Environmental-economic accounting aims to provide decision makers with the information they need to maintain and improve ecosystems and the ecosystem services that benefit society. Decision makers need information to monitor the effectiveness of environmental policy over time and across landscapes to help understand the current state of ecosystems, the changes in the states of ecosystems, and the causes of those changes. Policy makers and natural resource managers also need information to understand the outcomes of past expenditure, and to improve resource allocation and maximise returns on natural resource investments.
The ABS and Department of Environment and Primary Industry have been working together to provide information on ecosystems and their changing condition in an accounting format using methods prescribed in the System of Environmental-Economics Accounting: Experimental Ecosystem Accounts, an internationally recognised framework for ecosystem accounting that aligns with the System for National Accounts and the work of the ABS in national and environmental accounting.
This presentation will demonstrate how the disciplines of accounting, ecology and economics are combining to create an information base to support decision making and public policy development. This will enable private and public investments in the environmental sector to be better targeted to provide the greatest level of environmental, economic and societal well-being.