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Draft document: SEEA Applications and Extensions

Draft document:
Cover note:
Comment template:
Posted on:12/28/2012
Deadline for comments:1/31/2013
Number of comments:34

Comments from the broad consultation
Posted onProvided byComments
3/8/2013Macao, China AE_Macao_China.pdf;   
2/6/2013RussiaRosstat considers the document presents very clear, well structured and complete picture of the application field for SEEA. It is also important to note that the Draft Manual fosters advocacy of SEEA among policy-makers demonstrating a variety of possible outcomes of analysis created with the help of the proposed tools. This feature deserves special compliments. Part 3 of the Draft is extremely important for applied analysts as it outlines the principles of matrix analysis using Environmentally Extended Input-Output tables: first of all multiplier and broad impact analysis. Certainly, in different countries different sides of this analysis are demanded, as well as different countries can provide different sets of data and differently detailed IOTs. Matrix accounts are very costly instruments and this may encourage many countries to think of broadening their IOTs at the stage of design in favour of environmentally-oriented approach. From our point of view this part of the Draft needs further development to present more detailed applied recommendations to the international statistical society.
2/6/2013UNSD AE_UNSD.pdf;   
2/6/2013OECDI am generally fine with SEEA Part III, especially in view of the fact that I see this part on applications and extensions as a kind of living document which should/could be expanded with other examples in a website-environment. In that sense, I do not consider this part as being a kind of standards, but more as a kind of examples of best practice.
2/5/2013FinlandStatistics Finland welcomes the document. It is well written and the balance between different topics is good. The examples on applications of SEEA data are practical and useful. UN could consider collecting a portal on examples how SEEA information is presented in different countries and international organisations. The chapter on analytical techniques is a brief review and includes the most important approaches.
2/4/2013Australia AE_Australia.pdf;   
2/4/2013IndonesiaBPS-Statistics Indonesia welcomes the SEEA Applications and Extensions draft and appreciates the work done by UNSD. As a companion document to the SEEA Central Framework, it is very useful for providing practical guide to implement SEEA data. For developing countries like Indonesia, it may need longer time to implement it due to limitation of the data. However, it also encourages us to collect more detail environment data collaborating closely with related stakeholders. The document is not only useful for national account compilers but also for analysts and policy makers. The organization of chapters and sections is well structured and easy to follow. The tables and figures presented in the document would be more sounding if they referred to specific country or region which has already implemented the analytical techniques.
2/4/2013DenmarkStatistics Denmark welcomes the consultation draft of the SEEA Applications and Extensions. In our view, the draft represents an important step in order of introducing the potential of the SEEA Central Framework. Below, please find a few general comments on the consultation draft. First of all, in our opinion, the potential of the SEEA CF could be communicated more effectively, if the very textual presentation of the current draft was supplemented with additional tables and figures. Secondly, the text should focus only on introducing and explaining the possible applications and extensions. Any duplicates of the text in the SEEA CF, where all the concepts are explained, should be avoided to the extent possible. Finally, we find that it is important that the applications reflect potential applications by all the various user groups. In the current draft, there seems to be a bias towards the type of analysis that is usually published by national statistical offices.
2/4/2013South AfricaStatistics South Africa welcomes the draft volume that is presented for comments. Our view is that this is a useful addition to the SEEA framework, especially in situations such as South Africa where we find it very difficult to implement the central framework. A critical part of our problem relates to our inability to convince our user community (which in many cases are also our data providers) about the benefits of the accounts and how to use them. We believe that a volume such as this will greatly assist in improving the dialogue between the data providers, compilers of the EEA and the users thereof and we therefore support it completely. The challenge will remain to interact with users even after completion of this volume in order to gradually implement other aspects of EEA and improve the quality of existing EEA. We have approached the technical experts in our user community but they do not have any specific technical inputs at this time.
2/4/2013Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)The document is a very useful companion to the SEEA Central Framework because it elaborates key "outputs" – meaning the analytical uses of the integrated information. Overall, the descriptions are clearly formulated. However, some sections require a level of existing technical knowledge or assume that other relevant references will have been studied carefully, which means that this material is less accessible for some practitioners in government. It seems that the suite of SEEA documents thus far still requires additional resources – in particular training materials – to help guide compilation and use of the accounts. The general challenge is the need to integrate across the domains of science – a challenge not unique to SEEA. Perhaps something on this general issue could be added to the introduction. On the other hand, the introduction is already quite long (8 pages), which makes it a bit difficult to get a clear message about the nature of the rest of the document. This document projects a timid and ambiguous relationship between SEEA and the term sustainability. This is somewhat surprising for an accounting context. Para. 2.167 states that measures of stocks of assets "may not provide direction [sic] information on whether natural resource use is sustainable…" It is true that measuring sustainability in a broad sense is more complex than simply measuring stocks of natural resources. However, it should also be clearly stated that, at least in concept, the relationship between the economy and any given individual environmental asset is, by definition, not sustainable if that asset is depleted each year. This is one of the potentially important advantages of implementing SEEA for analysis and it should not be ignored or understated. This relationship applies because of how depletion is defined in SEEA (results of economy activity) and it applies equally to renewable resources (depletion is calculated net of growth). It is impossible to continue depleting any single resource indefinitely because flows depend on stocks – this is how the SEEA framework is designed. Of course, things can change in the future – the demand may change, substitutes may emerge – but such changes only reinforce the point that the previous trend (what was recorded in the accounts) was unsustainable. The accounts don''t need to try to predict how an unsustainable relationship between the economy and a resource might be resolved later (either organically or through policy) and certainly the accounts do not have future predictions embedded in the measures. Similarly paras 2.154-2.156 seem to be intentionally vague on the link between analysis of assets and measuring sustainability, which should actually be emphasized as an important advantage of SEEA. Again, measuring changes in assets does not necessarily give a complete picture of sustainability; particularly (as noted) if not all types of assets are accounted for comprehensively. However, the crucial point that should be clear from this paragraph is that, at least in concept, the asset accounting in SEEA provides a crucially needed and major improvement to the possibilities for monitoring sustainability of human activities. Moreover, while the words of caution in para 2.156 are correct and warranted, it should be clear that this point applies only to the valuation of the stocks of the assets. Unaffected by that issue are the measures of the physical changes to the stocks in each period, which are arguably the more relevant measures "in considering questions of sustainable use".
  Para 1.5: should include reference to sustainable consumption and production as important policy agendas. The paragraph should refer to the use of the SEEA to support the identification of policy targets, more specifically, instead of simply referring to the "development of policy" Para 2.105: This paragraph nearly contradicts itself by stating that there is no international definition for "green jobs" but then partially defines them, or at least implies a definition, as jobs that "can be found in any sector or industry…" There is currently work by ILO to define and measure "green jobs" and although this work is on-going it could be referenced here. Para 2.27: where there is reference to decoupling factors, should add a forward reference to the explanation, as the reader is left hanging to wonder what it is. Para 2.3.3: which explains decoupling analysis could be referenced at that stage. In general, cross referencing the text extensively will help the readability of the document and make it more practical to use.
2/1/2013Global Footprint Network AE_global_footprint.pdf;   
2/1/2013United States AE_USA.pdf;   
2/1/2013BotswanaWe have read the document and we feel it is adequately addressing relevant issues. It is observed that: 1. The SEEA is found to be relevant and comprehensive 2. It is also found not rigid as it allows other variables depending on situations the SEEA will be applied to assess. However on Chapter 4: Extensions of the SEEA (particularly 4.2) the chapter is silent on slums and squatters. Although they are covered indirectly through data on basic services and sanitation, it is necessary to specify.
  Though we appreciate the purpose for SEEA we have no technical comments as we still on the learning curve of SEEA content and context.
2/1/2013NigeriaThe structures outlined will be of beneficial to the countries that have cured into the preparation of environmental-economic accounts. Though Nigeria is yet to have a comprehensive data set in environment statistics. Plans are on the way to conduct a baseline survey on environment statistics. 1.1-1.22 All is in order. 2.103 The indicators are alright but there is need to include this very indicator. The share of households'' contribution to environmental degradation.
  2.4.3 This analysis is not to be limited to only Government and corporations but look toward analysing individual activities in environment problem. 3.1 Analytical techniques is very much ok as prepared, but will need a lot of training for members to be in torn with the system. There is need to include environmental protection expenditure indicator by per capita and of the percentage of GDP. The data on environmental protection expenditure to show all activities directly or indirectly aimed at elimination, protection and prevention of the environment.
1/31/2013United KingdomGenerally the draft is in good shape and brings the available material together well. The following are a few detailed drafting comments noted in passing - I''ve provided comments on more general issues separately to the Editorial Board.
  2.47. Reference to leakage needs to be explained. 2.69. Does the reference to average temperature refer to inside temperatures (as insulation improves, there is a rebound effect with occupants choosing to maintain higher indoor temperatures), or to ambient external temperatures? Figure 2.7 Some formatting errors here; in the final two boxes the bottom row (‘2%'') should be deleted. Figure 2.8. Although noted in the text, it might help to have a note in the chart to the effect that these emissions relate to the direct use of energy (i.e. including electricity) by the supplier of the good or service. Figure 3.1. The labelling is confusing, as consumption indicators are usually defined as production plus imports less exports, so to see the Consumption column including exports seems wrong. Strictly speaking the column represents Final Demand, whilst the right hand column represents ‘Final Supply''. 4.14 Although household income is of interest, it isn''t generally the focus of policy, which looks more at what households are actually doing with the resources (heating, cooking, travelling etc in the case of energy, and washing, cooking etc in the case of water).
1/31/2013Dominican RepublicThe System of Environmental - Economic Accounting, Applications and Extensions is well structured in terms of the issues taken up, and identifies the key domains in connection with the SEEA Central Framework, at the same time it is a very important document for the implementation of SEEA Central Framework. The material was well balanced especially because devotes about a third of it contents to a comprehensive technical analysis, specifically on Chapter 3. In addition, it presents equations, graphs, charts and maps that help the understanding of the issues and indicators which can be applied to the document (3.59, 3.60, 3.77, 3.79, others). The document is designed in a nice way that can be easily read and understood, whose numerical structure facilitates a rapid identification of themes, sub-paragraphs and topics in much more specific sense. Also the topics and subtopics cover a variety of aspects which, as you progress in the development and implementation of the SEEA Central Framework in countries, undoubtedly it could be able to strengthen the system of integrated environmental and economic accounting. Note: Annex A3 and A4 were not reviewed.
1/31/2013SwedenThank you for the chance to comment on this report. We can provide some guidance on how the SEEA works for developing some of the indicators or analyses that are pictured in this volume. However, for the report to meet its readers, we suggest that the consultation is also done with some non-experts, to see what they learn from it. The figures are good to draw attention to how the information can be presented. The anonymity of the examples poses a problem for those who want to perform the analyses. For many of the examples mentioned, you will need to obtain guidance on how to gather and treat your data set in order to repeat the studies for your chosen area or time period. We suggest that the studies that inspired the examples are referenced, at least as background material.
  Chapter 1. SEEA Fisheries, please provide a reference to this document, as it is not known to us. Page 7, paragraph 1.17 Chapter 2.4 and 2.5. §2.95 perhaps change the wording regarding policy makers only having two perspectives of analysis. Sounds a bit presumptive. §2.96 The paragraph limits the SEEA Central Framework to EGSS and EPEA but the Central Framework also (briefly) describes RME. §2.99 Remove the word "green jobs" as it is nothing that the SEEA defines as a term. §2.105 admits this later on. See ILO work in the area: §2.107 Recommend the removal of the last sentence starting "To provide useful indicators…". Following SEEA CF classification the example in this paragraph could not be extracted. Perhaps one or two individual countries would have that level of detail but it''s not certain. Chapter 2.4.3 EGSS and EPEA analysis are described intertwined. The areas are quite different and describe different aspects. The text as it stands now might confuse a reader new to the areas. §2.129 Micro analysis: The example does not reflect any new ideas and a micro database does not reflect the SEEA. Propose to remove the entire paragraph. §2.131 Distributive effects of taxes are also an important analytical aspect. §2.132 Remove the word "appropriate" Chapter 4.2.3 household analyses 1) In general IO-based analysis of households through linking with budget, income, time-use surveys are worthwhile and interesting. It does, however, also pose considerable demands on the all the data sources used, which is not all that clear here. 2) The method descriptions are too brief and more of a smorgasbord of generic results. The text would have been more interesting if the origin of the study had been included. 3) The results of these studies depend on the quality of the data, which is why it could be valuable to mention some of the data requirements in the text.
1/31/2013AustriaFirst of all we want to thank you for your efforts in compiling SEEA volume III. We think that it provides a good overview into some applications and extensions of SEEA data which is especially useful for early adopters of environmental accounts. Unfortunately we were not able to look in detail into the methodology due to the short deadline for comments so we cannot provide textual comments. Even if volume III of SEEA has not the same "significance" and "status" as volume I we would have appreciated two rounds of global consultation. It seems to us that input to this document only came from a rather small group of experts and the requirements of the users of the data are therefore maybe less considered as it would be possible with two rounds of global consultation.
1/31/2013QatarThe draft document "SEEA Applications and Extensions" provides a useful guidance to show the links between statistics and policy needs. It will be an important background document for the practical implementation of SEEA on the national and regional level. We appreciate the work that has been done by UNSD and the quality of the document. We see it as useful for stakeholder consultations and trainings, as it can be used for better communication between statisticians, policy advisors, policy makers and other expert communities. The SEEA is an important user of environment statistics, thus we would consider it as useful that the link to the revised UN Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES) is explicitly mentioned in the document.
  Para. 1.12 – 1.17: The revised UN Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES) is a related document and should be mentioned. Figure 2.1: Gives the impression that indicators can only be created from SEEA. This is not true as there are other analytical and indicator frameworks in place next to the SEEA (which also build upon basic statistics). For consistency reasons and a unique "look and feel" it is important that the relation between basic statistics, SEEA, indicators and other frameworks is presented in the same way in the FDES and in all documents related to SEEA.
1/31/2013AzerbaijanPlease be informed that the SSC of Azerbaijan has not any comments or remarks on the draft of the SEEA Applications and Extensions.
1/31/2013Slovak RepublicStatistical Office of the SR in general supports the draft of SEEA Applications and Extensions as a part of revised SEEA. We welcome this practical guidance which is focused on possible analysis and development of policy-relevant environmental indicators by using data from SEEA accounts. We consider this guidance very helpful since we can also apply it in applications of SEEA data on national level. We have no specific comments on draft of SEEA Applications and Extensions because we have no experience with applications of SEEA data yet.
1/31/2013EurostatEurostat welcomes the production of this useful handbook on applications and extensions of the SEEA Central framework. It should provide a bridge between compilers and analysts and can thus help in encouraging and supporting the implementation of the SEEA in countries.
  The examples with data have been deliberately anonymised, which has some advantages but is also slightly frustrating for readers who would like to know more about the underlying work. Hopefully the final book will contain links to the national articles, not only the academic literature.
1/31/2013India/VP ParameswaranOn the whole this part of SEEA on Applications and Extensions has come out nicely. I have few observations to make. 1.In para 1.4,only household sector''s behaviour is highlighted whereas there is a need to have analysis of environmental pressures in respect of all sectors. In other words,behaviour of other sectors are also equally important.Hence,there is a need to generalise this instead of mentioning only household sector. 2.The second chapter on applications of SEEA data covering use of indicators,analytical approaches,etc.has come out failrly well. 3.In Chapter 3,though examples are included,some portions are more theoretically oriented (eg:mathematical attributions of environmental pressures to final demand,decomposition analysis).The language may have to be simplified in the sense that concepts with particular reference to environment may be explained in simple language and theory portions may be shifted to appendix. More hypothetical/numerical examples may be given.This approach will help even others (who don''t deal with the subject)to understand. 4.In para 3.71 under geo-spatial analysis there is a mention about national averages hiding important local variations. It is well appreciated that the thrust is on using GIS. In fact,in certain areas when the bottom-up approach is followed for data compilation, sub-national information is also available using which local variation can be analysed. In bottom-up approach, proper flow of sub-national data is ensured based on which national figures are worked out.
1/31/2013NetherlandsStatistics Netherlands welcomes the draft of SEEA Applications and Extensions. It provides a good overview of indicators and analyses that can be done using the SEEA-CF. It can play an important role in the implementation process of SEEA. In our opinion the overall style of the document in terms of chapter structure, tables and language is very clear and accessible.
  2.66 decomposition analyses: ‘Consumption'' is not right here (as this excludes exports), production is better here. Figure 2.4 is not in line with the text. More examples could be added to chapter 3. Annex A1 is an important addition of the draft.
1/31/2013Czech RepublicCzech Statistical Office appreciates all efforts and work that were put into the development of the draft of the part of the SEEA - Applications and Extensions. In general we agree with the presented document, the structure of document and the balance of material. We welcome practical examples of applications of SEEA data, especially graphs
  There are used abbreviations EGGS in § 2.103, 2.105, 2.106, we think, there should be EGSS. We suppose, that additional references will be incorporated in the final document, e. g. § 2.102 - Chapter of the SEEA, § 2.86 - ref. study EIPRO etc.
1/31/2013BangladeshFirst, we would like to congratulate the team to develop the extensive document. We do agree with concept,scope and methodology of the document. We believe that this will be one of the most useful documents in analyzing the environment issues.
1/30/2013Canada AE_Canada.pdf;   
1/29/2013ChinaWe have no comments ,it is a nice paper.
1/29/2013Germany/DestatisContent and structure of the consultation draft on SEEA Applications and Extensions give a very good overview on the possibilities of the SEEA. The document shows clearly the variety of possible indicators and analyses on the basis of environmental accounting data. It also shows in detail the benefits of this kind of information for politicians and other users. Para 2.84: We welcome the statement, that SEEA CF does not pertain details to LCA, MSA and substance flow analysis. Para 2.129: We doubt that it is the task of environmental economic accounting "to collect a range of information from individual enterprises". It might be helpful to have this kind of information but would go far beyond the capacities within NSIs. Section 2.7 is giving a good and short impression on the possibilities of indicators from the SEEA. In some cases the proposals even are going beyond a standard and will not be easy to achieve. Para 2.189-2.190: Spatial disaggregation is a desirable aim for information on environment and economy. However keeping in mind that Environmental Economic Accounting is a task for the national level SEEA should focus on this national level in the first run. Spatial disaggregation is rather ambitious and should be subject for later SEEA elaboration only. The same arguments apply to disaggregations by population groups, age classes, gender etc. Para 2.197: We welcome a comparatively modest demand on aggregates in monetary terms. There are still substantial doubts on the feasibility of monetizing the value of stocks of natural resources in general or the value of their depletion. Chapter 3 (p. 55 ff.) and section 3.3 (p. 60 ff.) have the same title – "Analytical techniques". The heading "analytical techniques" seems neither completely fitting for chapter 3 nor for section 3.3 in this chapter. The foregoing chapter 2 contains the term analysis already nearly in the heading of each section. One can say an analysis represents a certain kind of analytical technique. Therefore the differentiation or distance between chapter 2 and chapter 3 is not so evident if the title is kept for chapter 3. We would propose to speak of "models" instead of "techniques" in the heading for chapter 3. The title for section 3.3 could then be defined negatively, as "non-IO models". Furthermore we think, that section 3.4 ("Geo-spatial analysis") could be relocated to chapter 4, because this analysis is not a kind of model but really an extension. Section 3.2 provides a good overview on EE_IO-Analysis. Two types of model are explicitly mentioned: SRIO and MRIO. Actual there are also (a range of) bilateral trade models (BTIO), which consider bilateral trade and environmental effects of this trade. These models take into account the production processes of the 2 economies under consideration (not only the technique of a single country as in the SRIO). These models are an alternative to SRIO and MRIO. The bilateral consideration could be also integrated into a SRIO model – that means a partly regionalization of a SRIO model. This is done in the German EEIO model on energy and GHG. ADDENDUM: In our comments to SEEA part 2 on ecosystem accounting end of last year, we supported the proposal of Jock MARTIN to reflect about the possibility of handling the topic Carbon Accounting in SEEA part 3. We would like to repeat this proposal here.
  Para 2.54: Figure 2.2 is not quite clear. Our proposal would be to show absolute, relative, and no decoupling in 3 distinct figures. Figure 2.3 (p.20) label of x-axis has to be "liter per value added" and not the other way round Para 2.82: Monetary measures are shown in the upper part of Figure 2.6., physical measures in the lower part (instead of left and right). Para 2.87 and Fig. 2.7: Where do the data given in the example come from? Are they purely hypothetical? If so, it should be mentioned, if not the source should be mentioned. Para 2.94 and Fig. 2.8: Figure 2.8 is not quite clear. What does the size of the circular forms indicate? Subsection 3.3.3 is named "Attribution of environmental pressures to final demand" (p. 62 - 67). This heading is misleading, because the topics which are comprised in this section are not at all completely referring to final demand! The calculation of "footprints", the "production perspective" and the "global shifts in env. pressures" are not directly related to final demand categories. In principal, different env. pressure accounting concepts are addressed in this section. Therefore we would propose to name this subsection (3.3.3) instead as "Alternative concepts for balancing environment pressures". Subsection 3.3.4: Decomposition analysis, figure 3.2 and table 3.4 (Page 68): The figures of the table do not match with the series (rows) of the figure! E.G. in figure 3.2 the change of total CO2 ("_._" not "x"!) is about 25 Mton, in the table 34.1. Also the values of the other items do not match. Para. 3.57: "energy intensity" is explained as "energy consumption per unit of production". The factor defined in this way is meaningful (and understandable) only for sectors where the "production" is directly connected with energy consumption and hence with CO2-emissions. But this "energy intensity" is also calculated for service activities. We would propose to say in para. 3.57 instead: "energy consumption per unit of production or per income of service activities".
1/25/2013PolandNo comment. We do agree with the presented application scope and the methodology, and also with the shape of the document.
1/23/2013PalestineWe would first like to thank you for providing us with the "SEEA Applications and Extensions" and please be advised that our special technical committee at PCBS has reviewed the document and found it useful and satisfactory. Therefore, we have no comments to add on the document since this topic is still recent to us.
1/23/2013Norway AE_Norway.pdf;   
1/22/2013BelarusThe National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, within the framework of its competence, does not have any comments or suggestions on the Draft.
1/21/2013Statistics New ZealandSEEA Applications and Extensions is a very useful companion to the SEEA Central Framework. It provides a good indication of the variety of indicators and aggregates possible by analysing data from the Central Framework''s accounts. I strongly agree with paragraph 2.6 which suggests that the audience for SEEA accounts (our customers) are often not statistical experts. In the past some NSOs may not have communicated the meaning and relevance of the information within the accounts effectively enough, thereby reducing the accounts perceived usefulness. The SEEA Extensions and Applications is therefore welcomed as it will help NSOs bridge the communication gap and present indicators that our customers can easily understand and use. That said, educating the audience for accounts will need to be a priority if their true worth is to be fully realised. Consultation with customers over which indicators to produce will also be vital. It is understood that the SEEA Applications and Extensions is intended to stimulate ideas for analysis rather than providing an exhaustive and prescriptive list of indicators and applications. Although agreeing in principle with this approach a core list of headline indicators associated with each SEEA account would be useful. This would provide NSOs with a core list of indicators to choose from/work towards, and provide the basis for early discussions with customers on what could be produced. The consultation draft includes some fairly challenging techniques and analysis. This is useful but does highlight the potential gap between the subject matter capability available to the UNCEEA / London Group and the capability and capacity of resources available to some NSOs charged with developing and delivering national SEEA accounts.
  Presentation of environmental-economic accounts data for tourism (page 81-85) Consideration should be given to establishing a core global series of environmental indicators - with flexibility for individual countries additions - for comparing flows as a percent of total economy as featured in Table 4.4. In addition to flows, exploration could be given to a table being developed to where a monetary value is placed on this determined series of environmental indicators using country specific or universal pricing (then converted to country''s currency) ie: the percentage of CO2 related to tourism industries against the country''s total CO2 produced multiplied by the cost per tonne. The summation of this table of environmental indicators could provide an enviro-economic cost of tourism providing a comparison to the tourism-economic value obtained.

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