This article was originally published on European Policy Network.


“Even though they are crucial in tourism and recreation, food and appreciation, air and water filtration, as well as erosion and flood control, environmental products and services are barely represented in classic accounting. Ecosystems provide invaluable yet rather intangible services and contributions to national economies that classic indicators such as the GDP neglect. Therefore, they are neither captured nor considered in policy decisions so far. NCA can change this.

State of the art in the EU

While the values of ecosystem services are often abstract, NCA uses tools that can measure changes in stock and condition of natural capital, assign them monetary values and allow for their integration into existing systems of accounting and reporting. Since the 1990s the EU has been a pioneer in this field, most currently with the  knowledge innovation project on an Integrated system for Natural Capital and ecosystem services Accounting (KIP-INCA). Which is setting up a common platform for tools and data sets on NCA, assessing value and economic importance of ecosystems.

The KIP-INCA platform would display information on ecosystem services, their extent, type, condition and value from the whole EU in one place. Furthermore, the tools for analysis of services and capital allow for highlighting interdependencies with economic activities. The platform would make it possible to measure changes over time and permit to present information at different scales – regionally, nationally and EU-wide…”

Read on at: European Policy Network.