WAVES, ECLAC Support NCA in Latin America and the Caribbean
UN Photo/Kibae Park
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The Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership indicates that Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries are increasingly using natural capital accounting (NCA) to inform decision making on policies and planning in areas such as monitoring energy and natural resource extraction and estimating the economic values of water- and forest-related ecosystem services.

Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico have implemented environmental accounts, and nine other countries (Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay) have undertaken their first pilot accounts.

WAVES and ECLAC are developing a 'Community of Environmental Accounting' that includes an online platform and webinars for regional officials and experts.

March 2017: Supported by improvements in environmental statistics, increased interest in integrated information, and international organizations, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries are increasingly using natural capital accounting (NCA) to inform decision making on policies and planning in areas such as monitoring energy and natural resource extraction and estimating the economic values of water- and forest-related ecosystem services, according to the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership.

WAVES indicates that LAC countries have progressed in such areas as NCA coverage in natural resources, institutional organization mechanisms, and NCA uses and applications in policy procedures. Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico have implemented environmental accounts, and nine other countries (Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay) have undertaken their first pilot accounts. Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico have advanced the institutionalization of their environmental accounting programmes, while the Bahamas, Bolivia, Dominica and Venezuela, have noted their intent to develop NCA programmes. Brazil has also progressed with its first inter-institutional publication of accounts.

To support these efforts and generate additional interest in natural capital accounting, ECLAC, WAVES and the German Agency for International Cooperation and Development (GIZ) organized a regional workshop on ‘Environmental Accounting for Policy Analysis,’ which convened from 16-17 March 2016 in Bogota, Colombia. The workshop brought together both account users and producers from 15 LAC countries to share experiences on implementing and institutionalizing NCA using the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA). During the workshop, LAC countries expressed support for developing a Regional Cooperation Program (RCP) to strengthen NCA implementation and use in policymaking, to strengthen cooperation among participating countries, and to develop a ‘Community of Environmental Accounting’ experts to share knowledge and experiences.

Since the workshop, the RCP has begun preparing an NCA readiness report to help LAC countries coordinate, and held the first of a series of webinars focused on creating the Community of Environmental Accounting. Members of this “community” are expected to meet every two months to discuss NCA-related issues in the region. Looking ahead, in April 2017, ECLAC will convene a workshop in the Dominican Republic on energy and emissions accounts. [WAVES Update] [Website for LAC Workshop on Environmental Accounting for Policy Analysis]

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