2023 UN Datathon - Workshop
ARIES workshop

5 November 2023
09:00 - 12:00 (GMT -3) Hybrid
14:00 - 17:00 (GMT -3) In-person

Session 1
09:00 - 12:00 (GMT -3) Hybrid

An introduction to the ARIES for SEEA application for Natural Capital Accounting. The ARIES for SEEA Explorer is a web application built on the top of an integrated, open-source modelling platform for environmental sustainability developed by researchers at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3). ARIES stands for Artificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability, while SEEA stands for System of Environmental Economic Accounting.

Using ARIES technology, the ARIES for SEEA Explorer allows users anywhere in the world to produce rapid, standardised, scalable and customizable ecosystem accounts for their area of interest that are consistent with the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting framework. The application is available on the UN Global Platform, a cloud-service platform supporting international collaboration in the development of official statistics using new data sources and innovative methods. ARIES for SEEA is a sector hub of the UN Global Platform, serviced by dedicated physical infrastructure.

ARIES for SEEA can generate ecosystem accounts for any user-specified terrestrial area in the world (such as a country, administrative region, watershed, etc.), by intelligently choosing global or local data and connecting them to models developed according to the indications of the SEEA technical committee. Accounts are computed rapidly after running the models in the user-selected context, and the results are immediately available for inspection or download through the web browser. The current functionalities are restricted to assessing ecosystem extent (based on the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology), condition (for forest ecosystem types), and selected ecosystem services in physical and monetary units.

Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) - specifically semantics and machine reasoning - the ARIES for SEEA Explorer automates data and model integration. The Explorer automatically generates a comprehensive ecosystem accounts report, fully documenting the data, models, coefficients and methods used.

More information at:

Agenda - Session 1
09:00 - 12:00 (GMT -3) Hybrid

  • 09:00

    Introduction to the SEEA-Ecosystem Accounting (EA) protocol
  • 09:30

    Overview of the implementation of the protocol in ARIES
  • 10:00

    The ARIES for SEEA Explorer and its main sections: ecosystem extent, condition and services
  • 11:00

    Participants choose a case study and run their own accounts.
  • 11:30

    Integrating geospatial data and statistics: a strategy for interoperability

    (see also)

Session 1 Participant Profile

Generic user

This user type is someone who is interested in natural capital accounting and ecosystem's extent, condition and services, and who uses ARIES for SEEA to produce and visualise ecosystem accounts for their area of interest. This user may be a policy maker, a researcher, a business owner, or a citizen who wants to understand the interactions between the economy and the environment, and to support sustainable development goals. This user is not necessarily interested in the interoperability vision behind ARIES, but uses the ARIES for SEEA Web Application or other applications as point-and-click tools to access specific problems and solutions related to environmental sustainability. This user may also be part of communities that are involved in natural capital accounting, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, or a National Statistical Office.

Session 2
14:00 - 17:00 (GMT -3) In-person

This session has a practical, hands-on character and includes a “primer” session introducing semantically driven modelling for interoperability using the k.LAB software, which powers the ARIES platform. Software installation is a prerequisite, following these guidelines.

Semantically driven modelling is a practice meant to maximise the value of scientific information by ensuring its modularity, reusability, interoperability and traceability throughout the scientific process. The open source k.LAB software is a full-stack solution for integrated modelling, supporting the production, curation, linking and deployment of scientific artifacts such as datasets, data services, modular model components and distributed computational services.

ARIES, based on k.LAB technology, allows models and data to be contributed by independent researchers, hosting them on decentralized servers on the network. These can be automatically assembled into model workflows, in response to a user's query or the choice of an action in an application's user interface. The technology can be applied beyond the field of ecosystem services and operationalizes a novel, integrated, distributed and collaborative way of developing and utilizing data and models.

As an international network of scientific collaborators contribute data and models, the ARIES system grows along with its usage, and each new assessment automatically adopts the best data and models as they become available in its semantic web. Thanks to its focus on semantics rather than on the technical aspects of data and models, the ARIES modelling workflow is suitable for less technical users, such as decision-makers and government officers.

More information at:

Agenda - Session 2
14:00 - 17:00 (GMT -3) In-person

  • 14:00

    Introduction: The k.LAB logical layers
  • 14:30

    A tour of the k.LAB Modeler software
  • 15:00

    A look into the k.LAB semantic layer
  • 15:30

    Using custom data: the k.LAB resources layer
  • 16:00

    Looking ahead: the reactivity layer of k.LAB, i.e. semantic Digital Twins
  • 16:30

    Q&A and final remarks

Session 2 Participant Profile

Data provider and modeller

The data provider and semantic modeller is someone who is involved in the development and sharing of data and models for integrated social ecological systems, and desires to become conversant with the k.LAB technology and the k.IM semantic language. This user may be a scientist, a data analyst, or a software developer who is interested in environmental modelling and interoperability via semantics. This user understands and shares the vision behind ARIES and is interested in using the k.IM language to integrate existing data and models and to create new ones. This user will be able to connect to the k.LAB network to access and build on others’ work, and to contribute their data or models to advance knowledge in modelling social and ecological systems.