Ecosystem Accounting

Ecosystem accounts are a structured compilation of information on ecosystem assets that includes, for example, forests, wetlands and other types of biomes. These assets generate flows of ecosystem goods and services. Ecosystem accounts present information about both the quantity and quality of these ecosystem assets, as well as of the flows of ecosystem goods and services from which society benefits. These assets and their flows can be measured in both physical and monetary terms. Ecosystem accounts work is still experimental and has not yet been adopted as an official international standard. Guidelines, concepts and classification systems are still being developed and Statistics Canada participates in this collaborative work.

While working towards the goal of producing these data on a continual basis, Statistics Canada has been producing pilot data, studies, and methodological documentation. The work accomplished to date in this area is summarized in Human Activity and the Environment 2013: Measuring ecosystem goods and services in Canada.

For further details on ecosystem accounting, see the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting - Experimental Ecosystem Accounting manual.

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