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Harmonization of MFA with the SEEA concepts

Outcome paper:English
Cover note:English
Comment template:English
Global consultation status:Open
Deadline for comments:17/01/2011
Number of comments:28
Comments from the global consultation
Posted onProvided byComments
24/02/2011Czech Republic/Charles University Environment Center1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
I do not agree from following reasons: 1) The distinction between the two types of cultivation processes would be arbitrary to some extent and could be different in different countries, which would hamper international comparison of resulting indicators; 2) The national statistical systems do not record data on many ecosystem inputs nowadays so it would take quite a lot time to be able to compile ew-MFA indicators according to the new standard; 3) Suggested change would hamper the interpretability of ew-MFA indicators, as the amount of harvested biomass better reflects pressures on the environment and links ew-MFA indicators with other sustainability indicators like Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP). This is why we recommend maintaining the harvest approach in ew-MFA
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
No comment.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
I agree, but it should be pointed out that the distinction between controlled and uncontrolled landfills is rarely available. When one compiles ew-MFA accounts he therefore has either take all landfills as controlled or uncontrolled. This leads either to underestimation or overestimation of material flows to the nature.
28/01/2011Libya / censuses and statistics department1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
20/01/2011U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes. This flexible approach is crucial since agricultural production varies significantly between geographic regions, as noted in the outcome paper.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
yes
19/01/2011Statistics Canada1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
This seems like a reasonable treatment, provided there is a clear definition of “artificial.” Several aspects of modern agriculture can be considered artificial; including monocultures, ploughed fields, even the genetic stock from which crops and livestock are taken has been considerably modified by human intervention. A large wheat field, for example, is clearly an artificial construct, yet from the text of the paper it seems as though its cultivation would be treated as being dominated by natural processes.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, following the SNA treatment seems reasonable.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Conceptually, this seems correct, however it would be useful to have more discussion on the issue of the emissions arising from different accounting periods as noted in our comments to the paper on bridge tables for emissions.
  4. Any other comments?
Some concern was raised about the environment economy boundary. For assets, natural resources can be valued and considered part of the economy. These assets can subsequently enter the economy as goods. This implies two boundaries between the environment and the economy; this should be considered in the drafting process.
18/01/2011France/ Ministry in charge of Ecology 1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. We consider the harvest approach preferable, in all cases, both for theoretical and practical reasons. Theoretically, despite the harvest approach is not in line with the SNA as regard the boundary between the economy and the environment, this approach better captures the environmental pressure of the concerned economic activities. It is more appropriate to track both the quantities and their origins (domestic extraction or imports). Practically speaking, it is quite unfeasible, for statistical offices, to collect and process the data required for the ecosystem inputs approach, even when limited to greenhouse crops and fish farming for instance.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
No. Controlled landfills are certainly part of the economic infrastructures. However, we would highly welcome keeping the landfills within the environment and therefore recording waste to landfills as an outflow from the economy to the environment. Otherwise, the domestic processed output (DPO) would be artificially reduced (and significantly, e.g. by 25% for France), suggesting that the material outflow of the economy to the environment is lower than it is actually. Waste to landfills would no longer be seen as an environmental pressure, even though this flow amounts to higher than the emissions. It is true that in case landfills are part of the environment, the related emissions are not recorded within the MFA as an outflow from the economy to the environment. However, these emissions are still available elsewhere in the SEEA since they are recorded in the emission accounts and therefore identifiable as environmental pressure as well.
18/01/2011Slovak Republic/Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No comment
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated only as a memorandum item
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from them should be recorded as flows to the environment. However the availability of information/data on emission from controlled landfills is questionable.
  4. Any other comments?
No comment
18/01/2011Australian Bureau of Statistics1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. The ABS questions the proposed use of an ‘economy’ – ‘environment’ dichotomy within the revised SEEA. The terms appear to be ‘understood’ rather than tightly defined. The situation described in the question could be accurately described in terms of: growth in cultivated / uncultivated biological resources; SNA production and consumption; and inputs to growth in biological resources (either SNA intermediate consumption or other inputs). The notion of the SNA production boundary is the primary basis for undertaking and understanding the MFA – SEEA reconciliation. It is not necessary or desirable to categorise production as ‘dominated by natural processes’ or ‘predominately occurring under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment’. Instead, we observe ‘growth in biological resources’, a subset of which is ‘growth in cultivated biological resources’ (‘cultivated’ as defined by the SNA). And we avoid the use of undefined terms ‘economy’ and ‘environment’.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, the ABS agrees (we currently produce these estimates as a standard feature of the Australian System of National Accounts)
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Following the vein of comments made in question 1 above, the distinction of ‘environment’ and ‘economy’ could be replaced by a description utilising SNA notions of assets, production, transactions. Thus, controlled landfill is (typically) an SNA asset and the operation of a landfill site is typically SNA production and the disposal of waste to such a landfill site typically involves an (SNA) economic transaction. The emissions arising from the landfill site will be either: used in a further process of SNA production (e.g. methane emissions for power generation); or not used in SNA production (what the outcome paper calls ‘flows from the economy to the environment’).
18/01/2011New Zealand / Statistics New Zealand1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No comment
  4. Any other comments?
Statistics New Zealand does not currently have sufficient subject matter expertise to comment on the questions raised in issue 1: Harmonization of MFA with SEEA concepts. Relevant agencies were contacted but were not in a position to comment on the specific questions raised.
17/01/2011UNSD1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Rather than in the SEEA, this recording is appropriate in the case of MFA. It is not possible to harmonize the SEEA with the MFA as this would involve a change in the boundary. We agree that in the case of MFA the cultivation process dominated by a natural process should continue to be considered as a flow from the environment to the economy but in the case of the physical supply and use tables we should keep the production boundary consistent with that of the SNA (in Volume 1).
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes. However, this information should only be a memorandum item only in physical terms. Adjustments in the SUT for addition or deductions to the stocks would be very difficult to make.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
The ‘controlled’ aspect implies that they are within the SNA production boundary. The utility of this approach is that the emissions that escape the landfill are explicit flows from the economy to the environment.
  4. Any other comments?
This paper was discussed by the London Group at the beginning of the revision process. It therefore reflects the decisions of the London Group. However it does not take into account the consistency with the physical supply and use tables. It should therefore be read in the context of the MFA rather than PSUT. MFA should be regarded as a supplementary presentation in the SEEA but not part of the core.
17/01/2011Italy, Istat1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes, I agree
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
No, I do not agree. The negative answer is due to the fact that both the discussion in the outcome paper and the question above are referred to stocks altogether (considered in physical terms). Of course it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge the phenomenon of consumer durables accumulation and the consequent lag between the time of purchase and that of physical consumption (where the latter, and not the former, coincides with the time of residuals’ generation). However this does by no means imply that the stocks should be estimated in physical terms (which, by the way, would be quite difficult and should be paralleled by a similar estimation of the other socio-economic stocks – capital in all forms as well as waste accumulated in controlled landfills and other stocked residuals). What should be recorded, in order to keep the balance of inputs and outputs, is the flow of consumer durables from production to households. Finally, it is not clear what it means recording consumer durables as a memorandum item when the accounting scheme as a whole is not yet specified in detail.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, I agree
  4. Any other comments?
1) Maybe also a question concerning the treatment of wood in cultivated forests should have been posed. LG13 meeting had concluded that “The relationship of the harvest approach with stock accounts (e.g. standing timber) needs some explanation”. In the issue papers, the proposal was made that a divergence between EW-MFA and the other SEEA modules be tolerated and explained for what concerns inclusion/exclusion from indicators (“modified harvest approach”). 2) In the example Supply and Use tables given in the paper, the grouping of the rows into “inflow”, “product” and “outflow” requires some explanation. As far as I can understand, this grouping is intended to highlight “inflows” and “outflows” to and from the Economy as a whole and separate these flows from the internal flows of the socio-economic system. However, under “products” appears “waste” as a whole, which is not appropriate. Waste should appear also under the “outflows” heading (and even under “inflows” - see SEEA2003 and OECD guidance manual). Moreover, only a minor part of the waste that circulates inside the socio-economic system may appropriately appear under “products”. Finally, these headings may be misleading (all flows are at the same time inflows - to the receiving activity, and as such are recorded in the Use table - and outflows - from the delivering activity, and as such they are recorded in the Supply table).
17/01/2011Norway/Statistics Norway1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
No
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes
17/01/2011Mexico / INEGI1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes. The distinction between biological cultivated and uncultivated resources allows to determine the production boundary, so the uncultivated resources, that is ecosystem inputs which are necessary for the growth of resources, go into the boundary when they are harvested or removed as they grow, hence the proposal is to determine the treatment based on the nature of the process of growing or harvesting, since it is recognized as a production process that takes place simultaneously in the economy and the environment, also reconciles concepts of SNA, SEEA 2003 and MFA.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, because there is not a standard treatment record in the SNA, however, in practice, it is suggested to register at the balance sheet as a memorandum item, as it’s done with economic assets.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, since it considers the construction of the landfills as an economic asset, therefore, atmospheric emissions should be considered as a current flow of the economy to the environment.
  4. Any other comments?
Not at the moment.
17/01/2011United Kingdom/Office for National Statistics1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Agree with the logic that considering controlled landfills as part of the economy is sensible in terms of recording the flow to the environment of emissions. A concern is that this means that information on economic materials which have reached the end of their useful life and cannot be recycled or reused does not fall out of the accounts naturally. It would be helpful to point to how provision would be made for this within the accounting framework, as there will be policy interest in the disposal to land fill and the type of waste – biotic and other materials that can degrade and abiotic.
  4. Any other comments?
No.
17/01/2011European Commission/Eurostat1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. In order to be consistent with the monetary accounts and the SNA2008 production boundary, full-fledged physical flow accounts should treat the biomass growth of cultivated products as originating within the economy – this is the theoretically consistent approach. If the treatment as described in the paper were adopted, the consequences of this treatment would result in a large number of systemic changes being required for all physical flow accounts and does not make sense, for example, for forestry, fish, energy or water accounts. There is one specific exception where the growth of used biomass is treated as coming from the environment rather than the economy. This exception is when a sub-set of physical flow accounts, known as economy-wide material flow accounts (ew-MFA) and the derived indicators, are compiled. By convention, in ew-MFA, the vegetal biomass growth (i.e. plants from agriculture) is treated as if it was a natural resource and is considered as originating from the environment and not from the economy. We would prefer to treat the ew-MFA as the special case and not adjust everything using some type of artificially imposed "harvest approach."
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes. We agree that the revised SEEA should open for the possibility to record information the stock of consumer durables. This might provides some useful information with regards to waste and recycling topics. Eurostat''s manual for Economy-wide Material Flow Accounts touches on this topic of stocks of consumer durables in physical terms as part of net additions to stock on the output side of the accounts but to date there is not much experience related to the data or compilation of these types of figures.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes
  4. Any other comments?
The SEEA should try to maintain a certain theoretical consistency – but the practical implementation may then lead to certain practical solutions being implemented due to data availability or other reasons that are not necessarily theoretically robust. This is the case for ew-MFA and this one case should not determine how the system is defined – it should simply be treated as an exception.
17/01/2011Switzerland, Federal Statistical Office1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. This solution seems at first sight a good compromise between the EW-MFA approach and the SEEA-2003 approach and efforts to align the system boundaries with SNA are necessary. However, we see different practical problems with it: - First, the limit between dominated by natural processes or dominated by economic process seems difficult to fix. Consider the example of the greenhouse as dominated by economic process: the greenhouse could be only a simple plastic just to avoid frost. On the other hand, a wheat field on for example a sandy soil is depending on large input of fertilizer. The problem seems even more complex for animal production. How many days per year a cow should be “free” on a pasture to be considered as “dominated by natural processes”? Should this approach is chosen, very clear limit should be fixed. - Second, if the limit can be fixed there are still practicals problems to separate for example from the available statistics the quantities of fertilizer spread in the greenhouses from the total fertilizer used in the country. - Third, this asymmetry in the consideration of an identical natural resource will imply difficulties for interpreting the results (for example part of the cows will be under “live animals” and another part under “grazed biomass”) - Fourth, there are risks of double counting. If for example an animal considered as “dominated by natural processes” is still fed partially with a by-product of a plant product, part of the animal growth is already counted as an input of plant biomass. This implies a very good knowledge of the complete food chain which is often missing. Furthermore, we will need to exclude from the grazed biomass those grazed by the “wild” cows. Knowing the already high incertitude on the grazed biomass estimation this seems very difficult to realise. These problems don’t occur with the EW-MFA approach. - Fifth as you recognize at point 32, comparability between countries will be not possible for the input indicators (DMI, DMC; DE). This raised the question about why in this condition applying such approach? Moreover, bridge between the two approaches is probably not so straightforward because it implies detailed corrections on both input and output side and not just a reorganisation of the results. Considering the methodological difficulties of the SEEA-2003 approach, the EW-MFA approach seems for us the least controversial approach.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes. However, this seems not so straightforward. High part of the solid wastes is building waste. If well sorted the main materials put in the controlled landfills are just stones which induce no emissions (or may be a bit of erosion and dissolution depending of the stone type) and which are not very different than the unused extraction for excavation which are considered out of the socio-economics system. Such landfills are in short term controlled for, for example, the soil stability but in the long term this is not necessary as it is constituted of inert materials. Are these landfills really in the long run always part of the socio-economic system? In the long run they will be completely part of natural processes such as soil evolution. Should it be possible to take that into account?
  4. Any other comments?
No
17/01/2011Jordan/Department of Statistics(DoS)1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes We agree, and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment should also consider as natural process flows from the environment to the economy as compensation to the loss of ecosystem inputs
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes we agree that the stock of consumer durable should be estimated as a memorandum item
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
We agree to consider landfills as part of economy and the emissions is flow from economy to the environment.
17/01/2011STATISTICS AUSTRIA1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, we agree.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, we agree.
17/01/2011Statistics Sweden1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. We are hesitant to agree, since the effects of the harvest approach on the different physical flows is not yet investigated. It seems better to treat ew-mfa as a special case and let the rest of the boundary in the SEEA align with the economic flows.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes. The magnitude of the stock of consumer durables, as well as the share of the stock that is in hibernation, is of interest in other context. For example in accounting for dissipative emissions from products in use, or estimations on future amounts of waste generated.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes. These controlled landfills are to be considered as part of the economy.
17/01/2011Germany, Federal Statistical Office1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. From a conceptional point of view the proposed procedure might be acceptable. However, from a data compiling point of view, for international comparisons and from the view of interpreting the results the proposal does not seem satisfactory. The reasons are the following: The calculation of ecosystem inputs is rather demanding (which is recognised in para 28 and 29). So it does not seem to be a good starting point for an international statistical standard which is to be applied by a large number of countries. As it has to be decided on a case to case basis whether a cultivation process is dominated by a natural or an economic process the comparability of the results across countries might be a problem. We therefore would prefer a procedure with unequivocal guidelines for all countries adapting the standard. From a long time of experience in compiling MFA data we are convinced that the results are much easier to interpret when using the harvest approach for biological resources than the ecosystem input approach. As mentioned in the paper (para 32) the currently defined aggregates in EW-MFA (such as DMI, DMC etc) are well established. In the EU for example a regulation on EW-MFA is on its way for adoption, which is based on the harvest approach for biological resources. To sum up: We recommend – as we did in former comments during the discussion process – not to suggest a different approach for the treatment of biological resources in MFA in the SEEA statistical standard from those well-established guidelines and conventions used in EU or OECD. Following these guidelines we actually propose to use the harvest approach for trees and crops and the ecosystem approach for livestock and fish (see also question 4 in comments on Outcome Paper on Issue #2).
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
No comment
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes
  4. Any other comments?
No
17/01/2011Statistics Denmark1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No.We suggest that the SEEA-2003 approach and borderlines are maintained as the conceptual correct approach also in the revised SEEA, but that at the same it is recognised that the “harvest approach” can be used to establish proxies for the ecosystem inputs when it comes to implementation and for use in specific EW-MFA.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes
17/01/2011Lithuania/Statistics Lithuania1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes, we agree
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, we agree
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, we agree
17/01/2011Central Bureau of Statistics Israel1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Agree with the distinction between biomass growth under artificial conditions and other biomass growth.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, they are useful for estimating emissions for example.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Controlled landfills should be accounted for as part of the economy. It seems preferable to say something like: “emissions from activity within the economy” (without saying there is a flow to environment).
  4. Any other comments?
Although the description of flows from environment to economy and vice versa is not new, and probably is widely accepted, in my view such a presentation is a bit confusing. It gives the impression that environment and economy are opposite or bordering concepts, and I am not sure that this is the case. In SEEA 2003 the concept of environment is explained as follows: “1.49: The environment can be thought of in natural capital terms as a collection of assets of various types. …. natural capital falls into three broad categories: natural resources, land and ecosystems.” “1.51 Natural resources, land and ecosystems represent the stocks that provide the many environmental inputs required to support economic activity.” An object, asset or activity may either be accounted for “within the economy” or “outside the economy”. Part of environment, such as land, may be owned or controlled, and have an economic value, so that it is accounted for within the economy. Would such land not be included in “environment”? And if not, is that useful? It would be helpful to have a very explicit definition of what is meant by “environment”. There could be further clarifications, for example: if emissions are added - are they part of the environment, although they are produced?
17/01/2011Turkish Statistical Institute1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes, we agree with the consideration.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
No comment.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, the consideration on controlled landfills is appropriate. Moreover emissions and waste disposed outside of controlled landfills can be accounted as flows from the economy to the environment.
17/01/2011Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes we agree that controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from them as flows from economy to environment.
17/01/2011Romania / National Institute of Statistics1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
No. Tree growth, e.g., is a natural process, but is not included in the EW – MFA used biomass. It’s reported in memorandum item.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes.
17/01/2011Statistics Netherlands1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes
  4. Any other comments?
No
10/01/2011Iran/Statistical Centre of Iran1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, I agree that the stock of consumer durables estimate as a memorandum item, as in the practice of the SNA 2008 is
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, I agree with this idea
23/12/2010Poland/Central Statistical Office1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA where the cultivation process is dominated by a natural process the flows from the environment to the economy consist of the used biomass growth that is drawn into the economy; and where the cultivation process predominantly occurs under artificial conditions and there is little direct interaction with the environment, the flows from the environment to the economy consist of ecosystem inputs?
Yes. I agree with the approach presented on figure 2 recording flows related to biological resources with ecosystem inputs.
  2. Do you agree that, in the revised SEEA, the stock of consumer durables should be estimated as a memorandum item?
Yes, it’s better if consumer durables be treated and estimated as a memorandum item.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA controlled landfills should be considered as part of the economy and emissions from controlled landfills should be recorded as flows from the economy to the environment?
Yes, controlled landfills should be considered as being within the economy. However flows and leakages from this landfills should be regarded as flows to the environment.
 

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