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In partnership with the UN, IBGE releases integrated analysis of Ecosystem Accounts

Section: Geosciences | Umberlândia Cabral | Design: Helga Szpiz

May 20, 2022 10h00 AM | Last Updated: May 26, 2022 01h04 AM

#pracegover a foto mostra uma vista superior do Pantanal.
Pantanal is one of the six Brazilian biomes studied in the project - Photo: Pixabay

The IBGE releases today (20) “Ecosystem Accounts: results of the NCAVES project in Brazil ”, which compiles the main results of six publications in environmental economic accounting developed with the support from the United Nations (UN). The publications gather indicators that present some of the services in Brazilian ecosystems.

Because it has abundant ecosystems in terms of biodiversity and geodiversity, and considering the six biomes (Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest, Caatinga, Cerrado, Pantanal and Pampa), Brazil was selected for the project Natural Capital Accouting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services – NCAVES). Other participating partner countries in the project were China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

“The publication does not present previously unreleased data. It is a compilation of information generated by NCAVES project in Brazil. Brazil.. The project was run in five pilot countries appointed by the UN mainly due to their diversity of natural resources. The IBGE was the institution invited to lead the project in Brazil. The countries conducted surveys on an experimental basis bt follow methodological recommendations from a manual. After the project was finished, this manual was approved by the UN Statistical Commission, and the recommendations established as an international methodology to disseminated globally," explains Maria Luisa Pimenta, IBGE’s Manager of the Environment Department, who worked as technical coordinator throughout the NCAVES project.

Between 2017 and 2021, the project monitored the production of “Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water”, of “Ecosystem Accounts: land use in Brazilian biomes” and “Ecosystem Accounts: endangered species in Brazil.” Other publications elaborated within the project and published as Experimental Statistics were “Ecosystem Accounts: conditions of water bodies”, “Valuation of the ecosystem service of blue water provision” and “Non-wood forest products accounts” and its respective valuation study.

The publication released today presents an integrated analysis and unites environmental accounting products, by relating, for example, the results of conversions into natural areas observed in the Ecosystem Extension Accounting, based on an ecological perspective of Brazilian biomes, with the other indicators generated. Besides summarizing the mais results of the project, there is the evaluation of the Environmental Economic Accounts for moniroting of indicators, among which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

“Some of the Ecosystem Accounts” generate results that can feed the ODS. That is the case, for example, of “Conditions of water bodies”, which are related to Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all)”, Ms. Pimenta says. Ivone Batista, Manager of Environmental Accounts and Statistics, adds: “The System of Environmental Economic Accounting is an integrated statistical landmark that allows the systematic incorporation of environmental and economic information into the construction of indicators".

Researcher Maria Luisa Pimenta also explains that, besides allowing better control of environmental and economic accounting by the country, especially when related to the ecosystems, the project allowed Brazil to expand technical knowledge through the international debate and the participation of expert consultants in the application concepts by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the work with the IBGE teams.

“Before the NCAVES, the IBGE had isolated initiatives in this field, such as Environmental Economic Accounts for Water, which was elaborated in partnership with the National Water Agency (ANA). With the implementation of the project, we were always in contact with the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and we had the chance of interacting and participating in international forums that helped the Brazilian team improve in the use of the methodology. That was a good opportunity for exchange and a chance to bring to maturity the program and expand partnerships that include, besides ANA, the Botanic Garden of Rio de Janeiro, oICMBio and the Brazilian Forest Service,” says the manager. She adds that the technical partnerships were established during the project and have been a contribution to turn it into a permanet program.

Ended December last year, the project counted the cooperation of the UNSD and the United Nations Environmental Program, and was funded by the European Union, In Brazil, it was developed by means of a partnership between the IBGE’s Directorate of Surveys (DPE) and Directorate of Geosciences (DGC). Its results are an important landmark for the consolidation of a Program of Environmental and Economic Accounts of Brazil, according to the Coordinator of National Accounts and and general coordinator of NCAVES in Brazil, Rebeca Palis.

“Brazil has an important characteristic for the development of environmental economic accounts which is having one same Institute dealing with statisitcs and geosciences, the IBGE. Also, NCAVES highlighted the importance of Brazil in the measurement of natural capital as it is one of the five countries selected to take part in the project.”

These are the studies summarized in the publication:

Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water

The development of the second edition of “Environmental Economic Accounts for Water” was intended to give contrinuity to the production and dissemination of information relative to the balance between water availability and demand in the economy, encompassing, besides national results, those by Major Region, with physical and monetary indicators about the supply and demand of water in Brazil by economic activities and families.

Accounts of land use by biome

“Accounts of land use by biome” had as their main objective to propose and analysis of the length and conversion of natural ecosystem areas of the country and an approximation of their state of overall preservation, having adopted as an environmental perspective the six biomes: Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic Rainforest, Caatinga, Pampa and Pantanal.

Accounts of Threatened Species

Having as their main reference the “Official National Lists of Threatened Species of Fauna and Flora,”, the “Ecosystem Accounts: Species Threatened with Extinction in Brazil” presented the number of species by category of threat, in each Brazilian biome, in an attempt to provide material to assess the conservation of species in the different types of environment (terrestrial, freshwater and marine).

Valuation of service of blue water provisioning

Results of the experimental study about valuation of service of blue water provisioning, used by the activity of abstraction, treatment and distribution of water, were intended to demonstrate the potential of compensation of this production factor, given the characteristics of the economic activity considered.

Accounts of conditions of water bodies

Conditions of water bodies allowed an experimental quantitative and qualitative assessment of this resource considering their abiotic and biotic features, thus allowing a high-qualty approach of water resources defined according to a healthy condition of aquatic ecosystems.

Accounts of provisioning of non-wood forest products

The “Accounts of non-wood forest products” encompassed the experimental analysis of 12 non-wood forest products extracted and other four ones cultivated in permanent crops, approaching the measurement of provisioning services based on the valuatiion of income from environmental resources.