities, "although their activity will have impacts on both other economies and other environments." Please explain if this can lead to inconsistencies with the exclusion of oceans/atmosphere from the scope of environmental assets (§ 88 and § 123) in the sense that depletion of these assets is not taken into account, so fishing in oceans may wrongly appear more productive than fishing within national territory. § 136: Is there a word missing after "to"? "Two kinds of prices are used to/from a supply perspective". Chapter 2.4.2 and 2.4.3: in the first you start by "monetary" and next "physical" and in the second it is the inverse.
29/08/2011Armenia/National statistical servicePart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides a good introduction and a broad and accessible overview of the SEEA framework in the context with the SNA 2008.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The chapter is generally well structured and material and the coverage of the chapter are well balanced. The style, tone and readability of the text are very good.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comments.
26/08/2011Brazil/IBGE – Brazilian Institute of Geography and StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter is clear and provides a good overview about environmental accounting mainly for people not accustomed with SNA concepts, like people that work only with environmental statistics.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The text is clear enough.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comment.
26/08/2011Philippines/National Statistical Coordination BoardPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter generally provides a good, simple and straightforward overview of the environmental-economic accounting. However, it would be helpful if some specific reference to the 2008 SNA (chapters/paragraphs) and other relevant materials could be cited.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
It is worth revisiting the following figures and tables: Fig. 2.2.1 Physical flows between the economy and the environment – this could be better illustrated and explained if the take off point is the SNA; what is covered/monitored in the economy using the SNA and what is covered by its satellite accounts in this case environmental accounts. Table 2.3.2 Basic form of a Physical Supply and Use Table – In the supply table, is it not relevant to have a column for government sector? In the use table, is it not relevant to account for the residuals for the household and government sectors? If Table 2.3.2 will be revised its consistency with Table 2.3.4 should be revisited.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
None so far.
26/08/2011Lebanon/Central Administration of StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
It does not give a full view of the SEAA framework as sometimes there are too much details and sometimes, these details are missing like when talking for example about the consumer price index. There should be examples about its relation with SEEA not only mentioning it.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Need of more details in section 2.6
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Figure 2.2.1 s excellent Need of mathematical equations for paragraphs 31 and 36 or table like n figure 2.6.1
26/08/2011Kazakhstan/The Agency of Statistics of the Republic of KazakhstanPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
In overall, Chapter 2 is described within the framework of SNA 2008. Maybe there is a need to elaborate on the flow of ecosystem inputs in 2.2.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The style and content is very comprehensive and the tone is very appropriate.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comments.
26/08/2011Slovak Republic/Statistical Office of the Slovak RepublicPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The SEEA framework is adequate and comprehensible presented in this chapter in our opinion. It seems that the chapter sufficiently covers the general overview of the SEEA framework and accounting rules and principles within it.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The chapter is well presented and its structure is good. The balance of material seems to be adequate. In general the chapter is well written and comprehensible but only for readers with background on national accounting.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No additional comments.
26/08/2011Romania/National Institute of StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
In our opinion the chapter is well structured, is comprehensive and systematic, which is convenient for the user. The chapter does provide a broad overview of the SEEA accounts and the concepts.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
No comments.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
We would like to have guidelines on EGSS, activities and employment in order to facilitate the work. Paragraphs 142-143. It would be important to expand the description on the valuation of environmental goods at constant prices and its method of application.
26/08/2011Germany/Statistisches BundesamtPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Chapter 2 provides a good overview of the SEEA framework especially part 2.2 is very important. However, the different parts of chapter 2 should finally be crosschecked with the chapters 3-5. In some cases we observed detailed explanations which are missing in the respective chapter. For example how to deal with households undertaking environmental protection activities in EPEA. This generally also holds in cases where adjustments are implemented following the consultation process. For example: if table 3.2.1 (physical supply and use table) has to be adjusted it has to be checked whether the basic form of the PSUT (table 2.3.2) has to be adjusted also.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The chapter is partly of a strong technical nature. Perhaps that could not be avoided. Moreover from our point of view there is dominance on monetary accounting rules which are already fixed in SNA. Perhaps it would be good to reduce these explanations? With regard to the accounting rules: Is it really necessary to explain double and quadruple entry accounting in an environmental context?
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
- Concerning figure 2.2.1: the category "other biological resources" is missing in the environment part (compare § 86 and table 3.2.2 in chapter 3). - Chapter 2.3.3: "Highlighting the relevant flows in monetary terms" (§27) should not be the only purpose of monetary supply and use tables in the SEEA. Adequate and specific breakdown (more detail than in the normal SUTs) for industries and commodities in the SUTs is at least as important in the SEEA framework! - Chapter 2.3.5: "The sequence of economic accounts" is mentioned only in chapter 2. There is no detailed description of these accounts in one of the chapters 3-5. Especially details are needed on the "depletion adjustment" referred to in § 55 and in table 2.3.5. In chapter 5 it is mentioned that "the full sequence of accounts including adjustments for depletion" is described in chapter 6 (§ 159). This at least should be mentioned here also. However, a short explanation would be beneficial. - § 127 refers to "adjustments" to geographic boundaries in other statistics. Are these adjustments explained somewhere in the SEEA framework? If so, the §§ should be noted here. - Some flows from the environment are directly used by households and should be named in the lower part of table 2.3.2 (use table). Examples are water abstraction or fuel wood collected by private households (see also § 103). - The residence principle is an important principle for the SEEA framework. Therefore it should explicitly be mentioned in chapter 2.6.3 (§ 125).
26/08/2011Ukraine/State Statistics Committee of UkrainePart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
We agree with the content, structure and style of the overview submitted in Chapter 2.
26/08/2011Australia/Australian Bureau of StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter is generally very readable and well-structured. The shorthand use of terms ‘economy'' and ‘environment'' need to be clearly explained at the start of the chapter, since this is a fundamental distinction within the SEEA. It is not straightforward since the use of these terms varies according to whether discussion relates to assets or to flows. A number of the people we consulted had difficulty understanding how the scope of SEEA assets varies from the SNA. Some examples of environmental economic assets, the flows they produce and their relationship to the SNA asset and production boundaries would be helpful (e.g. develop examples of how wild fauna and flora interact with these boundaries). In consultation a comment was made about accounting for natural resources beyond primary processing and that it is necessarily complex as it relies on a range of inputs. It was noted that this poses significant measurement challenges. Some practical guidance around the scale of reporting and the relationship to the value chain could be helpful. Current discussion of this point is limited.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Related to the comment above on the shorthand use of environment and economy, a discussion on the production and asset boundaries and how they related to the boundary between the economy and environment should be added under section 2.2. A reference to the different ways in which the boundary between economy and economy can be delineated can be introduced in section 2.1. Related to a comment made in Part II (below) material on environmental units should be added as a separate sub-section under of section 2.6 (which should be re-named Statistical units)
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
The scope of the SEEA – Central Framework and Volume 2 – in physical terms and in monetary terms, needs to be clearly set out in this chapter (and/or in chapter 1). The relationship to SNA production and asset boundaries is pivotal. The explanation is essential if we are to use the shorthand terms ‘economy'' and ‘environment'' throughout the text. We suggest that 2 simple tables will achieve this clarification of scope for assets and flows in the Central Framework and Vol.2. [comments attached]
 Chapter2-Australia.pdf;   
26/08/2011Lithuania/Statistics LithuaniaPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Yes, the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework. However knowledge of national accounts and the national accounts terminology is necessary for readers.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
No comments.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comments.
25/08/2011Poland/Central Statistical OfficePart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The document is comprehensive and systematic, which is convenient for the user. We believe that it provides adequate and accessible overview of the mentioned work. There are some differences with respect to previous and other international documents and frameworks of a similar (environmental) scope and this fact should be clearly underlined in the preface to allow for easy comparisons. Pointing out to the difference would greatly enhance the utility of the document for the users.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
We believe that the style, tone and readability of the text are all fully acceptable.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comment.
25/08/2011Denmark/Statistics DenmarkPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter does provide a broad overview of the SEEA accounts and the concepts. However, probably, it is most useful as a kind of summary for readers who are already familiar with the SEEA. For the newcomer, it may be difficult to grasp since it is very general. Some numerical example tables would be useful (ideally with correspondence to the numerical examples in SNA 2008 where appropriate). It could be considered more clearly to focus Section 2.3 on the main accounts: SUT, asset accounts, monetary (functional) and hybrid accounts, followed by a section on the sequence of accounts.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The description of the main accounting types could be more comprehensive, including some examples, while some of the concepts like types of prices and volume measures could be described with lesser detail in this chapter.
25/08/2011Latvia/Central Statistical Bureau of LatviaPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
In our opinion the chapter is well structured and provides a good overview of the accounting structure of the SEEA framework.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
No comments.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
No comments.
25/08/2011Netherlands/Statistics NetherlandsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
In our opinion, chapter 2 provides a good overview over de SEEA framework
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
• Style is very good: condensed and to the point. • Chapter 2 probably covers what should be covered. A better judgement can be made once chapter 1 is available.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Par 8. ‘production of environmental goods'' add ‘and services''. • Par.11 and 28 starts discussing (supply of) products while the definition of products follows much later (par.79) and only in physical terms. More guidance at this point in the text would be helpful, especially on how the SNA production boundary (and products) relate to the environment as supplier of goods and services. • Par. 37: This relationship is also true on an industry level / households for energy and water. • Par.39 Compiling complete PSUT is perhaps not done on many occasions. However, MFA is an accounting application presented in SEEA in which all types of flows (inputs and outputs) are added in one dimension (tonnes). MFA is commonly done, so the message of this paragraph is not according to what follows in chapter 3. • The final columns of Table 2.3.4 are about assets and not residuals. The intersection of row "residuals used" and column "environmental assets" seems multi-dimensional. From a column perspective this cell should show the current and future losses of environmental assets due to current pollution. Some additional explanation would we welcome. • (par.57) National income is obviously another well-known balancing item in the SNA income account. Perhaps this could be mentioned. • I would not state as done in par.''s 73 and 74 that a majority of economic flows or transactions are products (I''m not sure this is actually true). From SNA point of view it is undoubtedly an important transaction category. • Par 80. Without additional explanation in the text it may not be clear how energy can be a residual • In par.92 it suggested to add "among other things" between "…approach requires" and "information on the stocks of assets…" • Par.103 seems to suggest that for each resource management or environmental protection activity carried out by households a separate establishment should be recognised in SNA and SEEA. We are not sure this is correct. • Par 133 should not only discuss valuation of non-marketed natural resources but also that of its capital services (resource rent). • Note 8 should be placed in the main text and expanded to explicitly address differences between SNA volume changes and physical changes (in physical flow accounting terms). An important aspect to introduce in this context is accounting for quality changes.
25/08/2011Czech Republic/Czech Statistical Office, Charles University Environment CentrePart III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Table 2.3.2. The supply part of the table does not show that residuals can be generated also by government. This is in contradiction with Table 2.3.4., which rightly shows this fact. Para 39. Even though PSUT for all materials are not usually compiled in a single unit, some statistical offices compiled them (e.g. Germany, Italy). Maybe this should be mentioned in this para. Para 51. It would make sense to add "monetary" before "supply and use tables" at the beginning of the para. Para 80. The definition of residuals misses the information and they can also be emitted by government. In the light of promoting the green public procurement this is worth mentioning. Para 83. It is said at the end of this para that flows within the environment are not included in PSUT, because they are not used in the economy as intermediate inputs. It would be useful defining what is exactly meant by "intermediate inputs". Chapter 2.4.3. In order to be in line with Chapter 2.4.2., it would make sense to start with monetary stocks here. Para 96. It is said here that an enterprise should be located within a single economy. What about multinational corporations?
24/08/2011U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Paragraphs 14 through 18 are distracting. Because the chapter correctly excludes ecosystem accounting it would make more sense to have at the end of the chapter a discussion of the potential role of ecosystem accounting and how that role will be expanded upon in volume 2. Also ecosystem accounting is not "maturing"—ecosystem accounting is not developing naturally—it is being done by exogenous efforts. There needs to be a better discussion of where produced environmental assets fit in. It is not at all clear, for example, how a planted ("managed") forest should be treated. Paragraph 25 would be a good place to start and then carrying forward to paragraphs 41-43. How would such assets fit into Table 2.3.4? It would seem that the word "natural" would have to be removed from paragraph 85. If planted forests or herds are counted as environmental assets in chapter 5 then how could the word "natural" apply here? Paragraph 64—what is an "environmental purpose"? Paragraph 92—why does the NPV approach require physical units? There should be some discussion for the reason.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
1. A definition for "ecosystem service" is missing. Paragraph 15 gives a description and classification of well-known ecosystem services, while paragraph14 suggests a definition for "ecosystem" without explicitly adopting it. Elsewhere in the draft SEEA central framework the definition of "environmental assets" is contingent on providing ecosystem services. Either a boundary for determining what is and what is not an ecosystem service must be provided by the SEEA, or the definition of "environmental asset" must not involve "ecosystem service".
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
1. The description of the location of the economy and the environment is contradictory in places. For example paragraph10 states that "The environment is the location within which economic activities of production, consumption and accumulation take place," and this placement is reflected in the Venn diagram figure 2.2.1. However, the title of figure 2.2.1 is "physical flows between the economy and the environment". Under paragraph10 it is not possible for there to be flows between the economy and the environment, since the economy is already located within the environment. Rather, the flows in figure 2.2.1 are better described as "between the economy and the non-economy environment". Again, paragraph19 states "flows … from the environment to the economy", which is problematic given that the economy is considered to be inside the boundary of the environment.
24/08/2011International Monetary FundPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
a. As a whole, this chapter is well structured and presented, and complete in terms of contents. It is suggested to change the title of the chapter as "overview and accounting structure". b. There is a need to bring more clarity in presentation and contents of introduction (section 2.1) and overview (section 2.2). This could be done on the lines of 2008 SNA presentation on environmental accounting (chapter 29). SNA presentation is clear and concise. A few suggestions are as follows: · Make it clear that the SEEA should be seen as a satellite account to the SNA with features of both internal and external satellites (29.105 of 2008 SNA, and 2.12 SEEA 2003). · Start the introduction with paragraph 29.102 of 2008 SNA followed by paragraph 5 of section 2.2. · Shift the paragraph 1 to section 2.2. · Present the goals of SEEA in section 2.2 following SNA (29.103 of 2008 SNA).
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
· Following SNA, first define institutional units and sectors (Chapter 4, 2008 SNA) and then enterprises. Further, define enterprises as in 2008 SNA (paragraph 5.1). This would bring logical sequence to the presentation. Following this, use of the sentence (Paragraph 96) "Importantly, an enterprise can own……..operates in a standalone sense" (which is not correct) to explain the basic characteristic of enterprises could be avoided. · Non-fuel energy inputs are included as a sub-category of natural inputs. Clarification on its inclusion may be provided, as the same was not there in 2003 SEEA classification of natural inputs. · Aquatic resources used in SEEA 2003 are replaced by fish resources in natural inputs. The need for such a change could not be understood and needs further explanation. · Regarding population, demographic and employment information (section 2.3.7): please mention the chapter in which further details on this issue are presented. · Use of the term "own-account": In paragraph 53, chapter 3, it is mentioned that the products are produced on own-account in that although they are not sold to other economic units they are used either directly for the final consumption by the producer, e.g. production of agricultural output consumed by farmers, or they are a form of capital formation, e.g. own-account construction of a house. In both cases the physical flows should be recorded to ensure consistency with the output and production boundaries of the monetary supply and use tables. However, in paragraph 102 it is mentioned that the use of the term own-account differs from its use in the SNA. Installation and insulation in houses using wood collected by households can be taken as own account capital formation. SEEA considers the same as resource management activity. Therefore, this needs to be clarified further. · Overall contents and presentation of sections 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 are fine.
24/08/2011Austria/Statistics AustriaPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
In our opinion the chapter is well structured and provides a good introduction into and an overview of the accounting structure of the SEEA and the respective links to the SNA 2008.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
No comments.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Table 2.3.2: In accordance with our comment to chapter 3 (table 3.2.1) and with table 2.3.4 we want to stress that if the government consumes products (use table) also the residuals generated by the government (supply table) have to be considered. Para 101: Please do not use the term ‘firm'' but ‘enterprise''.
24/08/2011Jordan/Department of StatisticsPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
We thought that this chapter is providing a comprehensive view in direct and clear manner comparing to chapter 2 in seea 2003.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Here we would like to have an overview guideline of the ideal national team for each assignment in particular account with distinguished responsibility for each member of the team.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Table 4.3.4: We would like to have guidelines on EGSS, activities and employment in order to facilitate the work. Also, we would like to see a concrete assumptions concerning estimate of the environmental share (value added, employment and EGSS).
23/08/2011Peru/Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática – INEIPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The document describes in a comprehensible manner the SEEA framework, in the context and relation with the System of National Accounts.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The writing style and content are understandable.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
In regard to the Chapter 2: Accounting Structure, at point 2.3.7 Population, demographic and employment information: for all of us it is known that a person could have more than one job position, I consider that it must be addressed the treatment in the case of people dedicated to jobs related to the environment who have additionally another job position. The concept of Equivalent Employment will be applied?
23/08/2011Norway/Statistics NorwayPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
It appears adequate and accessible as long as you have some national accounting background. Without a rudimentary knowledge of national accounts and the national accounts terminology, this text would not be fully understood. Unfortunately, it does not seem possible to make it even more basic without making it much longer. We disagree with the definition of "environmental assets" given in §85 – see our extensive comments on this point provided in our comments to the Global Consultation for Chapter 5.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The chapter focuses on the SEEA system as a whole. What is missing is any mention that you do not need to implement the whole system and that only portions of the system can be developed (such as air emissions accounts) to answer specific policy or analytical needs. As the text currently stands, it appears that you have to implement the whole system. This is misleading since compiling complete PSUTs is almost never done by countries. Great to show how things hang together theoretically but we do not want to scare off countries from the very beginning!
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
[attached]
 Chapter2-Norway.pdf;   
23/08/2011European Commission/EurostatPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework. Obviously many aspects become clearer with the more detailed presentations in subsequent chapters: 3, 4, 5.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
No comments.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Paragraph 9: refers to "taxes, subsidies, grants, rent and flows to and from other countries" in the context of the sequence of accounts. The text is clear that flows of goods and services are excluded here. Please delete the phrase "to and from other countries" or clarify which flows to and from other countries are in scope here. Paragraph 24 – last sentence: "The stocks and flows that exist entirely outside of the environment are excluded.'' For clarity it would be good to add an example of such a flow and stock. Paragraph 35: Please explain in the text that the "environment" is added as an additional column. Paragraph 36: the example of water used here is particularly tricky for various reasons – e.g. is the term ''consumption'' defined in a very specific way for water, is it not very obvious what ''capital formation'' would be…. Another natural resource such as timber is perhaps more useful as an example. Paragraph 40: add a cross-reference to where the residence principle is explained in section 2.6. Paragraph 56 and following and Table 2.3.5. This is a very very condensed presentation. Suggest adding a bit more explanation or a reference to the SNA early in this part. Paragraph 83 explains that natural processes are not recorded in supply and use tables. It justifies this statement with the Paragraph''s final phrase that this is "because they are not used …as intermediate inputs". This phrase is too narrow and should be deleted. Paragraph 85 and following: regarding the definition and scope of environmental assets please see Eurostat''s comments on Chapter 5. Paragraph 95: suggest saying that "The environment itself is not considered to be an economic unit……" Paragraph101 Please use the same terms as in the §§96-99 where appropriate, e.g. enterprise instead of business. Paragraph 102: This paragraph should come before paragraph 100 as it is the general paragraph, with current paragraphs 100 and 101 being applications/examples. The term ''incorporating'' in the last sentence is confusing – maybe better to use ''recording separately'' Paragraph 143: the last sentence should be corrected – it is currently about decoupling economic growth from itself.
23/08/2011Israel/Central Bureau of Statistics IsraelPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
A broad overview of the framework is an especially important part of the handbook, since the coverage differs from other frameworks, and is still under development. Overall the overview is well organized and presents the various parts of the SEEA well both in short descriptions, tables and figures. However, the structure of the framework is not so easy to understand from the overview – in par. 10 it says: "The environment is the location within which economic activities of production, consumption and accumulation take place." But in the Figure 2.2.1 and in par. 19 "flows are from the environment to the economy" environment seems to be in a different area – more like a ring enclosing the economy (by the way in chapter 5 there is also a slightly different presentation of the structure). Par. 24 makes things even more difficult to understand: "The main locations recognised in the SEEA are the national economy and the environment. The stocks and flows that exist entirely outside of the environment are not recorded." What is outside environment? Does it mean that if is decided that something should not be measured, it is not part of environment?
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
In some places the wording is not very precise: Par. 6: "Accumulation in this context includes the production of machines and" – accumulation is not production. Par. 10: "Thus, the flows of goods and services within the economy directly interact with the broader system of natural processes that occur in the environment." - don''t understand how flows interact.
22/08/2011I.R. Iran/Statistical Centre of IranPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
This chapter is more profitable for experts who are familiar with SNA , but those who are not with the concepts of SNA may find it difficult to understand. Thus, it would be better to have an overview of SNA framework of SUT tables and concepts in this chapter.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
In this chapter: 1. The entries into the tables do not have adequate explanations. 2. There are a lot of statements which need some examples for clarification.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
1. In the section 2.3 paragraph 19, the tables also indicate the flows from economy to the environment, so explanation should be added at the end of the sentence which starts with "These tables indicate". 2. In the section 2.3.2 paragraph 24, it would be better to replace "(group of businesses undertaking similar types of activities" by "(a group of establishments engaged in the same, or similar, kinds of production activity)". 3. Paragraph 24, as the national economy is located in the environment" Which flows and stocks exist entirely outside of the environment? It would be better to explain more about it. 4. In the table 2.3.1, use table column 3: It would be better to replace "Households including NPISHs" by Households. 5. In the table 2.3.2, some entries such as, residuals sent to and received from the rest of the world are not known. So it seems necessary to explain these kinds of entries. 6. In paragraph 79, what kind of internal flows may be recorded? Is there any example? 7. In paragraph 81, are residuals that become products put into the category flows from environment to the economy or flows into the economy itself? It needs more explanation.
18/08/2011Palestine/Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Part I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides an adequate overview
18/08/2011Indonesia/Statistics IndonesiaPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Yes, it provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework; however it especially will be understood enough only by those having adequate knowledge and understanding on related national accountings; for those not having such knowledge seem having difficulties.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The structure: ok, especially for those having adequate knowledge of related national accountings; but having difficulties for others. The balance of material: ok, however chapter of physical account needs more elaborations because even people with adequate knowledge in national accountings may not understand correctly about related physical considerations of the accountings. The coverage: ok.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
General comment: economic activities will not only create goods but also bads (waste) which will become relevant discussion on SEEA. We need a balance between produced goods and bads (waste) so that the bads will not damage, for example, natural resources, environment, etc. Theoretically, we need to maximize goods produced and to minimize the related bads. The key word is to consume and produce goods as much as we need not as much as we want in such a way that we may save natural resources for its sustainable uses in the future. How it is recommended in a technical way? Technical comment: how concepts of basic prices and/or environmental taxes are implemented to reach such a balance between production/consumption and depletion/degradation?
18/08/2011Mexico/INEGIPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The general content of the chapter is appropriate and provides an overview of environmental-economic accounting; also, it is clear how to link the flow and stock accounts with the provisions of 2008 SCN.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
In Chapter 4 "Monetary flows accounts," in addition to the activities and expenditures on environmental protection and resources management of resources, as well there are mentioned the use of natural resources. It is important that the actions for use of natural resources were mentioned in the introduction of the Chapter 2.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
It would be important to expand the description on the valuation of environmental goods at constant prices and its method of application (paragraphs 142-143).
12/08/2011Mauritius/Central Statistics OfficePart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
The chapter provides an adequate overview.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
"24. The stocks and flows that exist entirely outside of the environment are not recorded." – can one or more example be provided? Can a brief methodological note be included with examples of data sources, compilation methods etc.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
Can there be a note on the limitations of compiling accounts, e.g valuation of natural sites, forests, protected areas etc. Cross references to other works such as Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
04/08/2011Belgium/Federal Planning BureauPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Sections 2.3.5 and 2.3.7 do not seem to belong in an overview of the main accounts of the SEEA. Economic environmental accounts are satellite accounts to the National Accounts. On the one hand they add physical environmental data to the economic data of the National Accounts, while on the other hand they identify the parts of the economic National Accounts data linked to the environment. The system of economic environmental accounts therefore consists of supply and/or (add "or" because it''s not always necessary to use a complete SUT) use tables to register the natural input, product and residual flows of natural resources used by the economy, asset accounts to register the increases and decreases of the stocks of natural assets, and functional accounts. The supply and use tables as well as the asset accounts are used to add physical environmental data to the National Accounts economic data. The functional accounts are used to identify the environmental parts of the National Accounts economic data. Section 2.3.5 is entitled "the sequence of economic accounts". It deals with the adjustment of economic aggregates like value added and saving with the cost of natural resource depletion. This is probably linked to the calculation of a green net domestic product indicator, although this is not mentioned here. In my view, this is an application of economic environmental accounting, but not an integral part of the accounts themselves. This section deals with the combination of physical environmental data and economic National Accounts data, because in order to value depletion one first needs to establish physical asset accounts. Section 2.3.7 discusses the combination of demographic and employment data (population data is demographic data if you ask me, and should not be mentioned separately) with environmental data. This is also an application of economic environmental accounts. Demographic and employment data are not part of the system of economic environmental accounts. Consequently, this should not be presented as a subsection of section 2.3 "Main accounts and tables of the SEEA central framework".
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
Applications of economic environmental accounts should not be discussed in a chapter dealing with the accounting structure.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
[attached]
 Chapter2-Belgium.pdf;   
18/07/2011African Development BankPart I: Supply any comments on whether the chapter provides an adequate and accessible overview of the SEEA framework.
Broadly, the PSUT framework adapts the SUT framework of SNA a basis. However, one has to be familiar with SNA principles and concepts, which are not explicitly explained in this Chapter 2. Also, PSUT requires reasonable amount of time and resources, therefore other simpler frameworks in addition to PSUT need to be developed.
  Part II: 1. Comments on the style, tone and readability of the text.
The document should make explanations for the tables and the elements in them. Suggestions: I would have drawn figure 2.2.1 Physical Flows between Economy and Environment as a circle for economy and other circle for environment with an intersection. That would mean, some elements of environment are covered by the economy and others are not.
  Part III: Supply any additional comments including those of a more technical nature.
1. Improve the Table 2.3.2 basis Form of Physical Supply and Use table; i) Include the balancing block for supply and use tables ii) Supply table should include residuals generated by General Government Consumption. iii) Use table should include residuals consumed by households iv) Explanation for the difference between the natural inputs and intermediate consumption v) In the supply Table the row named ‘natural input’ should be change to ‘natural output’ 2. The statement in paragraph 79 ‘… lows internal to the operation of a producing unit are ignored’ for SNA recording is untrue and inconsistent to the true statement in paragraph 102
 

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