This paper was originally published in Ecological Economics


Abstract: There have been many initiatives and policy commitments in natural capital accounting in the recent years. Based on a survey for statistical offices, ministries and independent experts worldwide, we provide some preliminary evidence that there is very little use of natural capital accounts for public policy decisions and, more so, in developing countries.

The most relevant obstacles are the lack of political support by key people and institutional leadership unable to promote policy use by other ministries. Concerning developing countries, the factor which is considered as the most relevant in preventing the use of natural capital accounts for policy making is the stage of development of the country.

In addition, respondents from statistical institutes and developing countries are firstly, concerned about institutional obstacles and secondly, about data availability and cooperation. Respondents from ministries and independent experts are particularly concerned about design obstacles. Not many accounts may be available to be used in the policy-making process due to data gaps, design challenges and the required investment, the problem being more acute in developing countries. A key result of the survey is the need to evaluate the added value of natural capital accounts with respect to statistics…”

Read on and access the full paper at: Ecological Economics.